Monday, June 17, 2024

Dogs Just Know

The old man walks a little way past the dog tied up outside the grocery store, then backs up a couple steps, and starts talking in a low, gentle voice. It’s clear that he is not the dog’s owner - he could be, I suppose, but somehow you can tell this is just a random encounter - but the dog is wagging, not in the frantic, attention starved way of some high-strung dogs, and not in a submissive, frightened way, but in the slow, calm, friendly way that dogs have when they’re relaxed and happy.

The man is kneeling now, directly in front of the dog, his wrinkled face inches from the dog’s, and the dog is gazing into this man’s eyes with understanding and boundless love, as if he’s been waiting for this conversation all day. 

When I come out of the store later, a young man, tall, good-looking, with impeccable hair and tastefully expensive-looking clothes is standing holding the dog’s leash, with a statuesque woman, equally outfitted, flanking him on the other side of the dog, and the dog’s eyes are staring off into nothing, the three of them out of some kind of central casting version of an ideal couple and their beautiful accessory dog.

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