I was parking my car along the curb when I saw him again. Over the years I'd often seen him, always walking an old black Labrador retriever along the sidewalks of the elegant neighborhood where our church is located. Like the dog, the man had scruffy white whiskers. I wasn't sure who was slowing down for whom, but clearly both were getting on in years. He was using a cane, which was either new or something I hadn't noticed before.

It was a typical gloomy January afternoon in Pittsburgh. Old snow was gray on the ground.

There used to be a bent-over woman with a scarf around her hair, shuffling alongside the man and dog on these walks past our church. But I hadn't seen her for a long time and sometimes wondered about that.