It’s one of those dog walks that are really just a chore. It’s cold quite blustery with rain sort of coming and going from time to time. It’s unpleasant, not bad. This makes no difference to Cosmo in the slightest, he’s totally unperturbed by this and is searching in the way he usually does….me…I’m pulling zips as high as they will go, hat pulled hard down on my head and hands deep inside jacket pockets. My mind I don’t know where that is, I am self absorbed with thoughts and concerns in my own little bubble walking into the wind I don’t even know what I was thinking, a kind of mental coasting ….in neutral…..disengaged.
I had not even noticed another dog or their owner but Cosmo wasn’t taking any of this s&*t from this mongrel I can tell you. I had been oblivious to the build up, but it does happen every now and again, less so now he’s older. Cosmo is very tolerant of other dogs invading his personal space, sniffing his bits, jumping on him and barking at him etc and if he does get a bit pissed off with it, ..he woofs a short deep bark and points it in the offending dogs face, or across their neck and this is enough to stop the pestering unwanted attention. But I was unaware of any of this going on. What usually happens in these scenarios is the other dogs ears are at the wrong angle, or something about them is giving off a signal (even in the dark) before they meet. Cosmo will have sussed this invisible signal thing 30 yards earlier, and when they meet its crash bang wallop..it’s all kicked off. Neither me or the other owner making any effort prevent or anticipate this….I was mentally in the off shore wind farm…and it’s quite a surprise to me when they set too. Like I say Cosmo is very tolerant unless something is particularly unusual and it happens about half a dozen times a year, probably less now.
I don’t like to put Cosmo on the lead first, as all that does is stop him from being able to combat some physco dog who is still trying to hurt him while I pull him away on the lead while he is getting bit and clawed..not fair in my book. So instead I try to grab the collar of the other dog and wait for their owner to put the lead on it. Cosmo disengages when I do this because he knows the unwritten code here. The physco dog is not interested in me in the slightest and I am just a nuisance while it is still putting 110% of its energy into trying to get Cosmo, who is walking away along the path now as if nothing had happened. The next part of these little dramas is always the same and it goes like this:
putting his lead on…..’I’m so sorry, he’s never done that before’…
I say, ‘is your dog alright’?
(what I’m thinking to myself is..is it bleeding as I know it’s not alright, it’s a nutter)
‘ he’s fine…I am sorry’
Then they walk away with the dog on the lead and I can hear her scolding the dog …you know that’s not the way to behave…you naughty dog…..behave….
This is all a show for my benefit as the dog is a physco, and does it to every dog it ever meets, which is why it is taken out late, away from main areas and in rubbish weather because it lowers the risk of meeting another dog. I catch up with Cosmo who might be bleeding (but isn’t) and we carry on… and again I drift over the sea to lands I can’t remember. Some time passes by and were on the return leg of our walk now along a promenade with sea view houses all along this stretch of the walk.
I slowly become aware that a woman in the front window of her living room is waving at me….she is a dark silhouette against the bright light of the room behind her…why is she waving at me, I have no idea who she is, or who lives there? I look behind me as if someone she might know is behind me and it’s not me she’s waving at!.
No there’s no one there.
In fact there is no one anywhere it’s a horrible night. I am watching her waving at me and I begin to realise these waves are those kinds of waves that are aimed at people a long way off. Nearby waves are little hand waves. This is one arm with large sweeping movements involving a little body movement as well, not a wave to someone on the other side of the road. More like the wave of a mother to a son going off to war, watching the train leave the platform and disappear into the distance. The kind of wave that the waver is not sure if the wave is even seen! I walk past her house and the direction of her waves remain unchanged and still aimed to the far distance. I actually stop and watch her waving for a few minutes, I can see no one or anything. She is an elderly woman with a particular slow rolling wrist action, rather than quickly oscillating hand movement, there was definatley an elegance to her waving. I watched her close the curtains and had only walked on a couple of yards when I saw the driver’s window of a small white van go all the way down. This van was parked by the side of the road and a bloke in a dark boiler suit leant over and said’
‘I’ve been trying to work it out?’
‘That woman waving,……….. I thought she needed help or something’
I said, ‘I thought she was waving at me at first’!
‘I can’t work it out, she’s been waving and waving…but seems OK, she doesn’t need help!’……….(he was eating a kebab from a polystyrene box sitting at the wheel of his van)
I said, I just watched her close the curtains and she seems to have settled down’.