Peak dog walking time in the park. I strode across quickly ever so slightly late for my physio appointment. There they were – the usual suspects. The Pekingese, cross breeds, Jack Russells, Whippet but no sign of my personal favourite – the Bulldog. When all about him gallivant saying ‘Hi’ to one another, frivolously fetching this and that for their owners, getting into meaningless scrapes, he single mindedly and passionately pursues his football.
I’ve never seen a Bulldog like him. His face is ginormous – almost bigger than the whole of his body. It should make him exceedingly unattractive, but somehow it has the opposite effect.
As I approached the door opened and Philip welcomed me. ‘I’m not sure I should be here today’ I said, ‘My shin is so painful right now that any of your pummeling work will probably cause damage.’
P looked at the bruise. “Hmmm, not good. I can’t understand why it’s not getting better?”
“Me neither” I replied, “But being on my feet almost all the time and walking practically everywhere probably doesn’t help.” After a bit of discussion we decided to suspend treatment for the next while, just concentrating on some painful ‘massage’ for my calves.
“You do need to rest it.” Philip told me as I gathered my things to go.
“Okay” I said. “I must say I feel the need for heat, I think that might do me the power of good.”
“Well, they do say as you get on a bit it helps – arthritis and all that.” I glared at him and chastised his insensitivity.
On leaving, I passed dog owners sitting in the cafe chatting amicably as I started out for home. Their pooches sat patiently listening to them. Yellow and red Autumn leaves littered my path, I put my hat on for extra warmth.
Then I saw him. Tearing around the grass just happy to be. I called out to his owner. “Could I take a picture of your dog please – he’s so beautiful?” A dapper hacking jacket wearing man walked towards me. “Of course” he said, calling him. ‘Toby, Toby – here boy!” Toby came closer, gave my hand a cursory sniff and obediently awaited instructions from his owner.
“No football today I see” I said.
“No, thought we’d leave it at home for a change; sometimes I need a break” he said grinning.
“I know what you mean” I said smiling. “They say it’s as good as a rest.”