Steadily Forward

Posted by on Jan 12, 2012 | 0 comments

I didn’t set out to write stories only about dogs – but this actually happened today


Driving out of the post office at Port Hadlock today, I had to wait for an elderly woman to cross the street.  She was moving pretty well but she was walking her dog and the dog was moving quite slowly.  Speaking in terms of dog-years, I think the dog was quite a bit older than the woman.  The dog was gray – a tall, wiry looking mixed-breed.  She had a quiet dignity she shares with many older dogs.

While her owner waited patiently in front of her, she’d slowly and deliberately pick up one foot, move it ahead, and then pause, maybe to rest. Then she’d pick up the next foot, move it ahead, pause, and so on.  Steadily forward – slowly, surely, steadily forward.   You can imagine, it took the two a while to cross the street.

They’d about reached the other side – the woman had stepped up onto the sidewalk and was waiting for the dog to join her – when the dog suddenly stopped and turned and looked straight at me.  Dogs communicate by look an awful lot.  If you’re tuned in, you can “hear” what they’re saying.  Her deep brown eyes sent me a clear message – “I apologize sir for being old and taking so long to cross the street in front of you.  I moved faster when I was younger.”

I’m sure you think this is probably hocus-pocus and that’s O.K.  But I was there and I’m convinced that’s what she said.  What I’m not so sure of, though, is how they hear back, but somehow they do.  I smiled at her and my mind said, “Take all the time you need, fair lady.  You’ve earned the right to set the pace today.  I’ll happily wait for you to cross.”

She heard me.  How do I know?  She gave me two quick wags of her tail, then, looking forward again, resumed her walk to rejoin her owner.  Steadily forward –  slowly, surely, steadily forward.


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