To me, from a car window:
Hey, is that a poodle?
I had just got back from the lake. It was 6pm, dark, I had on my mask and my headphones, listening to a podcast of my favorite French marriage counselor.
Like most people on walks during a pandemic, I was deep into my internal world. And I had my dog.
It took me a minute to disconnect from the inside and plug into the outside.
Yeah. I replied.
He was hunched over the steering wheel doing that thing where you crouch down to see out the passenger side window.
We just got one, four days ago. Brand new pup.
The cars were stacking up, no honks yet. He kept on.
I see you two around the lake a bunch.
It wasn’t creepy. It felt good to be spotted.
Poodles are awesome dogs, I added, lifting the leash and looking down at Ziggy who was sitting there patiently, as if on cue.
This little guy was the head of his class in doggie school. Smart, kind, gentle…
I found myself trying to give this guy everything I could before our little moment had to end. All my dog knowledge. All the love.
…You got some good days ahead. Trust me on that.
He glanced in his rearview.
Thanks. I’ll see you around, I guess.
Yeah. Congratulations. Enjoy!
He sped off. I plugged back in, got a text from Molly about picking up a pizza. I finished my walk and my podcast and got the pizza. When I got home, I told Molly all about the guy and his poodle.
I hope he did the same.