Big Friendly and I are animal people. Big Friendly knows all the dogs’ names in all the places we walk; Jamie, Coco, Diego, Elvis, two Lolas. We are over attached to our dogs and cats and we over indulge them too. It’s ok. It makes us very happy.

Brenton has rescued many kittens in our neighbourhood, and each one has been a heart wrench. The last kitten, Miss P, got too close to me, and I struggled with giving her away, even though she went to the best ever home. We are currently in the not such fun phase of letting Jonesy, a cat that was abandoned and left to fend for himself, move in with us. He is quite demanding. And loud.

But last Sunday morning when we were joined in the park by a little, strong black and white young male dog, who slipped through the fence bars and played so beautifully with Frieda and Linus, we didn’t know what to do. There was no accompanying person, and nobody in sight, and when we had to leave the park, we had to do so with the little fellow in tow.

Suffice to say that Big Friendly and I did every single thing possible to find the dog’s owners. Posters. Knocking on doors. Driving around Woodstock. Facebook. Twitter. SPCA. The dog whined in our courtyard until we took him back to the park, and finally, after talking to everyone we could think of and nobody recognising him, we dropped him off at the Kenilworth Animal Hospital to go to the SPCA the following day. Of course we were tearful and heart sore. We loved him already. We continued our efforts. We searched for his owners. We felt terrible that he was confused and scared, and we imagined how his owners might feel.

Towards the end of this week, and after long conversations with Kim at the SPCA, I started thinking that the owners had probably abandoned him on purpose. It made me feel sick. I kept on putting myself in his place. I kept on feeling his feelings. And I hated people.

But today Big Friendly got a call from an elderly lady, who had seen one of the posters, looking for her dog. And the ache and fear and guilt lifted. We are all going to fetch him tomorrow (they don’t have transport) and we are going to be part of a very important reunion.