Sunday, 14 January 2018

Chasing the dog

is not something I do.
Yesterday I was minding my own business and pedalling quietly back from the library thinking about writing. (I do a lot of thinking about my writing when I am out pedalling.) 
I crossed the road next to the play ground on the corner of one of the streets I use after waiting for (1) a man with a stroller, (2) a small boy on a bike with trainer wheels, and (3) a dog on a leash.
And then, as the man opened the gate to the playground, the dog somehow managed to break free of the leash.
He was off!
I stopped. There was no point in me trying to chase the dog. 
     "Go on!" I told the man, "The children know me. I'll wait with them."
He gave me a panicked look and ran.
The child in the stroller was too young to understand so it didn't bother him too much. The small boy however was almost  hysterical. 
       "That's our dog. He's new....and he's really, really naughty but I don't want him to be hurt!"
He looked at me.
      "I don't know you!"
      "Yes you do," I told him, "You come here sometimes with your mummy in the red car.  I threw your special ball back the other day."
This was perfectly true. His mother had made him thank me. It was stretching the issue but, for the purpose, it would do. 
He looked at me through his tears.
     "What if my grandpa can't catch Spot?" (Spot by the way is brown all over without a spot in sight.)
     "He will tell the dog catcher. The dog catcher is a person who knows how to do it."
      "But what if a car comes first! He's too little to be by himself."
      "We just have to hope that doesn't happen. Look, there he is. He's stopped by that fence. There must be something interesting there."
I felt a small hand reach for mine. Small boy was trembling with fright. The tears were still rolling down his face. 
The dog, no more than a pup, was caught a moment later.  I held it firmly by the collar as the leash was examined, adjusted and reattached. 
      "I told my daughter this was not a good idea," the man told me breathing heavily, "Thank the heavens you were here. Thank you so much."
We calmed the small boy. For another calming treat he "rode" my tricycle up and down the path at the playground and I left him climbing the "monkey" bar while his grandfather strapped his brother into the smallest swing.
The dog sat mournfully firmly attached to the post intended for such things. 
      "It serves you right," I told him as I left. 
I think he knew it did.

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