An employee at the hilariously named company immediately behind our offices—think, say, “Pony Avengers”, or possibly “Livestock Squadron” and you have a rough idea—takes a dog to work. Nothing unusual about that: this is the countryside, after all, and at least two people where I work for bring their dogs to work, either occasionally or frequently. But the dog itself is a bit odd. She looks like a sort of bonsai sheepdog, unnaturally tiny for her body shape, with a big head, and even bigger eyes squinting behind heavy, orblike lids.
When I first saw her I also realised her gait had an oddly familiar lope to it. After a bit of mental arithmetic I realised what was causing that, and mentally christened her Tripod.
Tripod’s a little timid, as you’d expect from both her size and the accident she must have once had. She potters round on the grass verges, is occasionally called back by her mistress. She hasn’t really befriended our office dog to the extent that the tiny, ratlike dog on the estate did, but instead wanders alone, like a little lost soul. I tried my rather ragged dog-whispering luck on her and offered her my paw at one point to sniff, but she turned her nose away, faintly disgusted. Swiftly evading a pat on the head, she trotted off to stare back at me through her narrow, swollen eyes. Perhaps she has hayfever, I thought.
Later I found that she had planted a small, curly turd on the tramped-down grass that forms the path between our two office blocks. I discovered it just before clients were due to arrive, and realized that someone would have to deal with it. Thanks, Tripod. There are more culturally sensitive ways of getting someone to wash their hands, you know.