He had always been told that it was important to smile at others – make them feel nice about themselves. Coffee shop worker, bus driver, lady in the street. So he did. Sometimes they smiled back.
But he didn’t know their names. They had names, everyone has names. Other people knew his name – official people from the bank or electricity company. They knew his name and used it as a commodity.
Someone who would be happy to hear his name.
He did know one name – ‘Buddy’.
He saw Buddy one afternoon, standing on the path between the gate leading into the neighbour’s house where he lived and the grass verge by the kerb. Buddy was just standing there. Looked like he was thinking, pondering, wondering.
Looking up, Buddy’s long tail waved gently, clearing the air for his friend to pass by. His eyes smiled.
A pat on the head is important, especially from someone whose name you know.