We can see it from our balcony. We know it exists.  A green, grassy area shaded by trees, enclosed by a sturdy fence.  Other dogs roam freely down there….


And yet, Guiseppe can only stare longingly down at them.  Well actually, I lie.  He can’t even see down there because our balcony has a concrete wall about 4 feet high and Guiseppe only stands about 4 inches high.  But he knows the other dogs are there, I’m sure of that!  Why? Because we don’t know how to get to our own backyard!

It’s not that the walks are so bad.  (Well, sometimes they are, like early in the morning when it’s cold and I just want to sleep.)  It’s that winter is coming and the ground will be covered with snow, and how will Guiseppe go out walking then?  Each step of his short, stumpy legs will surely sink so far into the powdery snow that he will certainly be stuck and we will have to pry him out of the ice with our own frozen hands.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we could just go out the back door (wherever that is) and let the hound do his business, then return to the sizzly comfort of our own home?  And if he still needs exercise, we could run up and down the hallway like 200 times?

We thought maybe that wasn’t the yard for our building…until we saw our neighbor and his dog down there.  Then I took up my infamous spying tricks and noticed he entered and exited through a door I thought was used only for electricity boxes and the like.  But I think it is actually the “back door”.  I imagine it to be like the Chronicles of Narnia, where the kids enter the closet and end up in a magical land.

Of course, I wouldn’t know because when I tried all three of our keys—building key, flat key, mailbox key—none of them worked in the magic back door.  So we called the landlord.  He’s not sure if it’s possible but he’s going to “try” to get us a key for our own backyard.

Don’t ask.

“Yours” is a subjective word here in Bulgaria.  The backyard is “ours” but we just aren’t allowed to use it.  Kind of like how the heat, electricity, internet, iron, toaster and DVD player are “ours”, but often, we just can’t use them.