co-author of The Meadow
Mike O'Hare
June - 25 - 2012 | 0 Comment


You have to be quick to get a photo of something very unusual as it comes whizzing past you out of the blue. I wasn’t quick enough so I had to revert to finding a photo which suited the bill to tell the story. Actually the event and the scene is far funnier than what the picture portrays. For starters the dog was wearing a bandanna rather than its human friend. Secondly the dog had one paw on the rider’s shoulder and the other was tucked under the arm of its companion. I suppose the funniest thing of all was the nonchalant way both riders took their journey in their stride. There is never a day go by when I don’t think back to this time and have a silent chuckle. 

Not his real name but he should have been called Rambo.

The dog and the rider are different but the humour is still the same.

To be honest, I have no idea what the dog’s name is but in my opinion it should have been Rambo. This is all about my recent experiences while I spent a few days of relaxation in southern Spain. The best leisurely time spent by me and my partner Charlie (that’s a ‘she’ by the way) is cycling. The promenades around the Murcia area in Spain are a delight to behold.

There is no better way to soak up the sun, than to let the wind cool you down as you cycle along the miles and miles of wonderfully paved promenades. With the pannier bags full of picnic stuff we’d set out around late morning and just cycle from one end to the other and then back again to the car. In between we would make stops for picnicking, having an ice cream or jumping into the Mar Menor (an inlet for the Med.) for a cool down.

This is the life and when a little entertainment is thrown in completely free of charge then it’s heaven on earth. We’re easily pleased. On one of those days, the entertainment came in a completely new format. Usually it’s from either pavement artists, musicians or mimics who stroll down the prom making us laugh. Of course, they’re not averse to the odd Euro being chucked their way but what happens when a dog and its human companion goes zooming past you with no awareness of the entertainment that is being created?

All this happened as we were lifting the bikes back on to the car rack and getting ready to leave. We heard the noise of the motor scooter approaching but never gave it much thought. The area is very popular for these scooters which are much more flexible as a means of transport as opposed to the conventional motor bike. For one thing, the pillion seat is much broader and more comfortable. However, when we looked in the direction of the scooter we discovered that the passenger was not a human but a dog.

Charlie (real name Barbara) taking a breather from cycling in Spain

This is Charlie alongside the bikes in Spain

That in itself may not seem strange or be that funny. The rider was in complete control of the machine and I don’t think he was that aware of all the attention that he was getting. Perhaps it was the bandanna with the large free knotted end blowing in the breeze which was the distraction. But it was the dog that was wearing the bandanna and not its young Spanish companion. Sitting on its hind quarters with its front paws on the rider’s shoulders, it was making the most of the breeze as the scooter motored along the road toward its destination. Both rider and passenger were focussed on the road ahead and I suppose it was this serious-type of concentration that made the whole thing appear really funny.

We noticed two observers on the other side of the road had already crumpled in laughter and that only set us off as well. We were howling and sharing this spectacle when I suddenly realised the other side of the coin to this. Here was this young man and his mongrel dog, in tune with life and simply riding the breeze as though they were two of the same species.

The Spanish are not that renowned for their affection toward animals so I take my hat off to this young Spaniard who obviously had nurtured a very special bond of love between himself and his animal companion. I strongly support the connectedness that exists throughout all of nature and this is a prime example of how man and beast can not only live and share this world simultaneously, particularly with domestic animals, but almost combine and be at one with all that our environment can offer. I felt very humble and privileged that day to have witnessed something which can give hope to us all.

The attached photograph is the nearest that I could come up with to help illustrate what both Charlie and me witnessed that day. If you substitute the Red Setter and replace it with a scruffy-looking mongrel with a bright orange bandanna on its head, then maybe you can appreciate more what we experienced that day. I wonder what we will witness next.

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