That’s just one of the many bumper stickers you’ll see if you drive through our section of town. (That, along with “37206—We’ll Steal Your Heart, And Your Lawnmower” and “37206, It’s Not Just for Homosexuals Anymore”.)
And it’s true. Our neighborhood is bursting at the seams with dog people (and petty thieves and gays). The gays I like. But the dog people and I sometimes struggle to connect. Which is unfortunate for our dog Sean, who has always had a hard time fitting in with his peers. The canine equivalent of the class nerd, he’ll approach other dogs to say hello and for whatever reasons they can’t resist slamming his face into a locker.
Hoping it might help Sean cultivate some social skills, I took him to the dog park when I knew it wouldn’t be especially busy. At first, we had the whole place to ourselves, but within a few minutes, a large shepherd mix and her owner arrived on the scene.
The shepherd barreled up to Sean, scaring him senseless. “What’s wrong, little Scottie dog, did we leave our kilt and bagpipes at home?”
Sean, ever-cordial, was all, “Actually, I don’t play the bagpipes. I take flute. But I didn’t sign up to be in band this year because my mom—“
“Shut up LOSER!” The shepherd barked and pushed Sean into the water fountain, snarling and biting at his ankles.
Sean lay on the ground with his paws in surrender, until I scooped him up and out of harm’s way, which probably only embarrassed him more. Meanwhile the woman scolded her dog. (“That’s enough out of you, Missy!” “How about trying some manners on for size?” And, “Do you or do you not want Dad’s car tomorrow night? Etc. etc.)
Up until that moment, I’d just assumed the shepherd was a boy. Which made it all the more amusing when her owner turned to us, totally serious, and said, “Sorry. She gets real moody when the weather’s like this. She’s been kind of bitchy all morning.”