Tag Archives: dog

Well now, this is awkward.

3 Aug
Image Source: National Committee Against Tobacco (France)


When the weather’s nice, my friend B- and I often meet up to walk her dog Willow and catch up. Last week that was the plan, but the thermometer was around 90º and it was super humid, so after meeting up, we decided that the extent of our walk would just be to a neighborhood pub where we’d sit in the shade and sip a cold beverage while chatting.

We went to a place that’s been around for years and that was recently featured in the Washington Post for having a pet-friendly patio. When we got there, it was pretty empty so I headed inside to see if there was table service while B- and Willow grabbed a table. As I chatted with the bartender, a guy at the end of the bar – who looked like a Ron Howard on meth – tried to throw himself into the conversation.

Having bartended in college, I’m no stranger to the site of a regular. I know that they’re usually looking for someone new to talk with (since everyone else at the bar has heard their stories and is sick of them), so my strategy is to be polite but somewhat curt so I don’t get sucked into a conversation.

I was glad I heeded that rule because – as I grabbed my drink to head back to the patio – the guy said, “So. Are you here alone?”


I went outside to update B- and before she headed in to grab herself a beer, I cautioned her to not talk to the guy at the end of the bar. Of course, while she was inside getting her drink, Methy Ron came outside (presumably to smoke a cigarette) and approached Willow and me. “I love dogs,” he said,  coming toward us in a haze of smoke. “I’m a real animal person. What’s it’s name?”

(Yeah. I can tell. Sort of like how people know I’m a “baby person” when I refer to their child as “it.”)

Silently, I willed B- to hurry back. Willow must’ve agreed, because she curled herself around my chair, peeking out at him from behind my leg.

Again trying to shut things down, I said, “You’re wasting your time. She’s a rescue and she doesn’t like men. Enjoy your cigarette.”

He began pulling dog treats from his pocket. And Willow loves treats, so before B- returned to the table, my simple rejection had been ignored and Methy Ron was petting Willow as if they were old friends.

For the remainder of the evening (with the exception of a couple 15 minute stretches) he hung out near our table, sitting on the ground drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette, telling stories and trying to touch Willow. Under different circumstances, I might have said, “Look, we came here to talk to each other, not you – do you mind?” but – in a Scooby Doo-like twist – it turns out he was the OWNER of the establishment (!), so if someone needed to leave, I guess it was us.

The only thing that made the interaction remotely bearable was that he was gay (or so he claimed), so at least we knew he wasn’t hitting on us. Just the dog, as it turns out, because he became obsessed with getting Willow to kiss his face. B- and I tried to continue our conversation, but it was distracting to hear him on the ground saying, “C’mon. Just a kiss. Give me a kiss…”

Then, a few minutes later, our conversation completely ground to a halt when we heard him say, “C’mon. I’ve got my tongue out – where’s yours?”

Record scratch. OK, that’s it – time to go.

In hindsight, I guess the Washington Post meant this place was “dog friendly” the same way people may say West Virginia is really “family-oriented.”


I didn’t know walking a dog could be ironic.

5 Mar

I’m dogsitting again. For those who don’t know, I love animals but have commitment issues, so I don’t own one. That, and I travel a lot for work, so it’s not exactly practical.

This is the Wonder Dog (aka “Shadow”) who is my friend while her parents are vacationing:

Yes, she’s as awesome as she looks. Except she’s getting up there in years, so her walks have diminished significantly since I first met her 5+ years ago. She used to easily handle an hour power walk, but now we’re lucky if she goes 20 minutes at a decent clip.

She’s been especially pokey and lethargic this week, so I was considering it an accomplishment if we could circle my (very small) block. Then Alan showed up.

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His name was Ringo. Woof.

23 Feb

Last week I was reminded of WHY I love living in DC: we occasionally get a random 75 degree day in the middle of winter. (Sorry, Michigan friends, it’s true. In some places there are NOT six full months of winter!)

Anyway, I’m a sucker for an unseasonably warm day, so Alan and hoofed it to the dog park to see if we could touch other people’s animals. Because I’m OCD and travel a lot I don’t actually have a dog, but I love them, so this is my happy compromise.

The dog park was packed with canines and owners alike purging their cabin fever (not to be confused with Bieber Fever – it wasn’t overtaken but screaming girls) so it was a perfect night for pooch watching. Continue reading

An Introduction to Shadow The Wonder Dog.

25 Aug

I’m dog-sitting my friend Betsy’s dog, Shadow, this week. Whoa. I know – everyone is thinking back to every post I’ve ever written that includes the letters “OCD” and wondering how I’m functioning with a dog in my residence.

Well, it’s easy, actually. Because Shadow is ALSO OCD. At least, she’s willing to indulge humans’ OCD tendencies. She’s incredibly well-trained. Don’t believe me? Check out this (poorly filmed) video of her eating breakfast:

Have you ever seen a dog that can sit in front of a bowl of food and NOT eat it until given a command? Actually, the incredible thing is that you can leave the room or make her wait an hour and she won’t cheat. I don’t know many humans with that kind of willpower. (And for the record, PETA, I don’t marinate cats OR make her wait an hour – so just simmer down with your claims of cruelty.)

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