By Joy Manné
“The big dog is bonking the small dog.”
The big dog is patched brown and white and, from a distance, seems as delicate as a greyhound and half its size. The small dog is white and fluffy like candyfloss.
“The big dog is biting the small dog,” my husband says.
I am now only half as far away as I was when I first saw the dogs, leaning on my husband’s arm on our walk up the hill to Paulo’s restaurant. I can now see that the big dog has grasped the small dog by the loose skin in the middle of its back like a bitch lifting a puppy. The dogs make no noise.
I am now only half of that half as far away. I can now see that the big dog is a pit bull. A young woman, slight as a greyhound, pulls on its leash, to no avail.
A man in his thirties holds the small white dog by its shoulders so that the pit bull cannot shake it and break its neck. His son of six or seven looks on.
The greyhound woman strikes her dog’s nose again and again with her slight hand. The dog does not notice.
A woman at the bus stop cringes with her hand over her mouth. She is only a few paces away from the dogs but does not move away.
I am now barely ten metres away.
We—my husband and I, the woman at the bus stop and the small boy close to his dog—are mesmerised.
I wake up. “We need a bucket of cold water,” I shout, running into the shop by the bus stop. “Dogs are fighting. The owners can’t separate them.”
Just then my husband calls out, “Judy, They have separated the dogs.”
The slight young woman is struggling to hold back her big dog while the man and his boy examine the back of the small dog which is silent.
“Let’s walk on the other side of the street,” I say.
We cross and walk away. When I’m as far away as when I thought the big dog was bonking the small dog I say, “We should have called the police. The next person that dog bites could be a child.”
But, you see, we had made love all morning, and I was still wrapped in that little world of him and me.