A thick, black and white mutt ambled back and forth on the sidewalk, towing an older gentleman behind him. The sidewalk was wide enough for two or three abreast, so this should have been a simple exchange – a polite nod, or even a curt but friendly “good morning” as we passed, the man having placed the dog on the far side of himself out of politeness.
Except the man, like too many these days, wasn’t one for politeness. The dog found something about my side of the sidewalk interesting, and, though he saw me approach, the man was inclined to let the dog sniff where he pleased. Like a rolling, sniffing roadblock, they drew nearer. I carried on, confident that the man would reign in his beast.
He did, eventually. Mostly. Just before we met on the narrow path, it was suggested to the dog, not emphatically, that he might make way for the coming stranger. It really was up to the dog, the gentle leash tug implied. The dog agreed but, understandably, still wanted a sniff. It stepped to the approximate center of the sidewalk. Perhaps it was more like the center of my side of the sidewalk, but I did manage to keep one foot on pavement as I made way for the older gentleman and his sniffing mutt.
“Good morning,” I said as I swivelled past with one foot in the grass. I also nodded for good measure.