I pulled up to Widgee General Store yesterday just as a woman walked out with a searching expression on her face.
“Have you seen a dog?” she asked.
As a matter of fact I had.
“Big and yellow?” I asked. “Over there.”
Moments later she was trying to coax Abbie across the road from the Widgee Showgrounds, but not before a car turned in to get fuel.
Both the woman and I glanced at the car and then back to the dog, who had finished thinking about what her next move would be and was actually trotting over.
Now I figured we were both having identical internal monologues at this point about the poor luck of a car arriving just as the dog started to do what it was told, about the likelihood of the car hitting the dog or scaring the dog off so we’d have to relocate it, and having to explain to some random why there was a dog loose in town.
A head popped out the car.
“Has Abbie got out again?” the head said before offering to get her own dog out the car to help.
This was followed by pats, and admonishments, and more pats and discussions over how to keep Abbie contained until she could be taken home.
“Would you like me to take her?” I asked.
And in true country style which reminded me of my friend Dolly Jensen, another councillor here in Gympie Region, I received a pleasant, “Yes,” in reply.
No dancing around with ‘would you mind?’ or ‘are you sure?” in country towns. If you don’t want to help, don’t offer.
They pointed out where she was to be delivered too. A yellow house just across the bridge.
Abbie jumped in the back of the car like this was all part of the game and a minute later I was closing a gate and congratulating myself on a job well done.
Which was when I noticed a bloke in shorts – as in no shirt or shoes – walking out of the house next door with a phone to his ear.
I was afraid this was going to happen.
“I’ve taken her to the wrong house, haven’t I.”
It was a statement, not a question. I had concerns already because it turned out there were two yellow houses beside each other and I’d sort of kind of taken a punt.
He nodded and went back to his house.
And this is why I love country towns. Your dog gets out and someone will take care of it and see it home. The numbskull you entrust to take it home ends up at the wrong house, you call the other neighbour and ask him to let the bloke know.
I love you, Widgee. You’re not only beautiful but you make great neighbours and have genuine heart.
And a gorgeous, yellow woofa named Abbie.