Bundle is kind of a nice word.
A collection of things all tied up. I think of brown paper with string and a promise of delight inside, or a warm sweater, hat and mittens bundling me up, protecting my warmth from the cold.
He had a bundle in his arms.
It's been about a month since I saw him.
Since he parked in front of us as we were getting out of the car at the dog beach in Coronado, CA.
His big fluffy dog jumped out of the car without a leash. You are not supposed to let your dog off the leash until you walk across the sand and enter the actual dog beach area.
I follow rules so I notice things like that.
Then he reached in his car and pulled out something wrapped in a towel, walked over to grab a doggie waste bag and was struggling to hold his bundle. My mother offered to help him, he declined and struggled on alone.
His bundle was obviously heavy.
That's when we saw four legs sticking out of the towel bundle. He was carrying another dog, a fairly good sized black and white spotted dog, thin and rather listless.
Our hearts sank.
Dog people love dogs.
We are dog people.
We love all dogs.
I dream of owning a dog rescue ranch.
He carried his dog all the way to the water's edge, it's quite a hike and you could tell it wasn't easy, physically or emotionally.
Then he sat down and carefully unwrapped the towel a bit and there they sat.
The man and his two faithful devoted friends.
He held that dog and talked to him and rocked him and they stared out at the water where they obviously enjoyed years of fun.
Not wanting to intrude, we kept our distance.
We played with our dogs, laughing and splashing in the surf, but watching him from the corners of our eyes, understanding his pain.
I could feel his pain all the way across the beach.
It became too much for me and I had to wait in the car.
Before he left, he carried that dog out into the water and stood with him one last time.
Then he carried him all the way back to the car.
He gently placed him in the back seat and as he passed me, our eyes met.
He gave me a nod, I nodded back - an unspoken understanding between dog people.
Both of us had tears, mine welling up, his streaming down.
I cannot stop thinking about this man and his bundle.
It was heavy.