The dog walked by my house every day with its owner in tow. The woman’s hair was grey and she did a slight shuffle along the sidewalk in her black, flat shoes. Same time, three times a day, every day. Sometimes her husband made the rounds. But, per the norm, it was the elderly lady today. The dog was a white poodle, neatly trimmed to make it fluff in all the right places. Every now and then, the dog would dash forward, yanking its owner’s arm into the air. She directed a smile and a shrug at me, and then the dog. I smiled back and said hello. I just really hoped it wasn’t her dog that had made that poop in our driveway. Well, it was smeared on the pebbles now. Poor fellow who dragged that into his house.
She looked up from her dog’s business at our mailboxes. Another dog was approaching on the sidewalk with its young female owner. It was another small dog, a terrier of sorts. Classic response: short dogs – big tempers for such small teeth. She smiled apologetic at the other dog owner. “Oh it’s fine, they’re just being dogs. Let them figure it out,” I heard her say before the terrier raised his hackles and a snarl behind the yellowy teeth. “NO, Ramses!” The other dog owner of the terrier pulled on the leash of the zip-line. But it wasn’t locked, so it was to no avail. The owner, clearly flustered, managed this time to pull the leash effectively. I could see her making apologetic gestures. The dogs were entangled in the lines. The other woman clearly did not want her hand near snarling teeth of her dog. The elderly lady reacted resolutely. Untangled her own zip-line leash under the belly of the other dog. Like that, and with a treat, the snarling dissipated and was replaced with a smile saying “thank you” on the face of the owner. They went each to one’s own and the lady shuffled along: The dog behind her in tow.