We had glorious, thundering, torrential rain overnight Sunday. It had eased up by morning and I got myself ready for work and walked out the door to catch the train. As I exited the house my next door neighbours turned into the driveway in their car. They rolled done the window. Station’s closed they told me, no trains running. Wanna lift?
I took them up on their offer and soon enough we were on the way into a soggy city down a busy Nepean Highway full of cars. We stopped for some drive through coffee and chatted about this and that. In the back of their car was one of their dogs, a beautiful and very placid 13 yo Golden Retriever called Sandy. I gave her a pat as we drove along and was told then that their other dog – another Golden Retriever, much younger – had died during the week.
I was shocked. I watch the dogs come and go (as does Rigby, who’ll generally give them a bark). I’ve stopped to give the younger dog a pat now and then. To discover abruptly she was dead was something awful.
Dogs make me sentimental like nothing else does. I hate hearing of them passing away, though it must happened. On Twitter I’ll always re-tweet notices of a lost dog, imagining too well the distress of the owner and the likely terror of the dog separated from its beloved owner. It always gives me pause and I’m delighted whenever I hear of a dog found. I’m always sure to give Rigby just a little more love, though he’s already well spoilt with it.
They told me how their dog had run out onto the street and been struck by a car. They were quite matter of fact about it, though they are devoted dog lovers. As always I couldn’t shake the news from me, and wish I didn’t know.
We made it into the city in good time and I walked the rest of the way to work. By 1 I was on my way home again. My chest was playing up – I’ve had an infection for about a month – and my head was fuzzy and I was coughing every minute.
I caught the train home in an unfamiliar part of the day. The train was only part full. I looked out the window thinking about the poor dog and about Rigby. I was happy knowing I would see him again soon. After Brighton Beach the train line runs close to the beach. The rain had stopped but the water was wild, the normal calm swell whipped into a fierce chop and good sized waves surging untidily into shore, the water a dark combination of brown and green.
Another day, I thought. Another of wild weather and commentary on it and all of that, and what I’ll remember of is the death of one poor and much loved pooch.