Lupus in tabula

By now it has been established as a tradition that on our birthdays we regularly spring a surprise on our three Newfoundlander dogs, Burkus, Vidra and Brumi. On the birthday of Kata, in June we have their hair cut, so that in their fur-coats proportioned to the Canadian frost they would suffer somewhat less from the heat of the Hungarian summer. And on my birthday, in December we comb out their coat that they are profusely casting in this period, so that we would also suffer somewhat less from everyday cleaning. The reason why we do this on our birthdays is that we hope that in this way we would not forget the date arranged with the dogs’ hairdresser. But it also has some nice Medieval taste, when it was still the task of the person celebrated to bestow gifts on his friends.


The happening in December, when their skin is thoroughly massaged with the brush, is perhaps regarded as a gift by them as well. At least they endure it with a silent apathy.


The haircutting in June, however, that may cost them their skin, is much less tolerated.


By the end of the combing a common birthday gift arrives as well. Snow begins to fall softly, and it soon covers the village. Winter has come. Brumi sees such a thing the first time in her life. Growing wild from each other’s combed-out smell as well as from the snowfall, they rush out to the forest, happily rolling about in the snow, devouring with full mouth the message of Newfoundland.