I took this photo after I'd noticed him standing in this spot by the fence a few times. I'd stopped and said hello but I'd never had the courage to pat him... just in case.
He (or she) lives on a route where there are lots of passers by - it's one of the main cycling routes commuters take into the city. I pass by when I run or ride to work. Though I'd never patted him, I'd stopped and said hello and told him how gorgeous I thought he was.
I posed a question on Facebook - should I pat my furry friend or not?
I got two yeses and one no.
I decided that Matthew Wolski was right... I decided that this doggy was a gentle soul, and worth a pat.
But then he was gone.
And I mean... gone. In the past couple of months I've walked past, I've run past, I've ridden my bike past on the way to work. No furry little friend.
I wondered what had happened. Had his family moved? Was he unwell? Or worse!?
(Had his family moved him to the back yard to protect him from crazy-commuting-running-ladies that stopped by and talked to him, but never patted him?)
I had basically given up on ever patting this guy. And I'd started deeply regretting the fact that I'd been too timid to reach out and give him a pat. It sounds stupid but it's true.
Until this week. Once again I slowed down as I rode up the little rise near his house. This time... there he was... not in his "spot" but there he was, on the grass in the front yard!
I was so excited! I started talking to him straight away, and even though there were other passers by, I think he heard me (and I like to think he remembered me) and he ran over to his spot and jumped up on the fence and... I gave him a pat.
He (or she) is a gentle soul.
I'm 100% incapable of explaining why this reunion meant so much to me. It's somebody else's dog. I have no right to feel any emotional connection to it.
But still, I did.
We're all human. Even dogs are probably a little bit human. And we probably all need a little bit of a pat every now and again.