When I was young, this was my favourite book. That I grew up to be a cat person is another story entirely. What you should take from this is that the idea of a boy and his dog resonates with me on a level that only your childhood can.
Whenever I watched movies, I enjoyed scenes where dogs were smart enough to behave like people and respond or react like people did. This included dogs like Benji (who my sister claimed could open a metal pudding cup so neatly that no chocolate stayed on the lid–I now know that was a bit of Hollywood fakery, but at the time it was impressive). There were other dogs which seemed to embody this idea in TV shows and movies from the time I was a child until today.
The only dog I have seen who is remotely as smart as this is my neighbour’s dog. Benny seems incredibly smart, and seems to own the entire street. Everyone knows him and everyone seems to agree with my assessment.
When I moved to Japan, I heard the story of Hachiko, the dog who loyally waited for his master every day at the train station. When his master died, the dog continued to wait until it died of starvation. The statue of Hachiko is a must visit for all animal loving people who find themselves in Tokyo.
All of these things are connected to Today’s Perfect Moment.
Today’s Perfect Moment happened as my subway arrived at the terminus. The remaining passengers, of which I was a weary one, filed out of the car, onto the platform, and headed for the stairs. I could see that the people in front of me were parting and moving to the side, as if some obstacle needed to be navigated. This usually means there are people coming down the stairs, occasionally racing to catch the subway before it starts its return journey.
When I got to the obstacle, it turned out to be one of those small dogs with log bodies. Presumably, it was following its master, but it seemed more like the dog was on a journey of its own. I guessed that the young man walking in front, who didn’t even look back was the master. The dog navigated the gap between the subway platform and the subway car easily and entered the car. It was such a cute scene. I smiled to myself, and thought of the book. This was certainly the story of a boy and his dog.
Then I dragged my weary body up the stairs and headed to the bus platform.