Weekends and daylight hours weren't prerequisites for dogwalkers, they came from all walks of life and you were guaranteed to find at least one taking their canine companion for an amble about the green at any given hour of the day or night. It was not an unrelated fact that dogwalkers tended to be the people most likely to find bodies. But that was neither here nor there.
It was a clear, sunny day and Declán was taking advantage of the warm weather by going over some notes for work from the vantage of a park bench. He was flipping through his paperwork when a big brown head nudged his hand. "Didn't think you'd recognise me when I look like this, Buster." He scratched the chocolate labrador's ears as the dog leaned against his leg and slowly oozed to the ground with an expression of dopey canine delight on his face.
"He'll take that all day." A woman with a leash in her hand joined them. She was slightly out of breath, having been chasing Buster around the park. "Buster's certainly taken a liking to you. I'm Rachel Evans." She held out her hand.
"Michael Argent, but my friends call me Declán." He shook her hand, holding it slightly longer than was necessary. "You called your dog Buster?" It had seemed a strange choice. Admittedly Rachel had the remainder of an accent, probably Canadian, that may have explained the name.
Rachel laughed, her face lighting up. "His name is actually Barnes Wallis, he gets Dambuster or Buster for short."
Declán had to admit it was a more appropriate name than Barnes Wallis compatriot Guy Gibson had given his black lab, but times and customs changed.
"I'm just about done. Can I offer you something to drink? Tea? Coffee?"
Rachel readily agreed and they strolled towards the string of cafés near the entrance to the park, Buster bouncing around them in excited circles.
15minuteficlets — word #59: replacement
Part of the Meetings!verse and the Wolf&Declán!verse