I walked past this poster during my lunch hour the other day. Lost pet posters always hit a minor chord on the frayed Jones heartstrings. Not because I am a pet person. I am not. I don't want to pick up my own shit using an inside-out plastic bag, let alone anyone else's.
But something about the hopeful words and faded photos finds a way through my anti-animal flinch reflex and makes me hope for a reunion of that vulnerable, dependent creature and their pet.
Bella's journey, as described in the poster above, is particularly intriguing. How exactly did she find her way from Hackney, where she disappeared, to London Bridge station? The number 48 bus is the obvious answer, but given her nervous disposition, that seems unlikely. The bus is never the first choice for the timid traveller – it's so tricky knowing where to get off. You have to be aware of exactly when to ring the bell. If the bus is busy you can't see where you're going through the windscreen and god forbid you might actually have to ask someone. Factor in the burden of not having the ability to ask someone, and this is looking unlikely.
Of course, she could have been taken to London Bridge by someone, an abductor for instance. If so, they were pretty dumb not to try to disguise her in some way. A false moustache and glasses. At least a baseball cap pulled down over her eyes with two holes cut out for her ears.
Let's assume she made it to London Bridge station of her own accord. But what was her plan? Potentially she was getting on the south London line that stops at Battersea Park, where she was planning to visit the Dog's Home to stage a breakout of some old friends from the racing circuit. Or maybe she was bound for the seaside. Brighton, perhaps, or Hastings. Given her anxious nature, I'm wondering if she was contemplating a total lifestyle change, far from the noise and hysteria of the capital. The sea. The fresh air. A clear view of the horizon. The wind in her fur.
Send them a postcard, Bella, won't you? Just a sandy pawprint to say goodbye.
38. QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK, LONDON
11 months ago