Sitting out on my balcony, a cup of tea in hand, I was going through the morning paper. As I read, I was distracted by a movement in black and white in the distance on the road. I looked up to see a beautiful Dalmatian coming down the road. It was the healthiest, fittest dog I had ever seen. A striking red lead held by his owner completed the look. A hallmark ISO dalmatian 101.
I was absolutely riveted by his lithe movements. That he was leading his owner was obvious. He had his nose high up in the air. Not like your other run-of-the-mill dogs that prance around with their noses to the ground, looking for God only knows what!
But he did cock a slight ear, and did I see a raised eyebrow, when a tiny pretty female dog with a pink lead crossed his way? Ahem! feet of clay, after all. The lady too had noticed the red lead as she missed a step. But, she was pulled along by the girl who walked her.
The pink lead was going further down the road while the red lead was coming towards my direction. Red lead did not give a single by-your-leave glance towards the lady who kept tugging at its leash to turn back. Red lead’s absolute nonchalance intrigued me. He had come very far from her. Finally, it was she who had to break free from the owner’s hold and run after the red lead as quickly as her small feet would allow.
Red lead and his owner had come to the end of the road and were just turning the corner. The owner of the pink lead too was running after her. I watched with bated breath, forgetting the cup in hand. What would the red lead do now? Would it stop for the pink lead?
By now, it had reached the corner. There was a telephone pole standing there... and before I could blink again, red lead had lifted its hind leg and was doing what all dogs are programmed to do at any corner or pole they find.
I saw the pink lead stop in her track. She looked sad, even crestfallen. Her owner had reached her. She turned around slowly, voluntarily, and started going back to her owner. She had, perhaps, expected this one to be different. But a dog is a dog and it has to do what it has to do.