I was in a rush to get to work yesterday morning. I had a tonne of jobs to do before a meeting mid-morning, but I had to stop and look after a dog I found in the street, just minutes from my front door
It was bin collection day and the dog was ripping open some bin bags in the street, trying to find food. It was a good natured dog, but it was in terrible shape; it’s fur was in a state: matted and stinking. The dog was kind enough to pose for a photograph next to the bin liners – you can see for yourself.
I approached the dog. It seemed friendly enough. Thankfully, it had a collar on, with a phone number. So far so good.
I dialled the number. A woman answered, “You calling about my dog?”
“Yes. I’m standing with him now. He’s been eating out of rubbish bags.”, I replied.
“It’s a ‘she’. Where is she?”
I told her that I’d found the dog tearing open bin liners and gave her the name of the street.
“I haven’t given her her breakfast, so she’s hungry. I’ll be there in a minute.”
I waited a good 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, the occupier of the house that had produced the rubbish for the dog to feast upon opened the door and confronted me. His big, imposing form almost completely blocked the doorway: a woman stood behind him holding an infant.
“What are you doing outside my house? Why are you taking photos of my rubbish?”
This was a serious allegation. An Englishman’s home is his castle. His rubbish, fair game to council spies. Was I a member of the dreaded Bin Gestapo? Was this a serious enough transgression to warrant violence on his part? Would I be limping into my morning presentation? The stakes were high.
I told him the truth: I thought this was interesting. I tried to distract the brute by talking about foxes. He seemed to calm down and went back indoors, murmuring an apology.
Presently, the woman I’d spoken with on the ‘phone arrived and took charge of the dog. It was almost as if I wasn’t there. As if others exist to look after her dog like some errant child.
Something about her arrogance. Something about the way she carried herself, and something about her accent led to a dawning realisation that this was the same woman who was incredibly rude to me and Rebecca last year. Our cat had strayed and we were leafleting and knocking on doors – we were worried that the cat had been locked in someone’s shed, or worse (thankfully there was a happy ending). She and her partner accused us of not doing enough to save the cat. Did we really care enough about the cat? Why hadn’t we leafleted 800 homes by now? Were we stupid?
Now the tables were turned. Somehow, she’d let her malnourished, filthy dog escape from the confines of her house and in its desperate hunger, fill the street with shredded detritus.
“Well that bin bag shouldn’t be in the street anyway”, she said.
That bitch shouldn’t be running loose, I thought.