January 5, 2015 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette December 25th. 2014
YOU may have seen him around Lobs Wood, Caffyns Fields, along the seafront or on the green, Jerry, a tall, quiet man with a litter pick, a black plastic bag and a quartet of big dogs. You might wonder if the animals, not on leads, well behaved and quietly wandering close by his side, are safe? Well, they are very friendly animals because, apart from his daily rounds clearing up the dog mess ignored by irresponsible dog owners and bagging up litter, he is a bit of a dog whisperer and the four rescue dogs, two truly beautiful Rottweilers and two handsome crossbreeds, are very approachable, and happy in his care. The largest, Bunny, a true Rottweiler, is as quiet as a lamb and she even leans on you while you stroke her, stop and she asks for more, a sure sign of a relaxed, happy dog. We need more folk like the man with the litter pick, he cares for animals, the local environment and our town in a way that rewards us all and our respect and thanks are his due.
I HAVE two children who are no longer children. I rarely consider them to be children. We hang out together. They visit regularly, we chat, drink, have a smoke if I am in the mood, have a friend or two around and eat a great deal. Then, they go and I clean up the debris – mostly the kitchen – and the week settles back to normal. I see them now as bright, resourceful young people good to be around. They are my friends and only in times of real trouble do I recall they are actually my children and still under my watch knowing that if it were not for their late mother and I neither of them would actually exist, much as I would not exist had it not been for my parents and so ad infinitum. Sometimes I do believe we parents underestimate our time and our value and it is so rewarding when the children recognise that as a truth.
A VERY Happy Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year to you and my sincere thanks for your support and kind comments concerning the column during another long, and troubled year.