My back was turned to the road, keeping the midday sun out of my eyes and Lucy trotted along the curb as though it were a balance beam. I heard the car behind me, so I pulled the leash, tugging her away from the road and onto the grassy parking strip . The driver of the white SUV and I made eye contact, letting each other know we would both make sure Lucy was safe. I pulled again on Lucy’s leash, getting her out of the way of whoever was about to emerge from the SUV. Her attention turned to a blade of grass as the SUV parked.
As Lucy took care of business, I half watched my neighbor get out, open the hatch and start unloading the groceries that filled the back. She pulled out the bags and package of paper towels while I tore a bag off the roll and performed the duties of a good neighbor and responsible citizen. Lucy and I turned to carry on with our afternoon walk as voice called out, “Could you give me a hand?”.
I turned to see the driver juggling the packages.
“Could you close the hatch?” she asked hopefully. “My hands are full.”
I smiled and nodded. “Sure, no problem.”
I tugged Lucy close to the SUV again and reached up, barely able to grab the hatch, but I got it and pulled it closed.
“Thanks,” she said.
“No problem,” I replied, smiling. She didn’t know how tall she just made me feel. At not quite 5 feet tall, I often rely upon the kindness of strangers to help me reach things that are too high for me. Finally, I had a chance to repay the favor.
We smiled at each other one last time, then, she walked off with her groceries. I tugged on Lucy’s leash once more and walked away in the other direction, my heart a little lighter.