I was walking through Fitzroy with Melon* last week and we needed to stop and rest. I saw a small park ahead and suggested that this could be a good resting place. As we approached, I saw an elderly lady cradling a poodle in her arms. The poodle had its hair tied up in a red ribbon. The lady was sitting on the playground swing, gently rocking her dog back and forth. I quickly motioned towards a park bench with a direct view of the swinging poodle. We sat down. To my dismay, our view was blocked by a mother and her children playing on the tan bark. I got agitated, I needed to observe more of the special rocking dog scene. I craned my neck as the lady (and poodle) alighted from the swing. She carried the poodle towards us.
“Your dog’s not walking today?” I politely inquired.
“I love this dog. I carry this dog. I look after this dog. You want to know why?” she replied.
“Oh yes,” said I.
“I’ll tell you why – this dog saved my life.”
I cannot be sure how the dog saved the owner’s life, as we did not converse much further. She placed the dog down on the footpath. It looked bewildered, calm and very still – as if remembering how to use its legs and paws again. The lady then attached a leash and coaxed the dog into walking – slowly – away.
*name has been changed to protect identity