Reader beware: Parts of the following post contains mushy observations that would get a journalist fired for being cliched and hackneyed [not sure what hackneyed means exactly but I reckon this fits the bill].
I was standing on platform 4 of Flinders Street Station tonight, waiting for Connex to get their shit together and send me a train. The train was sufficiently delayed that I was seriously entertaining the idea of buying something colloquially known as 'heart attack in a paper bag' from the purveyors of fried nastiness that live in their boxes of evil on the platform.
Luckily I was saved from this fate when something far better caught my attention. It was 'blind person and their guide dog rush hour' this evening for some reason. I had watched a guy cautiously crossing St Kilda Road a few minutes earlier while taking the tram, and Platform 4 at Flinders St was host to not one but two vision-impaired commuters with guide dogs heading in separate directions. The older of the two was standing next to me with his dog while I waited, and I found myself mesmerised for about quarter of an hour, just watching the two of them interact.
The old bloke was exactly that, a weather-beaten Aussie in his 60s with cropped hair and a hard-earned pot belly. The sort of guy you'd expect to see mowing the lawn outside his house in the summer with his shirt off, or happily ensconced in his shed at the bottom of the garden.
If his guide dog were human, they would have been twins; an old, solid golden lab, now turned white with age. The dog was sitting at ease, the harness resting on his back and his neck chain hanging loose as well. Even though the dog wasn't attached to his owner he was still connected, leaning ever so slightly against him while they both waited patiently amid the commuting chaos. The old bloke kept one hand by his side and would touch the dog's head every now and then. When a train came on their platform (the wrong one), the bloke put his hand reassuringly on the now-standing dog's shoulders and sat him back down (I can't figure out which train is arriving half the time so I was relieved to see it wasn't just me getting it wrong).
At one point, the man put his hand down to the dog's head and, in an almost imperceptible movement, softly massaged the dog's eyelids. I don't know what it was about this gesture but I stood there feeling ridiculously emotional for 6.57 on a Wednesday night. It was both moving and reassuring. I don't think I've seen a partnership that good in a fair while.
tub o cats
1 week ago