Winnie, William and George all sat down and made themselves comfortable when Mrs Simmons marched into view at the Lych gate. Meeting her in the village means a long conversation, usually about nothing in particular, and the older dogs know that they are about to loose at least half an hour of their lives when she appears.
Mrs Simmons was widowed just over a year ago in actual fact I gave the eulogy at her husband's funeral and like any widow, she has found the first year of bereavement a difficult one.
Recently she went on her first holiday to see a friend somewhere in the south Midlands and I found myself listening to a rather meandering story of how several rail connections were cancelled and how her journey was made complicated by replacement buses.
I zoned out of the conversation until she told me how she got into conversation with a teenager called Kai on his way to a waitering job in Birmingham.
The delays had made him too late to pick up his shift, so with spare time to kill, Kai took charge of Mrs Simmons, carrying her bags from train to train and train to bus making sure she made her connections on time while she no doubt , talked his leg off all of the time they were together.
Mrs Simmons was obviously energised by their meeting and by his kindness to her and before they parted she slipped a twenty pound note into his hand " to compensate him for his lost tips"
Teenager and old Welsh lady hugged long and hard before they each went on their way.
Both better off for their meeting.
It was a nice story.
And an important one for Mrs Simmons to retell.
For only after the dogs had stopped yawning and we had moved on did I realise that Mrs Simmons had shared nothing about the holiday itself nor about her anniversary visit to her husband's headstone.
That little moment of kindness was so much more important .