It was our last full day in Istanbul. We had just spent the day exploring the farthest of the Princes’ Islands, Büyükada, and were getting back on the ferry for the two hour ride. I noticed a dog with a tag on his ear also get on with the mob of people. Though Istanbul is know for the number of wild cats that roam the city, there are also a fair number of stray dogs, each tagged.
As we sat on the boats hull, my hair whipping in the wind, we watched an of course perfect sunset. The seagulls yelped and flew alongside the ferry as passengers threw them pieces of simit, the sesame seed bread rings sold as street food. Benjamin took my camera and wouldn’t give it back until he’d taken at least thirty photos of the city skyline with the rose color washing over the water and sky.
As we debarked back onto the mainland, we had a half an hour walk ahead of us to get back to our apartment. After about five minutes of walking I noticed that the dog I had seen earlier was behind us and pointed it out to Benjamin, finding it amusing. Five minutes later we realized it was following us and that made me feel uncomfortable. I’ve never really been an animal person, but this also just made me feel creeped out for some odd reason. After deliberating for a few more minutes what we should do, we took our chance as the dog had advanced a bit ahead of us to back up and hide around a corner. When the dog stopped walking and turned around, it was expectant to see us. It seemed confused, lost, unsure where to go. Benjamin started to plead with me to go back and I felt a slight tug of guilt but I insisted we dart across the street once the dog started walking on again. It did so not too long after, finally deciding to continue its existence as a vagabond.
The two of us continued to walk turning corners and streets, no longer in sight of the dog. We climbed stairs and hills, and found a view point as dusk became night. Once we finally got our bearings back, we were about to go down a well lit staircase to a busy street when who do I see at the bottom? None other than the same exact dog walking by. I shushed Benjamin, whispering that we had to wait because of what I saw, and then we continued on to our apartment, laughing about how bizarre the whole thing had been.