Look at the I’s. We inhabit a place. That would be me, my husband and our old dog Zoe. We get involved in the neighborhood, and interact with neighbors and passers-by.
Throughout this process for years, our dog has become a “mascot” in the community. She’s nearly 100 in people years and loves every human, dog and cat that comes her way.
She’s on a short, very loose leash and doesn’t move. I know everything she is going to do before she does it (bigger brain wins every time) and she has never showed excessive interest in a baby, stroller, toddler, adult, other dog or anything except perhaps chasing an elusive squirrel she will never catch. They climb trees. She has no hips and is on a 6′ leash. Got it?
Of late, parents are refusing to get on an elevator with us and community members are picking up their smaller dogs to protect them from the “beast.” Our beast is 30 lbs. soaking wet, a herder, Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix we got from a shelter nearly 14 years ago. She loves everyone and we are both insulted when people avoid us like the plague. Mom says “let’s cross the street, you don’t want to run into a stray old dog on a leash.” Kiddo is waving at her asking to pet her.
Zoe has never growled at anyone and would let a toddler take food out of her bowl and just ask me for more. Grandmothers bring their grandkids to visit her and do tricks for treats. They stay to make parfaits with fruit and yogurt for their entire family while throwing her “precious,” that is a squeaker inside an impenetrable ball.
Two kiddos we love very much stand by our door and whisper, then say “Zoe!” until she lets me know they’re visiting the grands for the weekend. They are desperate to see each other and depending the time of day I let them throw her ball or ask Grandma if we can go for a walk. Of course the kids share the leash, half and half. When they were little I wouldn’t cross our street, but now they’re all grown up and into sports but still love their Zoe.
Zoe and I share a bathroom. She has an entire setup in there and loves having a bath every two weeks. She hates the comb-out two days later after she dried. She eats frozen and dry grain-free food filled with nutrients and her coat is softer than human hair. Even local kids who are afraid of dogs reach out and touch the hind end just to pet her.
I’ve always said that perception is reality, especially in politics. Do you really think Anthony Wiener is ever going to be able to run for any other office? Do you think Zoe is a bad dog and that I am a bad female, near 60-year “mom?” I think not. Cheers, Dee