Most generalizations about people are negative in some way: fat people are jolly, BMW drivers are arseholes, Londoners are cold and stuck up, accountants are boring, and so on. However, one positive generalization that I can never help believing in is that old men called Paddy who are friendly and have friendly Jack Russell terriers are always nice and should be helped wherever possible.
And so it was that when I met an old man called Paddy on the beach this morning with his little, delicate-looking JRT, we had a nice chat and remarked that it looked as though the rain was on the way. Sure enough, when I met him going in the opposite direction 20 minutes later, the rain was like darts being thrown the length of the beach, and my two dogs were huddled behind me for shelter as I walked. Worse again, Paddy's dog was gone, having disappeared off to chase the seagulls. And now Paddy was worried because he couldn't find him and the weather had really turned very nasty, too bad to be traipsing up and down the beach looking for him. So, because I have a car and waterproof clothes, I took Paddy's mobile number and packed him off to wherever he was going and said I would look for the dog. I walked about and drove about and couldn't find him anywhere. I rang Paddy.
"He might have gone home," he suggested. He gave me his address and asked me would I mind driving by the house to see if the dog was there. I did not mind. I did drive by, and the wee dog was there, shivering on the doorstep. So I bundled him into the car and turned up the heat full blast and away we went to reunite the little chap with his owner, who was waiting for us up the road.
Paddy was delighted to see him, and I was glad that the little dog wouldn't have to sit in the cold and maybe even wander off again before his owner could get home to see him.
The whole time this was happening, Milo and Cody sat in the back of the car and stared at the new arrival, but otherwise accepted the situation. I have high hopes that the new foster (if it ever comes at this rate) will fit in well.