Hello to the seagull on the beach, who calmly walks into the water, bobbing on the tiny waves. Tess wants to bark, but there’s no point.
Hello to the man repairing the sea wall. Again. Like every winter. Tess sniffs. No food.
Hello to the man in his 80s, with the thinning hair and a Shelty. He forgets our names. Always. And Tess is a ‘he’. But Tess loves his dog, and they bark excitedly at each other.
Hello to the woman, walking slowly, with the overweight white Labrador. Her dog is over-amorous, and a nuisance. Tess walks on by, very quickly, tail pulled down.
Hello to the man with the irritable and antisocial brown Labrador. She wants her ball, and no dogs around her. Tess views her with suspicion. She’s been snarled at before.
Hello to the man walking back from the gym, his two border collies in the house. He has a biscuit for Tess. She is grateful, but wants more. Always.
Hello to the fit man who works from home on Fridays, leaving his van parked by the side of the house. His dog, a mongrel, belongs to his brother-in-law, but seems to live with him. Tess wants to play. His dog doesn’t, because there is a stick.
Hello to the woman who is working on her house. She doesn’t have a dog. “Bleedin’ nuisance, they are.” But Tess is always friendly, and she gets a pat on her head from the woman who doesn’t like dogs.
We are back at the house. Tess looks up. “Is that it?”
I love the walks with the dog, and we meet so many nice people. Never enough for Tess, of course.