His dog greets me first, one of those leaping, tail wagging, friendly animals, golden retriever, I think. Oscar is his name. Happy as can be, wants everyone to like him. What is it they say about dogs and their owners, they’re a lot alike? Couldn’t be truer in this case.
His owner stands at some distance, by the river bank, phone to his ear. Doesn’t smile, doesn’t wave, doesn’t acknowledge me at all. “This isn’t a good start. Not like him at all,” I think as Oscar and I while away an uncomfortably long time
The phone finally goes into his pocket as he heads in my direction. He stops further away from me than normal social convention dictates. No welcoming hug or kiss on the cheek or even a hand shake. Totally out of keeping with the way I’ve seen him greet other women, the safe ones; the beaming smile, the warm embrace. But this has been the unspoken rule between us, no physical contact. (Read Toying and In the Circle of His Arms.)