There’s another mystery out my window. An immaculately dressed, fully made-up lady walks past at least four times a day. From this angle, it would be even more puzzling, but when I stand up, I see a tall, graceful dog bouncing on a lead in front of her. In a stange kind of way, the dog suits his owner’s image. So down the hill they go, and a while later, there they are again, coming back. 20 minutes on, the lady appears again, half-running, mostly pulled, down the hill, with 2 different dogs.
It clearly pays to be nosey – otherwise you’d think she was a bit mad. But actually, she’s not mad, she’s dedicated. She never seems grumpy about having to do this, many times a day, every day. She’s not a paid dog-walker either – they all clearly belong to her.
When I see this, so frequently, my considerations of getting a dog for our family fly out the window, and down the hill after that woman. As with many things in life, the idea is nice, the reality is too much hard work. I can enjoy that idea, and admire the unstinting commitment of one dog-walker, but that’s as real as I want it to get. And never forget: it may start with one man and his dog, but it escalates into ten men going to mow a meadow somewhere. How did that happen?