The Soupster remembers when he could sit down over coffee with a friend and discuss the wisdom of dogs.
Originally published June 19, 2008, Submitted by Kathy Ingallinera
I turned the corner and reined in my dog, Solly, on her 16-foot retractable leash. Up ahead I could see a woman walking with her dog and I didn’t want Solly too far away and out of control. “Oh, it’s Cody. You know Cody,” I said to my four-legged companion as she pulled on the leash and strained to get closer to the other dog.
“Hi, how are you?” I said in passing to the woman.
I heard her speaking to her dog as I walked by. “That’s Solly. You’ve met Solly before.” She guided the older collie, as she waved at me and shouted, “Have a good day.”
“You too. Come on, Solly, I have to get to work.” We headed back towards home.
“Here comes Bach!” I looked at Solly but it was obvious that she had seen Bach before I did. Her eyes brightened and she yanked at the leash, looking back at me to tell me to hurry up.
As Bach and his person got closer, Solly and I crossed the street so the dogs could interact. “Hi Bach, how are you?” I bent over and scratched the old black lab on his head and offered him a treat.
Bach’s owner bent over, patting his thigh, calling softly to my dog. “Come here, Solly.” When both dogs were done sniffing, we went our separate ways calling, “Have a good day,” to each other.
We ran into several other dogs and their humans on the walk. I called dogs by their names and exchanged pleasantries with their owners.
After work I stopped by a café strategically located behind a local bookstore. I pulled a chair up to a round table to engage the Soupster in some repartee.
“Good afternoon Soupster. I’m doing a survey. Do you have a dog?” He nodded yes.
“Do you walk your dog?” I asked.
“And do you run into others walking their dogs?” I continued.
“Yes, again. Am I going to win a prize?”
“No. Do you know the names of the dogs you run into?”
“Usually. What are you getting at?”
“One more query. Do you know the names of their owners?”
“No – not unless they’re neighbors…”
“Aha! I am NOT the only one. I realized today I know the names of the dogs in my wide neighborhood, but not the names of the owners. Why do you suppose that is?” I reached over and swiped the rest of his treat.
“I don’t know, but now I have to buy another raspberry bar,” he mumbled as he headed back to the counter.
I followed him. “I am going to introduce myself to my dog’s dog-friends’ people when I meet them from now on. Well, maybe on the second meeting. Don’t want to rush things. Hey, Soupster, thanks. This one’s on me,”