There’s a man who lives down the block from me who walks his dog every day.
To my shame, I must admit that I don’t know his name, or the dog’s, though I’m pretty sure they’ve lived in the neighborhood at least as long as I have. I must also admit that I NEVER walk my dog, or myself, though both could certainly use the exercise.
Even though I don’t officially know this guy, I like him a lot. I like him because of the way he walks his dog, whom I also like. Whenever I see them coming, I either go outside or stand in my front window to watch them pass. It always cheers me.
You see, the dog is clearly quite old. I think he (and I’m assuming gender here) is some sort of collie/shepherd mix, and the gray around his muzzle and eyes is visible even from a distance. And he walks quite slowly, and a bit gingerly too. I wonder if he was injured once. Maybe he’s just old.
He doesn’t wear a collar or leash, but he doesn’t need them. He never deviates from the path of his faster-walking owner, not even to sniff the odd clump of grass or to pay heed to one of the thousands of frantic neighborhood squirrels.
He simply pads along in his laborious gait.
Every so often, the man will stop and let the dog catch up. And sometimes, when the man stops, he will spread his legs and the dog will pass about halfway through the arch. Then the dog stops, looks up at the man’s face, and the man leans down and hugs the dog around the neck, scratches his ears and rubs under his chin.
Then they resume their walk.
Maybe next time I see them, I’ll go introduce myself. I certainly should, because I do like them, very much.