White dog poised. Cars stop.
Dog crosses with great purpose
Walk must be finished.
He asked for it. I got to come along as his necessary companion, attaching the leash and tossing the treat once offered years ago to coax a reluctant puppy to take a long walk, that memory so cherished that it must be enacted again and again.
In our appropriate roles, both of us beaming at one another “isn’t this great” faces, striding in the sunny morning, me astonished that he’s chosen the longest beach walk option and encouraged by his ambitious determination.
Standing at the crosswalk for a busy, double yellow-lined street, we wait for our opportunity to cross. A sweat-soaked runner comes to a halt beside us, chest heaving, panting that she’s grateful for a reason to pause.
We wait for a full minute, cars speeding past with serious, blindered intent. My dog steps forward a few inches, eager to resume.
Now visible, his simple presence stops traffic immediately. We cross, the runner laughing that she had to get a dog to run with her — people stop for dogs when they won’t stop for humans.