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For the past ten years and more, I have left home with the words, ‘Bye Luci!’ When my leaving involved travel and longer stays away from home, the ‘Bye Luci’ was tinged with sadness. I never liked leaving her, but I liked travel too. The fact that I left her in good hands was my only comfort.

This time she wasn’t around for me to linger over goodbyes or even utter the words, ‘Bye Luci!’ And yet those were the exact words I said when I stepped out of my Luci-less apartment out of sheer habit, this being the first time I was leaving home after her departure.

In Belgrade, everywhere I go I see dogs, of all sizes and shapes. The city seems to be full of dog lovers. There are dogs in the parks, restaurants, coffee shops, on the roads, in the arms or bags of people, and once again I think how Luci was born in the wrong country. In the past I used to often tell her, ‘I wish you’d been born where you could roam, go for swims, play with friends of your kind, be accepted in hotels, restaurants. I am sorry I cannot give you any of these, only my undying affection and love to make up for it!’

If she were with me still, Luci would have been eleven today.

In her honour I am sharing pictures of some of the dogs I clicked on my walks around the city of Belgrade the last couple of days.

© Shail Mohan 2022