On my way home from the school run I saw what looked like a cat being walked. On a leash.
I whipped out my phone to take a picture, but couldn’t quite get a good shot of it.
The owners are an older couple. They’re walking their dog which appears to be dressed up as a cat. I drive slowly behind them to try to get a clearer shot. The blasted trees are getting in the way, thankfully no cars are behind me. They keep walking, I drive up some more, now we are near the junction and I don’t know if they’ll be turning left or right. So I slow down to a crawl. I reluctantly admit to myself that I may have stalking tendencies. Then again don’t we all? I say a silent prayer that they turn left since that’s the direction of my house. They turn right. I turn right too. Now this road is one if those thoughtlessly constructed ones where the trees separate the sidewalk from drivers trying to get a good view. It’s even harder to take a pic unless I come out of the car and walk behind them. But I can’t find a parking spot. Eventually I find one far ahead which means I have to wait for them to go past. I pull up, starting to get rather annoyed with this couple. You’d think they knew I was
stalking following them because now they are deliberately being difficult.
So I come out of the car, it occurs to me it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a shot from the front as well as the back. But we’re the only ones in the area and it’ll be hard to conceal taking a photo of them. I also have on red loafers, I ditched the boots to get spring to hurry up and come. Do you know anyone who hasn’t had enough of winter? Even those in tropical countries are just about done with it. At this very moment I ask myself how exactly I got to this juncture in my life. That I am chasing an old couple and their dog? I start to contemplate simply asking for a photo of their
cat dog. But what if they say ‘no’? I know there’s no way I could live with myself after taking a long detour and risking arrest for stalking while dealing with a migraine- if I don’t come away with my picture.
They’re getting closer.
Deep breath! I put on my “trust me I’m harmless voice” it comes out a bit higher pitched than I intended.
“Your dog is so cute! What’s his name?” Dumb question Toks, that’s the question you reserve for strangers’ babies.
”Wow!!! What sort of dog is she?” Again too enthusiastic, tone it down sister. I suspect she’s a corgi, but just in case I feign ignorance. Telepathically I inform them she is so pretty she looks better than whatever her actual breed is which is why I don’t recognise it.
”An American corgi.”
”So adorable!” Wrong answer again Toks, get with it.
”What sort of dog do you have?”
”I don’t have one yet, but my children want one, however I grew up with dogs” I announce proudly, to let them know I belonged in their circle. That I too, was a dog owner. In the past.
I quickly go back in time to Benin City where we had Scooby, Scrappy and Snowy. I don’t know what sort of dogs they were because in Benin they just call them dogs, except they are German shepherds or Alsatians which I know quite well that ours weren’t. I hope they don’t ask, I can’t just say local dogs now, can I?
They advise me that this dog who used to be a show dog is quite difficult to maintain and requires 2 hours of coat brushing daily. So to think twice before I get one for the boys.
“Can I have a picture?” I blurt out. ”Of your dog?” Bated breath. She looks surprised- or is that suspicion? She looks at her husband, he looks puzzled, or is that pride that their precious dog is so beautiful that strangers want a picture?
Meanwhile I’m wondering, why the hesitation? it’s only a dog! I understand the dangers of babies pictures circulated on the internet, could they also share that apprehension?
”Of course you can, sit Cindy”!
Isn’t she beautiful?
But now we have a problem. Because the whole thing that got me embroiled in this malarkey started with what Cindy looked like from behind. And I still don’t have that picture. I find myself at another crossroad for the second time this morning. I realise I can still save myself. I have a good life. Besides the weirdness that comes with being a parent, some may even say my life is perfect. Why would I destroy what was once beautiful? How would I explain myself to my dear parents who worked hard all their lives to give my brothers and I the best life they could afford? I can hear people discussing my ‘plight’; ‘And she seemed ok o, we heard she became a dog chaser, stalking old people in her neighbourhood”. I could see myself on TV and in the Voice newspaper.
With that I got in my car, turned around and headed home.
Now what dog do you suggest I get for the boys? And please don’t say a local dog.