Ah, summer. It was balmy and warm like this in those far off days (two years ago) when I was house-hunting in Dulwich, with True Love at my side. The tales he would spin me of the life in store! The things we would do, the places we would go …..actually, there was none of that even then. He really only wanted to go to one place with me, which was absolutely fine at the time. Now that he prefers to be in a completely different spot, enjoying plenty of solo contemplation apparently, I must admit I am staring rather crossly at the park’s beautiful rhododendrons as though it were their own personal fault that my life is such a mess.
Still, there is nothing like being out and about to open up one’s perspective – or so everyone assures me. This morning, the sound of furious barking, so out of place in this park where even our canine friends are well-mannered and restrained, was enough to make me jump out of my skin. I rounded the corner and came across my first Dog Rage incident. It was all wonderfully Dulwichian. Two pink-cheeked Dulwich ladies, both wearing regulation Juicy Couture jogging ensembles, were tugging ineffectually at leads, at the end of which snarled, respectively, a King Charles spaniel and a chocolate Labrador. I must admit I’ve never seen a Labrador snarling before, so it was worth a gawp just for this. The spaniel, though, was really going for it full pelt, with bared teeth, furious yaps and the occasional low growl.
In the normal world, someone would just have poured a bucket of water over the dogs, and we would all have gone on our way. This being Dulwich, there was nothing as vulgar as water to be had, though I did gamely offer to pop to the cafe for a bottle of lightly sparkling mineral brew flavoured with melon. Alas, my kind proposal was scarcely heard over the frantic apologies of the women, ‘I’m so, so sorry,’ ‘No, I’m much, much more abject, really ….’ I left them to it, realising the whole thing could go on for hours.
And what were the dogs fighting over? Simple. The ladies were wearing similar jogging suits. But the dogs were wearing exactly identical leads. Big mistake. I blame the owners.