The Pug

Pug dogs are an amusing breed.

Seemingly ill-tempered, yet also benign and affectionate, they always make for a curious sight huffing, and puffing grumpily beside their owners in parks and on pavements up and down the land.

So it was, as I rounded a corner, that I saw the most arresting and bizarre sight I think I’ve ever seen.

Lockdown walks are all about trying to create an element of surprise, or novelty; a reason to stop and take in something fresh and stimulate the senses.

This one certainly caused me to stop!

As I happily crossed a wide street and turned a corner, blithely unaware of very much except that it was warming as the the sun blinked on and off and the birds sang against a faint buzz of bees, I spotted the most bizarre sight in the world.

There, right in front of me, was a large pug dog wearing a look of faint surprise and picking up the waste of a smaller pug dog, which grunted and looked vaguely pleased.

I couldn’t look away!

Transfixed, my mind at once whirling and simultaneously blank, I was rooted to the spot in horror.

Instinctively yet also irrationally, I reached for the mobile phone in my pocket, then put it back.


What was I going to do?

Take a photograph and shame pug dogs as a breed?

After all, the larger dog was just doing the right thing – even if it was startlingly out of character and … stop – wait!

It all took place in seconds, yet felt like five minutes.

The arresting oddity of the situation had brought to a standstill my usually hectic mind.

I took a deep breath and stepped back, jolting out of my reverie. Snap!

The larger pug dog pulled its head back and a tousled seven or eight year old child’s face beamed at me instead.

“I think I got most of it!” declared the child in a ‘dog’ onesie with a ‘pug’ hat on, both of a highly convincing print.

The child was clearly delighted at demonstrating responsibility.

How could I possibly demur?

“Yes, well done, erm … good job.” I muttered, hastily stepping back to let child and pug canter merrily across the street.

Looking down, it certainly seemed that the dog waste had indeed been scooped up. I felt I needed to check, if only to convince myself that the last twenty seconds had indeed been real.

So, on I went. Shaken, but also a lighter of step and glad that that my week had begun with such a surreal instance.

At last there was a memory so arresting that I could measure time against it and slow down that sense of panic as time dissolved faster and faster … the creation and bank of memories we create helps us mark the passing of time.

PS – I didn’t take a photograph. Instead, this is my picture in words.