Chance is capricious. I go for a walk, without any predetermined direction, through the streets of my city and, suddenly, without looking for it, luck places before me a life, a story. Miguel Ángel Buongiorno is an Argentine from Buenos Aires who has been in Barcelona since 2002. He is a lively and smiling guy, who does not look like the age he says on his ID: 69.

I find him leaving the park where he always goes to walk his three dogs. He has met his daughter to have breakfast together, on a sunny and slow Saturday morning. His brightly colored tracksuit, his sunglasses and his light walk transmit a certain positive energy to me.

He introduces me to his three little dogs, and I have the incredible feeling that he does it as if they were three of his friends. Or his grandchildren. Pompeia, the oldest, yellow hair, is 13 years old. Robin, 4 years old, black and white hair. Mia, 4 years old, yellow and whitish hair.

He tells me excitedly that, for as long as he can remember, since he was a child, he was always surrounded by dogs. In his country, in Buenos Aires, his parents had a few, and he always knew how to establish close complicities with them.

She tells me about her oldest dog, Pompeia, a Portuguese hound, friendly and affectionate. Apparently he took her from an animal shelter in Tibidabo. Miguel Ángel loved to volunteer a few hours of his time at the shelter. His emotional bond with all those animals, so in need of care and attention, made him feel like a better person.

At first, they gave him, as an adoption, a dog to welcome into his home. She had it for about five years and it died. She decided to spend a few months without any dog: “I feel like I have to go through a necessary time to grieve, every time one of my beloved animals leaves…”.

When the wound from that absence began to heal, he found himself strong enough to return to that same animal shelter, and that was when they gave him Pompeia. She is very affected when a dog dies, every time it happens to her. And there are a few…

Miguel Ángel has two children, but he confesses to me that, regardless of the differences, for him, his dogs have always meant great loves, occupying a preeminent place in his soul. He tells me, visibly moved: “one’s heart has enough room to fit your mother, your wife, your children and your animals.”

Suddenly, the two of them walking to meet their daughter, she introduces me to the smallest dog, Mia (white and yellow hair). She is scared, she tells me that she is scared of almost everything. Mia’s little brothers were born in the mountains, in the wild, and a kennel began to take them away one by one, separating them from each other.

Miguel Ángel’s daughter got Mia’s little brother, and they caught her last, because she was the most surly and fearful. I look at her for a moment and immediately perceive her terrible look of fear, which indicates great fragility. Her bright little eyes inspire me with infinite tenderness.

Apparently Miguel Ángel’s daughter insisted a lot “dad, dad, keep Mia…”. And she convinced him. She took it home in the middle of the pandemic, in 2020.

The Buenos Aires man introduces me to his third love. “Look at him, meet Robin, I found him totally lost and disoriented in one of those water channels of the Ebro Delta.” Michelangelo explains to me that Robin was alone and disoriented. He apparently escaped, since he was not wearing a collar or identification chip. He is a tiny dog ​​but he has a lively expression, alert and receptive, he doesn’t miss a single detail.

This Argentine with a warm voice and delicate gestures lives happily with his three dogs at home. Every day he takes them to the park around nine in the morning, then his partner walks with them at noon, again around five in the afternoon, and when he arrives at night, around twelve, he goes out with the three of them to do A quick pee and go to sleep.

Miguel Ángel tells me that the relationship between the three dogs is very good, they play with each other and never fight about anything. The three of them eat and drink from the same pot. When it’s vacation time they always go with the three dogs. And they are the ones who have to adapt to the animals (not the other way around). They can’t go to a hotel… They usually rent a little house with a pool, near the beach.

I am perplexed seeing how he speaks with them, with each one, and how he addresses each one in a different tone of voice. It seems that he speaks to them in their particular languages.

Miguel Ángel knows well that they perceive when he is having a good day or when he is angry: “They capture everything, every nuance of my voice, of my look.” Now he himself has three little dogs, and they are great, they love each other and Miguel Ángel adores them.

He confesses one of his fears to me: “I know that, suddenly, one of the three will die, and there will be two left. And then another will die, and only one will remain. And I know well that in the end there will be none. When that happens I have already decided that I will close the book, that I will no longer have any more dogs.”

And Miguel Ángel concludes, already with his daughter in front of us: “Over the years I have learned that there is a time for everything, that everything has its cycle that opens and closes. I will also leave one day… And you.”