7.30 this morning
I pull in to a local car park, open the boot of my car and start to unload all my recycling, tossing it into the various appropriate bins. Walter is lying in the boot, watching.
A road sweeper is picking up litter nearby.
"Morning" I say, "lovely day isn't it? Sunshine at last."
He saunters over.
We exchange a few pleasantries, and then I continue to sort my recycling.
He walks over to Walter and starts stroking him, and then he says:
"You're a lucky boy aren't you? Bet you're about to go for a lovely walk."
"Actually, I'm just about to take him to the vet to have his balls chopped off."
The man pauses.
There's an audible intake of breath.
And his hands move involuntarily, in a protective fashion.
He mutters his commiserations to Walter, and then we laugh, and go our separate ways.
Walter's fine. And it seems he has a new fan club at the vets too.