9 Jan 2015

Hestia and Nero

santa's greyndeer
The weather here has been blustery.  And if it hasn't been blustery it's been clattering down from the sky in freezing torrents.  And some days it's both.

When the weather is very windy, I don't take Nero through the woods because: yanno, hyperactive imagination and fallen branches.  Instead we go to the park and if it's quiet (ie dog and deer free), he gets to slip off his lead and go for a wild run in the wide expanse of green.

A couple of days ago it was one of those BOTH days and I opted to take him for a quick walk around the football pitch and home.  We were leaving the park when Nero looked up the road, up the hill.  His ears were pricked and forward, the way he is when he sees a *whisper it* cat.

But there were no cats to be seen. I scanned the pavements and the bushes - no deer, no cats.  Only a man wearing a parka with the hood up, hands deep in his pockets, walking towards us down the hill, quite some distance away.

I tugged at Nero's lead and urged him across the road.  He was not for budging.  His tail started wagging hard, whipping me in the legs.  He began to get quite animated too, having a bit of a yelp and clearly terribly excited...

...to see this man in the Parka.

"I'm really sorry!" I called out as the bemused stranger grew closer. "My dog thinks that he knows you!"

The man nodded and I dragged the still waggy-tailed Nero off across the road.

The man went into the little toilet block on the edge of the park.  Nero stood on the opposite pavement, nose quivering, ears forward, tail wagging and whining, never taking his eyes off the door where the man had disappeared.

And I felt happy and sad.

Happy that my dog clearly loved someone in his former life as a racing greyhound so much that he was THRILLED to see him.

Happy that through the fog of at least two years (a year with us, a year in kennels) this parka-clad figure emerged as a lovely memory for him.

Sad, because he is never that excited or animated to see any of us as he was to see that stranger in the Parka jacket.

Dogs have memories.


  1. The phrases "achingly sweet" and "bitter sweet" instantly came to mind after reading your post. It made me want to give both your dog and you a hug! Thanks for making my heart feel so full this morning. :)

  2. Poor old Nero :( And poor you, too :(

  3. But who was that man? Did he recognise Nero? Did you follow him when he came out? I need more!!!x

  4. Are you sure the guy didn't just have something special in his pocket? ;)
    As for the enthusiasm, if you're going to dress him up as a reindeer, ye cannae blame him fer being in a snit! :D

  5. Can't believe I missed this post. Perhaps it was the furry trim around the parka hood (they're all supposed to have furry hoods, right?) that reminded him of rabbits and not the man at all :D
    I absolutely love the pic :D

  6. Dear Hestia, your story is beautifully written, you evoke the scene so well. But I think perhaps you are attaching too much meaning to what happened, as Inner Whispers comments above, maybe the chap just had something good to eat in his pocket or reminded Nero of someone in his past life that wore a dark coat and had goodies in his pockets - a trainer maybe or carer in the kennels. I just know Nero loves you but as he is with you all the time he never needs to give you the big welcome. My Monty dog does the same sort of refusing to budge and staring at people, he will stop and look back at people and wait for them to reach us, usually young girls in lycra, it's very embarrassing, I feel like an old pervert and end up joking and explaining he is very nosey and/or a Romeo and advise not to give him their phone numbers. He even stops to watch people get out of their cars and walk into their houses. On the other hand I know in my next life to get a dog should I want to pull...it's a real icebreaker! Anyway I am so glad Nero has a lovely home with you xxx


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