The police arrested someone down on the platforms at the junction. Judging from the fist-sized item wrapped in a plastic shopping bag, the charge was possession. (Aren’t the supermarkets sooo thoughtful for providing people with something to wrap their drugs in?) They lead the downcast man up and waited for the Police van just beside the barriers where I was working They also brought the dog the man had with him – a docile black and tan Kelpie cross which they tied to the fence. “We’ll just take this guy down to the station and charge him. Then we’ll let him out and he can come collect the dog,” said they. And off they went in the van.
This was about 5.00 pm. The dog sat there for a while peering alertly in the direction the van had driven off. Then something scared it and it started to cringe and shiver. You could tell it was afraid it had been abandoned.
Dogs make me itch and sneeze, but the young medic and various customers and PSOs made soothing noises, patted the dog and brought it water which might have comforted it but didn’t stop its shivering.
People rushed past on their way home, the day darkened, the lights came on and by the time my shift had finished at 7.00 the dog was still waiting. It was a lovely dog and had many offers of a home. We seriously discussed calling the RSPC but wiser heads told us that everything goes very slowly at a police station and the guy might still be back for his dog. Sure enough when I rang back at 9.00 the dog had been picked up. Would the dog have been better off if we had called the RSPC? Or would we have been separating a troubled man from his most devoted friend? Hard to call that one.