Saturday, May 12, 2012

Runaway Husband

Oh, the things that happen on our daily walks. Last week the bird, and now this.

There we were, me and Olivia, cutting across the asphalt parking lot of an empty office building when I noticed an older woman in a bit of a predicament. Huffing and puffing, she was trying, unsuccessfully, to prop open an exit door with her back while struggling to lift a man in a wheelchair over the bottom lip of a non-wheelchair accessible door frame.

And so I offered to help and she was most grateful. "At 78 I'm not as strong as I used to be," she sighed, "and we're still trying to figure things out since his stroke." The elderly man, whom I guessed to be her husband, sat with his head down, face expressionless, and arms hanging at his sides. He looked like a limp rag doll. I couldn't tell how much function he had, but it didn't appear to be much. Still, who knew?

"Here," I said, handing Olivia's leash to her. "You hold the dog and I'll take care of this." The chair was heavy, but I was able to lift both wheels over the lip. "There you go," I said, taking back the leash. "Problem solved!"

Gushing her gratitude, she turned her attention to Olivia as her husband waited behind her. "Is she an ex-racer?" she asked. "How fast is she? Where did she race? I had a rescue dog once...." and so forth. She was a nice woman and I didn't mind answering her questions except....

Her husband was starting to roll down the parking lot.

Since I wasn't sure how much control he had, I didn't know if he was moving under his own power. I didn't want to insult him, but he was headed right toward a parked car. I was getting nervous, my eyes flitting back and forth between the oblivious woman and, behind her, the dearly departing husband. Finally, I couldn't stand it.

"Um, he supposed to be doing that?" I stammered and nodded in his direction.

The woman turned around, threw both hands in the air and screamed "HARRY!!! She bolted after him as quickly as an overweight 78-year old can bolt, but thankfully, her intervention wasn't needed; his wheelchair came to a creeping stop just inches shy of the car. Crisis averted. Whew.

As I said so long to the couple, I wagged my finger toward her husband, who had sat through the entire escapade flaccid and unfazed. "You better watch out for this one," I teased his wife. "I have a feeling this guy's a troublemaker."

And off I walked with Olivia, but not before glimpsing the grin that slowly stretched across her husband's face.


Maria C. said...

Aww! That made me smile!

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful adventure for you and Olivia - thanks for sharing! You must've made that gentleman's day : )
have a great day,

Adriana said...

great story and Olivia is a stunner. Those facial markings!!!

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