Wednesday, 9 July 2014
The Dog Loving Community
The other day I was walking Jade by the lake in Ham Common which runs alongside Rockley Beach, and I saw a really huge fish sail by majestically with a languid wave of its tail in the shallow water near the bank. A solitary man was nearby, on his own with no dog. I was so excited by the size of this fish that I spoke to him.
" I just saw the most enormous fish." I indicated the size with my hands.
"Oh yes. There are some big ones in there. I used to fish here and come down with my dog, but we lost her a couple of weeks ago. She had cancer and we couldn't let her go on suffering." I made sympathetic noises and he made a fuss of Jade and then fell into step as we retraced our steps towards the car park. I felt a bit nervous then, as there was no-one else in sight, but I needn't have worried.
Over a couple of hundred yards before we went our separate ways, it seemed like I got his life story and he said, "We are thinking about getting another dog, but in 12 years time I'll be 72 and I don't know if I could cope." I had to laugh.
"We are both over 70 and we have Jade and it's fine. She gets me up in the morning and she gets us out every day." I hope I meet him again, walking another dog.
When Jade and I go to the local park in the morning, we meet a selection of dog walking neighbours. You always learn the dog's name first; then over time you might learn their owners'names. There is Max, the cocker spaniel who comes to work with his mistress in a factory on the industrial estate across the road from the park. She seems to start work at 7.30 after she lets Max stretch his legs and complete his toilet in the park. I'm not sure if she is called Heather or Vicky. We have to be early to meet up with them.
The first couple we ever met was Charlie, the springer spaniel, and his owner Olivia who is a dog minder, so a very useful person to know. Then there is Leo, the border terrier, who has had owners, Tony and Jeanette, very worried about his health but he is better now. Bobby is another smaller terrier who has recovered from having a growth removed that turned out to be benign. I don't know his owners' names but they have a little boy who sometimes comes out with a football, and the dad cleans ovens for a living.
Rafa is a bit of a black and white mixture and belongs to Dot who always has a pocket full of small dog biscuits. If she puts her hand in her pocket, dogs appear like magic to sit around her as they won't get one unless they sit nicely. They live in a flat below Indy, a Jack Russell who was bitten by a staffie that we no longer see. The bite got infected and it was touch and go for a while but he pulled through ok. The newest bitch on the block is Tandy, another heinz type dog owned by Keith.
I didn't realise I knew so many nearby dog lovers until I started listed them here.
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