August 29, 2008
Two ladies of very late middle-age with a very athletic Pekingese.
Redheaded woman with a schnauzer.
Woman I can't ever see clearly because it's always dark, with a well-behaved dog I also can't see clearly. They're friendly; she waves but never forces me to say anything.
Husband and wife with what look like 2 Jack Russells on stilts. The dogs are related somehow and one is named Diego. The husband sometimes rides his bike in circles and circles and circles around the neighborhood, just like me.
Tall willowy lady with a bullterrier mix and two huge blonde Bouviers (to me they're Patty and Selma, though that's not their real names) she rescued from somewhere. The woman drifts down the centers of streets, stops to talk to neighbors, stops when the dogs stop to lie down in the middle of the street, stops to stare up at the sky, stops for no reason at all. She stops and the dogs stop. The dogs stop and she stops. I've seen clouds move faster than this crew. They take up the entire street. She says she appreciates my "behind you on your right!" advance warnings. Good, I'm glad.
Guy around my age or a bit younger, used to have a nice Irish Setter until a few weeks ago, had to put her down, did the sensible thing and got a 4-month-old black puppy who's quite the handful. He knows my name and apparently follows local road racing, as he's congratulated me on a few races. Which is kinda disconcerting as I'm plodding on foot or whizzing by on the bike at 5:30 in the morning.
Blonde lady with schnauzer. She vaguely reminds me of my mother-in-law.
Middle-aged guy who smokes cigarettes and walks a tiny but fierce soul named Freddy. I have run or gallowalked or biked past this Chihuahua for nearly 7 years and every time, he growls and pulls and strains at the leash like he wants to kill me. I will sometimes taunt him (whisper: "heeeeyyy, freddeeeee....") but mostly ignore him. The guy has watched me suffer through speed workouts and long runs, and finally, a few months ago asked me "you must run those marathons, right?" For a few months the guy walked without the dog, and when I asked, told me Freddy was resting inside watching Good Morning America on TV.
Woman of late middle age with two tiny dogs on retractable leashes that she never, ever, retracts. She's on one side of the street and the dogs are on the other, and the leashes are stretched taut in between. She thinks it's really funny when someone's coming and she has to reel in the dogs just in time, or maybe not quite in time, oops, my my.
Vaguely South-Asian-looking guy with a one-ear-up, one-ear down shepherd mix like mine. Gallowalks lately. Dog has never liked me, just like mine.
Guy with older Weimaraner, half-grown husky and now a white spitzlike dog, all walking together, pretty well-behaved bunch but can be a handful when a cat's around.
Late-middle-aged woman with cancer who lets her shitty pom-yorkie mix and larger retriever-type mix run around her front yard, her side yard, everyone else's yards, her street, everyone else's streets. The woman has a fenced back yard but prefers to let her dogs out the front door instead. The dogs run barking and snarling at anyone, even when they're blocks away from home with no territory to defend. Everyone in the neighborhood cuts the woman slack because she has cancer, but she's been letting the dogs run loose since before she had cancer and she just doesn't give a shit. When confronted by passers-by (well-meaning or angry), she'll swear she didn't know how the dogs got out, didn't know the dogs run at people, didn't know that people ever do walk or run or ride by her house, she's just taking care of the dogs for some poor soul who's having a hard time. She just lies or makes shit up. Having cancer doesn't make it ok to lie or make shit up.
Lady with cute black pug.
Elderly husband and wife, used to walk together every morning. I don't see them much anymore, hope they're ok.
Pre-elderly husband and wife, man smokes cigars and carries a little transistor radio.
Ragpickers: people in mostly falling-apart trucks coming round on trash day.
Ragpicker, Jr: old guy on a motorized scooter, picking through peoples' recycling bins for aluminum cans. He goes out early, sometimes before dawn, and doesn't seem to care if people walking or running or riding or driving by can see well enough to avoid hitting him. In his mind, he's the only one there.
Lady with bulldog who doesn't like anything, including the sight of a small person walking or running or biking toward him. When confronted with this, he plants his butt on the ground, much to the dismay of the person walking him.
There are others, and if I can think of any worth mentioning, I'll mention them here.
Posted by joe positive at August 29, 2008 7:21 AM
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