Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Man and the Cockapoo

While waiting for the light to turn green on Monday afternoon, I watched a man holding a cockapoo in his arms at the corner of King and Margaret. The man of sixty or so was slight and neatly dressed in a tweed coat, wool pants, and dark leather shoes. The cockapoo was full grown, but had the dark naive eyes of a puppy, his popcorn tresses ruffled in the early December wind and he hung alert in the mans’ grip. The dog wore a collar and a leash and this baffled me as I wondered if the man was holding the cockapoo because it was the only way to restrain the dog, but this wasn’t necessarily so. The dog was calm, and had an air about him of complete comfort. The man was equally calm as though this were a normal thing, to carry his cockapoo, but I could see him shift the dog slightly back and forth to redistribute his weight - it could not have been easy for him to hold the dog, who looked to be at least fifty pounds, maybe more. The cockapoo didn’t seem to be handicapped in any way, nor was he a dog who looked panicked. I wanted to roll down the window and inquire if they needed assistance, but as I watched them, there didn’t seem to be anything I could help them with. Perhaps the cockapoo was unruly on the leash and the man preferred to carry him when navigating town? But then again, perhaps the dog was in distress? Postictal from a seizure? Perhaps the man simply liked to carry his cockapoo -- a relief to some deep anxiety. The light turned, the man crossed the street, the cockapoo rested quietly in the man’s arms and moved to the rhythm of his confident stride and they disappeared from view near the courthouse as I drove away.

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