Here it is a beautiful fall day, sunny with a light breeze and comfortable, only slightly-cool temperature. About as perfect a day as you get in the
, at least if you don’t count grass and ragweed pollen. Of course, I do count those. But Schatzie, the dog, does not. Ohio River Valley
I sit at the computer, reading and writing, returning phone calls and emails, checking with a few friends on facebook. Hardly a substitute for real interaction. At least a dog knows that. He all buts gets his leash and puts it on me to take me out of the house, across the street to the park for a walk.
The day is spectacular. The interactions are impersonal but pleasant. A nod and a smile to the two young women who have finished their tennis game. A look at the woman dressed in dark, heavy clothes, more suited to another climate or several months later in the year. She walks the path with her head buried in a hardback. Well, that is another way to read and get a little fresh air. Another couple of young people pass with their cell phones to their ears. And an older couple head off briskly in the opposite direction on the path. The woman in running shorts with a mechanical leg jutting out of the left side of her shorts opening.
I pass some cars parked along the park road. A match game. Who drives the Toyotas? Could be anyone. The Chevy truck? Maybe the tennis players. They would look good in it. The new Caddy with the fancy-schmantcy wheel covers? I am guessing the white haired, athletic-looking man who alternates running and walking. Or is that type casting? I could sit on a bench and watch when they leave.
My dog may be smarter than me but he has not yet mastered an Obama-like “cool”. The bull dog behind the iron fence bordering the park barks and snarls, trying in vain to chew his way out. Apparently he has some unknown score to even with Schatzie. Schatzie has avoided chasing the runners, approaching the tennis women whom he is curious about, or even barking at some earlier dogs. But the bull dog is too much. The insults just must be returned in dog-land etiquette.
I think Schatzie is saying, as much for my benefit as his, “Hold me back. I don’t want to have to go over there and teach him some manners.” I hold him back. One of the passing runners chuckles at the sight. If I am going to teach Schatzie the art of the impersonal walk I suppose I need to get him a book or some headphones.