An Inclusion of Strangers because of a Dog’s Joke

A surprising inclusion happened during a brief moment on a small corner of sidewalk. As Heather and I walked toward the cross-street, a couple walked toward us. A woman stood on the sidewalk, facing her shop’s window. Its overflowing wooden rectangle of flowers drooped a degree toward the street. She kept a hose running lightly at their bases. She focused. Tied to a signpost at her back, a cream furred dog sat with its tongue hanging. It observed–the sun letting glow slow calm radiation. Just between the dog and the watering woman, space opened for people to pass.

As the couple approached the woman, she recognized them and turned her head to salut and ça va and etc. Her right arm remained in its hose-holding, watering poise, replenishing flowerfluid. A few more steps, the talk continued and we came close to pass. Suddenly the dog switched from its savouring sun bath state to release a single amicable, though punctuatingly direct, forget-me-not bark. The watering woman, astonished because perhaps she hadn’t taken in the presence of the dog to begin with, jumped. The bark-sparked jump released an instant of eye-smile refractory recognition between us, the other couple, and the watering woman. We were all included in the dog’s joke. And we passed the quiet dog, behind the watering woman’s back.

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