Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Distracted dog-sitting

There's a bench by the Rideau River, surrounded by boulders where the dogs dance by and sign their names. Over the river's edge, there are more boulders leading down to the river, a favourite spot for canine swimming. It's not strictly legal, but no one enforces the rules.

So I am not surprised to see a white terrier wading in the greeny-brown water. He or she clambers up the rocks, makes an arc around the Accent Snob (who has never shown the inclination to swim), and trots quickly, but with no sense of urgency, along the dirt-and-gravel path that follows the river west.

This is a surprise, because, aside from a woman seated on the bench and gazing into her phone, there is no one else nearby. Puzzled, I peer both east and west. In both distant directions, there are people strolling on the pathway, already accompanied by dogs.

I watch the damp white terrier grow smaller and eventually vanish around a bend.  Perhaps he's catching up with his people, I reason to myself.

The Accent Snob continues his meandering sniff under bushes, shrubs, and stones.  I've stopped yet again to watch and wait for him when the woman on the bench finally tucks her phone away, rises, and leisurely makes her way to the ledge.  Her body language changes from languid to startled as she looks around her in all directions.  Cripes, I think, it was hers.

"Are you looking for a dog?" I call.  "He trotted down the path that way."

She's saying something, but I'm about twenty yards away and can't make it out, so I have to haul on the Accent Snob's lead to get closer.

"Was it a white dog?"

I swallow an unhelpful comment, and merely affirm.  She takes off away from me, dangling a sky-blue leash.

How many unaccompanied dogs does she think come bounding through this park? For his sake, I hope she found him.

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