I am down to one dog. I used to have two, but one died late last April. I’d not gotten the urge to get another dog since, although I have looked at PetFinder and many animal shelters local to me. I’ve also looked at rescue groups, but they are rather particular about living quarters. Especially that there be a fenced in yard. I had one of those too, until late last year when the city said the fence was a danger and told the landlord to replace it or tear it down. The landlord opted for the latter. Now my dog has no place to be let out to run and do his business for 15 minutes or so whilst I prepare his breakfast or dinner.
That preamble is not the real reason I’ve opted to write. Normally, I take to Twitter to post my random observances. Sometimes Twitlonger if I need another 100 to 160 characters. I need far more space for this.
I usually take my Greyhound, Danny, around the block for our walks. It’s a decent length for both of us. The walks are usually uneventful; no tangles with other dogs, the occasional squirrel, and other pedestrians. However, about once a week, I come across someone that really has no clue what differences exist between breeds of dogs.
Danny is a gorgeous tan brindle. There are streaks of black and grey through his hair. His left front leg has a thick vertical stripe down its length. That stripe was what allowed me to meet the people who fostered him after being brought to Ohio from a racetrack down south. We were at an annual gathering that’s put on by the rescue group to raise funds, introduce people to racing Greyhounds, and offer a venue for local (and some not so local) vendors of all things dog. I was trying to get Danny to take some water, as he’d been panting heavily on that hot August day. A man and woman had passed by and the man called out, “Danny?” Danny immediately turned toward the sound and his face lit up in recognition of the man and woman. We had a nice chat about Danny. I’d had him for about two years at that point. It’s now seven wonderful years later.
But I digress…
Roughly once a week, I encounter a person that has most likely never in hen* life picked up a book that has pictures of various dog breeds. I usually encounter the same two questions: 1) Is that a pitbull?, or 2) Is that a Great Dane? /headwall
Today, I experienced something that had never happened on a walk. A car had driven past me in the opposite direction that Danny and I were walking. The next thing I knew, the car is stopped by the curb ahead of me and some lady asks through the open passenger side window “Is that a rescue?” I respond in the affirmative and turn my attention to Danny, who was finishing up with some “business” and I had to clean up. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the lady getting out of the car and approach us. What the fuck? She then starts to pet Danny. Normal people ask before they pet a strange dog, because the owner will usually agree to it or disagree with a caveat of possible biting, nipping, or what have you. She then starts blathering on about Greyhounds and how she read that they’re supposed to be very empathetic and so on and so forth. She then starts babbling on about her pets. I just sort of nod the whole time. You know, the kind of nod you might give a grandparent with dementia that’s telling you about some particular point in 1931 for the fifth time in the same one hour period. It got worse after that. She dug into her purse and pulled out photos. Lady! I don’t know you! Why are you accosting me and my dog while he’s doing his business? I still have to clean up after him! I take the photo and give the obligatory “Ooo” and “Aah” as necessary and compliment how lovely the animals were. She did have very nice dogs and one disgruntled looking cat. She then tucked her photos away and extended her hand. “I’m Sandy!” Not one to be rude to an extended hand, I took hers in the firm grip I give everyone, nodded, and gave her the false name I use when I don’t expect to run into a person again. She got back into the car and the driver set off in the direction opposite that I intended to continue going.
I looked at Danny and he had his normal look of “What’s happening?”, shook my head, and went about my duty according to the city ordinance and cleaned up after my dog.
(Note: I’m very fond of this Swedish gender neutral pronoun. It’s fantastic! I highly approve of its use and have adopted it into my writing.)