During a recent family summer holiday to the beautiful fishing village of Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal, I came across this man and his dog. It got me thinking all sorts about him and his companion, the dog looked like a German Shepherd cross who was a fair old age.
I wondered what a man his age, with all of his personal belongings crammed in a large, shaggy, rucksack and his dog were doing in the middle of a very hot, cloudy afternoon asleep on the busy marina pathway. He looked the type that would have more than a few stories to tell, with his long grey beard, matted long hair and tanned leathery skin. I don’t think he was homeless or a backpacker but a “nomad”, travelling as he pleases from place to place with his most prized belongings. The Algarve has a long history of all sorts of people arriving at its shores as it’s one of the closest European countries to Africa and America.
It got me thinking, what was he doing there ? where was he heading to? why had he chosen this life? when did he get his dog? But above all, it made me think…” How much does mankind need to live and be happy”?
This man looked like he had absolutely no worries in the world, as he lay there sleeping a siesta on the bench next to his beloved four legged friend who was enjoying his sleep on the cool floor away from the blistering heat next to his master.
It immediately made me remember my own dogs (who I had left in kennels at home) and what they do for me and how much they bring to my life. Yes, they are a pain in the backside a lot of the time and hard work given their no nonsense temperaments but they are my dogs none the less. They make me happy and put a smile on my face everyday, whether I’ve had a bad day or a good day, they are always there wagging their tails, ready to greet me when I walk through the door.
People say that a dog is a man’s best friend, as I get older and a little wiser I begin to think about how it’s the little things in life that matter and bring the most happiness to peoples lives. I believe that until you have owned a dog and experienced the connection that you build with them, it is only then you really see how much a dog brings to your life.
Unfortunately, by the time I walked back an hour later he and his best pal had already left. I was never able to catch up with them as I had planned in my mind after seeing them the first time when they caused me to have a hundred and one thoughts in a split second.
Looking back at that old fella and his furry friend laying there together reminded me of the eternal friendship and loyalty that canines bring to their owners. It doesn’t matter if you are popular or have no friends, if you are rich or poor or if you live in a big house or just go with the wind because a dog will always look at you in the same way, without any agendas or judgemental looks, he is just happy being by your side as he is man’s oldest friend.
I wish both of them safe travels in each other’s company and many years of true friendship what ever road they choose next.