Today, I ventured to the post office to pick up our mail, but the door was locked. A sign indicated that opening hours were from 9:30 – 12:30 and then again from 2:00 to 3:15, and, like most places here, it was closed on Friday afternoons. Not wanting to wait, I decided to go to the bank instead to open a joint account.
A line of chairs were set up so clients would not have to stand in line. After observing several lengthy transactions, I was grateful to have a place to sit. Finally, when it was my turn, the teller told me that I would have to make an appointment to open an account, as it would be a 45 minute procedure. I agreed to come back at 11:00 the next day.
I decided to take a longer, different route home. Along the way, I was greeted by a large friendly yellow lab who sidled up against me. Soon more dogs emerged from behind snow banks, out of driveways, and from front steps, to join our little jaunt. The dogs were all blonde lab mixes, of varying sizes, except for one rather heavy-set limping husky.
Soon I found myself among a group of seven dogs. The original large lab became my protector and jealously guarded his place at my side. He stayed close, occasionally nuzzling my gloved hand, and tussling with the other dogs for his rank. As I approached home, one by one, the dogs stiffened, sniffing the unfamiliar air apprehensively. They regarded the resident dogs, who were barking their territorial rights, and slowly began to fall back, until I was alone.
Maybe someone looking out their window saw me, in my beige parka and red scarf, surrounded by dogs. Maybe, one day I will be known as “Andi of the Seven Dogs.”