A "Small World" Moment

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The circle of life can be more than a cliche. Last weekend, I found myself returning to the scene of my childhood at the air force base in Trenton, Ontario. We were attending grandson Finn's Junior A hockey tryouts. Not only was the rink only a few blocks from my grade-school home, but it was also here where I began playing hockey nearly 60 years ago. In those days, the Golden Hawks were Canada's elite flying team, not a hockey team.

It all brought back a lot of memories for me of old friends and boyhood adventures.

But the "Small World" moment happened at the Trenton dog park.


Toni found this lovely park online so we headed over to give our Bulldogs, Tubby and Lulu, a good romp. They always need it after a long drive in the back of the car. I found a nice bench and settled down to let the various dogs come to me, a welcoming bowl of water at my feet. Before long a sweet Heinz 57 came by to greet me and was followed several minutes later by her owner, a gentleman in his sixties. People at dog parks are usually in a good mood: "lovely day", "what do you call your dog", "do you visit the park a lot". Small talk.

The subject of purebred dogs came up and I told him that we had been active St Bernard breeders. He replied that his first dogs had been St Bernards. A rough and a smooth. "Do you remember where you got them", I inquired.

"A chap named Cawker", he told me.

"Charles Cawker! Of the Charlinore kennels! Our foundation bitch was sired by one of his dogs (Charlinore's Grand Brandy)". What were the odds?

"That's right. Eleanor Cawker was a friend of my mother.", he added. "God, I haven't spoken that name in over forty years".

We talked a bit more about the dogs in our lives. He mentioned that he was a lawyer and told me about the time a dog helped him get through a murder trial. We shook hands warmly and then went back to our separate lives.

A chance encounter in a dog park. A simple moment in time. A random connection between two human beings made possible by a mutual love of dogs.

I guess it's a small world after all.