It was an ordinary day, a bright sun in the sky casting its golden warmth over our town. My wife and I were strolling along our favorite tree-lined avenue, Siggy leading the way. She had this confident stride, her large paws making gentle imprints on the cobblestone path. Siggy wasn’t just a dog; she was a rescued Great Dane, who came from a very traumatic, abusive situation. Each day Siggy grew to be part of our family.
Our usual peaceful walks often consisted of friendly nods from neighbors, the chirping of birds, and the distant giggles of children playing in their yards. This day, however, was destined to be different.
Ahead, we noticed a young mother, perhaps in her late twenties, playfully interacting with her son. The boy, named Ethan as we'd later learn, had a mop of curly hair and an infectious laughter that reminded us of the carefree nature of childhood. The two seemed wrapped up in their world, but that changed the moment they laid eyes on Siggy.
Ethan's innocent eyes widened in awe. Clearly, he had never seen a creature as large as Siggy before. Each step we took towards them seemed to magnify Siggy's size in his eyes. His intrigue was palpable, his tiny feet moving as if they were itching to run towards us.
The mother, sensing her son's growing fascination, tightened her grip on his hand. Her cheerful demeanor now replaced by a look of concern. She had likely heard tales of large dogs and their unpredictability.
However, Siggy, ever the gentle giant, noticed the little boy’s enthusiasm. Her tail began its rhythmic dance, and she tried pulling on her leash, eager to meet this new human friend. The scene was almost comical — a giant beast and a tiny child, both seemingly magnetized towards each other.
We could now clearly discern the myriad of emotions playing on the mother's face. There was love, protectiveness, and an unmistakable hint of fear. But Ethan was unstoppable. His youthful bravery and curiosity overpowered his mother's cautionary tugs.
Within moments, the boy managed to wriggle free, sprinting towards Siggy with arms outstretched. "Ethan! Come back this instant!" The mother’s voice wavered between fear and command.
But Ethan wasn’t slowing. Siggy's reaction was instinctive. She reared up on her hind legs, rising up to her majestic six feet and issuing a playful bark. Ethan, instead of being deterred, squealed in joy and excitement.
Then Ethan and Siggy met. Ethan stopped, not know what to do next, Siggy got down on the ground to be at the child’s level, both were silent looking at each other eye to eye, nose to nose not knowing what to do next. By then, the mother had caught up with everyone. She cautiously approached and slowly reached for her son. Then Siggy very gently sat up and laid her head down on Ethan’s small shoulder, Ethan slowly put both of his arms around Siggy’s neck and hugged her tightly. Ethan let out a deep breath and Siggy sighed.
The mother, relieved that her son did not get ate or worse, started to say something, but decided not to, there were no words needed.
We saw the mother and Ethan walking down that same street about three months later, they were not alone they were being led by a very large dog that Siggy and both of us recognized as a fellow Great Dane!