Just like that, we were back.
Fifteen weeks on and we were back in the shop like nothing had happened. To us, not much had changed. Blurs (or people, as the sighted like to call them), sauntered around on their own missions to get out of this supposedly germ infested place as we were guided by our friend’s voice to watch out for people and objects. Having been blessed to have friends, family and online shopping services do our shopping for us over the last fifteen weeks, we had not stepped foot into a shop, so I was unsure what to expect. Munch had not been in full work mode for a while, only slipping on his harness for short walks around our home area. I was a little apprehensive of how he would feel going back into full work mode, but he amazed me on how eager he was to get back.
Practically yanking me into the place that he once resisted going, I guessed this shopping trip would be easier than I had thought. The history of Munch and shopping has not always been a positive one but clearly this break has made him re -evaluate his acceptance of the place that fills his belly with love from all the edible goodies all around. As we swiftly passed the clothes section that he has never been a fan of, his prancing pace quickened, avoiding the two-legged race with perfection. A quick sniff out of his favourite vegan cheese that he is rather partial too and we were well on the way to the second aisle. All the fears I had of not being able to see to social distance was gone as my harness wearing hero worked in partnership with my vocal coaching friend as they helped avoid upsetting anyone by walking into them. Munch was back on top form.
I swallowed the guilt of the questioning thoughts that I had been having of Munch becoming deskilled with his time off from proper work as he proved me wrong. With ever prancing paws he placed on the shiny supermarket floor, he was obviously on a mission. As we glided through the scent of celery, cotton fresh candles and freshly baked products from the bakery that alerted my olfactory gland to where we were in the supermarket, I knew that Munch had this all in hand (or his yeti like paws more like). The calling of the third aisle became too much for Munch as he quickened his Olympian worthy pace as we rounded the corner resembling a pair of pivoting ice skaters. It was only when the stench of dried meaty canine bliss and cat nip covered treats intruded my nostrils that I realized what Munch’s hurry had been all along. He had finally come home to the aisle where his heart was. The pet food aisle.
His longing to return to this sense filled sanctuary was plain for all to see. His excited panting echoed along the tins and boxes that lined the shelves of his favourite thirty plus foot space EVER. The smell of new tennis balls wafting from their net packaging alerted me that we had reached his favourite toy section. For some strange reason, he took his time to put his best paw forward in this part of the shop and was in no hurry to leave. It was only after a pack of treats and new toy later, that I knew he would be ready to sashay through the rest of the shop. We remained here for some time for him to savour the moment and reconnect to what his food driven soul had been missing. His return to normality had begun.
If there is one thing that Munch has taught me during our time together is that appreciating the simple things in life is all that matters. Following this helicopter tailed happy chappie throughout the rest of shop I realized that witnessing his happiness and the happiness in others is what life is all about. The simplicity of the effects of a smell, the feeling of returning to contentment and focussing on the basics in life is all that is needed to return to happiness. I knew that when his sloppy kisses covered my face when he leapt into the car after the shopping trip, he was thanking me for taking him back into bliss. The return to happiness is sometimes simpler than we think.