Watching the world go by with... ‘ Wayfarer’
The young couple were new to the village and recently wed. I hadn’t said hello to them yet — but this didn’t seem to be the right time. They were out on the pavement and he seemed to be leaving. Nothing she was saying seemed to be making any difference. Their young marriage seemed to be over already.
Standing at the bus stop trying not to look like I was eavesdropping I saw Rio shuffling towards them. I moved to collar him — then stopped.
Rio was a friend’s dog. He was toothless, deaf, blind and skinny. The vet had recommended he be put to sleep but my friend couldn’t bear to think of it. How he had escaped from the garden we would never discover.
The couple glanced at him, carried on arguing, looked again, fell silent. Rio looked like all his strength went into each step. He came closer, and closer. He walked between them and they waited for him to walk on by. But he didn’t. He stopped right there and slumped to the tarmac.
They looked at each other in confusion, then they knelt down beside him looking for a dog- tag I knew they wouldn’t find.
My bus came and I waved it on by. I retreated further into the shelter. I wanted to see how this played out.
After a little bewildered conversation, he made himself comfortable beside the dog, stroking it and talking to it. She went home and returned with a bowl of milksoaked bread. Rio, bless his ancient heart, took some. Helping him along and feeding him on the way they took him home. What to do? What to do? I had a word with Rio’s owner, reassured her he would be fine … and we waited.
Two days later we knocked on their door