September 26, 2012

Neighborhood Dogs

Situational Awareness is my middle name.

(That's really just a figure of speech. My middle name is Mathew with one t because apparently my father was really nervous when he was filling out my birth certificate paperwork and lost the ability to spell.)

Beth always claims to be the must unobservant person on the planet. Which is fine. Because I'm the exact opposite. I'm hyper-alert. I can tell you, for instance, which house on our street passing cars belong to or when certain neighbors are home. I notice when gas prices change at the local gas station and I know which servers at beach restaurants are consistently there year to year even though we only go to the beach once a summer. I don't know why. That's just the way I am.

That's why I know the neighborhood dogs.

There are the Opposite Dogs. They travel down our street with their owner twice a day. One dog is modestly sized while the other is perfectly bite-sized. The dogs are fine but the woman is not at all friendly. Then Dour Dog. Every day a lonesome-looking middle-aged guy who constantly looks as though he's just eaten a lemon walks his dog, a similarly lonesome-looking dog. The saddest is Carried Dog. He's ancient and though he could once be seen hobbling around the neighborhood, he now has to be carried. Twice a day, his owner picks him up in both arms and carries the dog around the neighborhood as if its the most natural thing in the world. My favorite, though, is Dapper Dog.

For years, a little old Korean man walked his tiny dog around our neighborhood. The dog was always dressed up, usually in something red. When it rained, the dog would wear a red raincoat. In the winter, he sported a red sweater. In the summer, just a bright red collar would do. And the little old Korean man always carried a matching red umbrella. Always. Regardless of the weather. The little old Korean man now walks alone, with his red umbrella. Sometimes an old transistor radio. I'm pretty sure the dog is no longer with us. And I doubt the transistor radio feels like much of a substitute.

Posted by Chris at September 26, 2012 7:46 AM

That's sad...Dapper Dog sounds like he was well loved.

Posted by: cyndy at September 26, 2012 8:59 AM

I'm pretty observant as well. I think I would have been a good spy. My husband *thinks* he's super observant, but I've watched him walk into doors on several occaisions.

Posted by: Elizabeth at September 26, 2012 9:25 AM

awww... bless both their hearts :(

Posted by: Julee at September 26, 2012 9:41 AM

As a dog owner who walks her dogs daily through the neighborhood, I love this post. Carried Dog and Dapper Dog's stories just broke my heart!

Posted by: Heather at September 26, 2012 10:09 AM

Awww--how loved Carried Dog is and how missed Dapper Dog is. My heart goes out to those owners, who are left to walk alone.

Posted by: bacioni at September 26, 2012 10:15 AM

I seem to always notice any celebrity, mostly sports related. My husband is always stunned that I knew them and instantly noticed. Our son and I are very observant. My husband isn't as much.

My son notices changes immediately. If I moved one thing during the day, he notices and says so.

Poor guy.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at September 26, 2012 11:01 AM

It was really touching to us that when our beloved 14 year old dog died, that our neighbors left notes on our door. They were simple. Several were hand drawn on construction paper with crayons. "Sorry about your dog - she was so nice and pretty." several of them said.

We now have the "twins" - one a pit bull/Great Dane 76 pound girl, and the other a little, round black Cocker Spaniel. Several of our neighbors don't know our names, but they know our dogs'. It makes me smile.

Posted by: Mindy at September 26, 2012 11:58 AM

I don't comment much anymore - sorry, still reading and save posts in my reader to comment on but never do - but had to post on this.

I am so glad to know that there is someone out there that will carry their dog around the neighborhood on a walk when they can't make it on their own any longer. That is true love and companionship. And, I'm very sorry to hear about Dapper Dog, he surely is missed.

Is this an introduction of sorts to a dog that will be joining the Cactus-Fish household? :)

Posted by: Dianna at September 26, 2012 7:07 PM

I read this as I was taking my dog for a walk!
Now that we have a dog (2+ months now) I notice more dogs and their owners.
There is one owner - he's and older man, very slow, some trouble walking and he walks two older dogs both medium size and they walk right at his pace. Never in a hurry. I want to take a picture of them and preserve that sight. It's always an awww moment.

Posted by: NancyB at September 26, 2012 8:38 PM

very sweet. love this post.

and ps. they all sound much better than Devil Dog that has moved in next door to me.

Posted by: kati at September 26, 2012 10:46 PM