Back-roads jogging in Galicia

Out jogging this morning, Bee and I came up behind Neno and the man who walks him. I saw them from a distance. When he saw us, he turned and went in the other direction. Neno is a sweet dog, and is dying to play. Bee likes him a lot and when we see them, both dogs wag their tails like crazy, but the man who walks him won’t let Neno off the leash. The first couple of times I saw them, I thought the man was unfriendly. I’d met Neno with a woman, and we had chatted for a long time. I assumed this man was her partner, and that he was standoffish. Today, I had put Bee on the leash as we approached because I knew from experience that the man was nervous or for some reason didn’t want his dog to play with mine. So the two dogs were on leashes and they sniffed each other and pulled at the leashes and tried to play. The man, once again, avoided looking me in the eye and wasn’t going to say a word. But I pushed it, being extra friendly, explaining how Bee loved to go by Neno’s fenced-in yard, that the two dogs really loved each other. Then I asked him about the T-shirt he was wearing. It was from a 10K race in Ourense and I had run it—well, I amended, I half-ran, half-walked it. Did you run it, I asked him, No, he said, I was working.

            His poor arm was being pulled off his shoulder, so Bee and I took our leave, jogging into the edge of Beade and then heading up over the mountain trail to return to Regadas. I was thinking about the man and Neno, and it occurred to me that maybe he wasn’t unfriendly, that he might have had some disability that made him shy of people. You never know what is going on with people.