A year of Hyko

Exactly one year ago today, I opened the door to our flat in Camden and Hyko walked in.

That first day didn’t leave much time to think about the huge decision we’d made to adopt a dog. Annabel was at work. I had a meeting in town. So half an hour after Hyko arrived, I was walking through Regent’s Park with a massive dog who I was now responsible for. It felt totally alien. Kind of amazing. Mostly terrifying.

My meeting was with a woman who was supplying scents for Noser, the musical I’d just written. Hyko was fairly well behaved. Then he started trying to steal food from the man at the next table in the café, before jumping up at me. What did he want? I had no idea.

A year later, I know what Hyko wants when he jumps up. Or sits down in a certain place. Or makes a particular noise. We’ve learned to speak each other’s language.

But there’s still so much I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if he’s happy. Whether he misses his previous two owners. Whether he likes living in the city. Whether he’d like to live with another dog. What he’s thinking about.

Yesterday morning, I woke up and looked at Hyko, who was lying on his bed next to Annabel and I. We stared into each other’s eyes. Two, three, four minutes passed. Neither of us looked away.

It’s so strange to spend every minute of every day with another creature – to love them so much, to share such intimacy – and still have no idea what they’re thinking. I hope he’s happy.

Happy anniversary, Hyko!

Family photo shoot by Stina Gränfors