My red dog day

We’ve been having lots of rain and cold here and when I head out on my morning walk I’m usually bundled to the max. I’m don’t know who invented fleece but they have my heart.

A couple of days ago I was trudging up the sidewalk, wrapped in layers of fleece and pretty much oblivious to my surroundings. I was in this semi-somnolent state when a young dog came tearing up beside me. A hound of some kind, reddish brown and in a high state of ecstasy, as though he’d finally found freedom after months in a dark kennel. He was running fast and hugging the ground, and his long legs stretched forward and back so far that he looked like a fold-up toy.

His happiness was taking him in long joyful loops, his nails clicking loudly on the pavement. I was crossing the street when he headed straight for me. I had no time to react and was lucky he didn’t knock me down when he leapt up and tried to lick my face. His claws dug into my leg and I was grateful for the layers of fleece. He took off again and ran straight into the street where he just missed being hit by the rear tire of a large, fierce-looking four-door white pickup.

The driver stopped and the passenger-side window slid slowly down. I knew he was going to yell, “Why don’t you keep that damned dog on a leash?” so before he had a chance I shrugged my shoulders, held out my arms and said, “I don’t know who that dog belongs to.”

And the driver smiled and said, “Are you all right?”

The universe keeps sending me this lesson and I keep forgetting it.
“Don’t assume. Don’t assume. Don’t assume.”