Everyone knows that I’m a sucker for dogs. Particularly big dogs.
Following my GPS down a winding back country road that day, wind in my hair, the radio up, and a general feel of something-good-is-about-to-happen in the air, it was nothing uncommon for my attention to immediately focus on the blur of a running canine in my peripheral vision.
Slowing the car, I tried to get a better glance…. and couldn’t believe my eyes. The dog’s markings and build were exactly like those of Harley, my 1-year-old German Shepherd mix. Finding look-alike mix breeds is incredibly rare.
I hammered the brake and called out the open window to a tastefully dressed middle-age lady who was quietly going about the business of collecting her mail.
“Excuse me, Ma’am, is that your dog?”
She looked up with just a hint of shock smattered across her tan face, and hesitantly nodded yes.
“Sorry to bother you, but what breed of dog is he?”
Very slowly, she replied, “He is a German Shepherd/Rottie mix.”
“Wow, he is GORGEOUS!” I gushed.
The look on the lady’s face became even more dumfounded.
Just as I said the word gorgeous, I glanced at the dog again. The fine canine, oblivious to the ardent admiration he was receiving, had squatted most disrespectfully in the center of the yard, and was fully engaged in the grotesque business of taking a dump.
My excited smile melted into sheepish chagrin. This poor unsuspecting woman! No wonder she had eyed me with such evident suspicion.
“Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.”
I gave a apologetic grin and a weak “Thank you” and put the pedal to the metal. The poor confused woman stood staring after me, most likely still trying to decide whether I was a mentally disturbed creep, or merely an undercover agent of the Neighborhood Ecological Sanitation Project.
I laughed as I went on my way.
And felt thankful to be one of the few gifted people who give other people strange stories to tell at the dinner table.