About 14 months ago I was outside where I live throwing a battered old tennis ball for Minttu one Saturday.
A smiling elderly lady started walking up the road towards us, clearly on her way to the woods for a little weekend walk.
The genuine smile and warmth emanating from her as she approached meant I knew we would be striking up a conversation.
I greeted her and soon she was asking lots of questions about Minttu, border collies and about me.
Within about 10 seconds of her arrival Minttu had placed the battered tennis ball down by her feet and was waiting expectantly.
I informed the lady that there really was no need to feel pressured into bending down and picking up the ball. Last thing that all I wanted was to stamboul og get back pain from a excited border collie.
But she said it would give her great pleasure and she must have thrown the ball 25 times as we chatted.
It would seem that her husband had recently had to give up tennis due to advanced years, and that they had a multitude of tennis balls at home if we would be interested in getting some newer ones.
I said that it would be fantastic but not to worry if they had better things to do.
Eventually she continued on her walk and despite regularly looking out the window when people were walking past I did not see her again.
About 6 weeks later after a particularly gloomy and grey day, I saw a plastic bag hanging on our gate. Intrigued I went outside to see if someone had lost something.
Inside the plastic bag I found 19 tennis balls.
Immediately I thought of the woman and her husband. But I did not know where they lived or how I could say thank you.
These very tennis balls have been enjoyed over the last year by many many dogs on our walks.
In February just gone I got my chance finally to say thank you when I randomly bumped into the couple on their way back from a cross country ski. I have to admit that I had not recognized her immediately as she was wearing a balaclava and sunglasses, but she recognised me and asked if my dog had enjoyed the tennis balls.
I went on to tell her that many dogs had enjoyed the tennis balls and it seemed to bring her great joy.
So why am I writing about this story now…. Well last night whilst cooking dinner I happened to look out the window and spot the husband with plastic bag in hand heading towards the gate.
He was already heading back down the road by the time I got there, but I managed to thank him for his renewed delivery.
9 more tennis balls to keep your doggies happy.
I hope this story can demonstrate the power of giving. This lovely couple have only ever chatted to me three times and yet been so generous to a neighbour, but essentially a stranger.
I find that very humbling and inspiring.
Doggies: Ilex, Ferd, Ronja, Max and Vali
Doggies: Milli, Lucille, Fant, Wilma, Ville and Arya (2 walkers)
Doggies: Haraka, Banipal, Punky, Tesla and Poppy
Doggies: Sunny, Lucy, Pippi and Twist
Doggies: Freia, Benni, Nansen, Lucy and Deano
Doggies: Bella, Lykke, Mari, Nola and Tex
Have a lovely evening with your doggies and we are back again in the morning for more dogwalking in Oslo nature.
Christina, Karianne, Linn, Veronica, Alex and Matt