One of the many wonderful things about having a dog is their ability to help you connect with strangers.
|Pip looking irresistably cute on our lunch date|
Walking a cute puppy miraculously dissolves that invisible barrier, allowing folks who might otherwise have briskly walked past to stop and have a chat.
Because, let’s face it, with Pip time slows down. The simple act of spending a few minutes chatting with another dog owner about the age, breed and habits of their dog seems like a way of somehow making the world a better place. And Pip, while better on the ‘sit-in front’, still likes to take his own sweet time smelling the roses of the dog world – read duck poo.
I’ve met Lone Dad (LD) while walking Pip. At 7.15am, LD told me the story of his divorce - the fact that his two children now live away from him and that one of them he doesn’t see at all. Would he have opened up like this if I didn’t have Pip straining at the lead to give him puppy kisses through the fence? I doubt it.
Then I met Muffin and his Older Woman (OW). Muffin is a Chou – a big orange fluffy, vaguely Asian looking dog. OW told me how she’d once been approached by a young man who earnestly advised her to take her dog to a vet because it was sick. It had a BLUE tongue! OW explained that the joke was on the guy because blue tongues are actually an inherent feature of the breed.
Today, Him-In-Doors and I went out to lunch. A guy stopped out the front to chat, while Pip jumped up at him, poring his genitals! 'We'd be lost without them, wouldn't me,' said the guy, a gap-toothed hippy/surfy type, besotted by Pip. He then told us how he had four dogs - three Jack Russells and a Shitzu. Walking them is a challenge, he confessed, and he usually only takes three at a time!
On our way home, Pip dragged me into a local mechanic’s workshop. Two middle-aged grease monkeys suddenly went all mushy, patting Pip. ‘I know what he needs,’ said one. ‘All the dogs visit me for this.’ And before I knew it, he’d walked over to a desk, pulled out a drawer and found a doggie biscuit. Pip lay down on the garage floor and happily crunched it.