As an introvert, I generally prefer people leave me alone when I am out walking my dog. I am not on the sidewalk to socialize. When Shiva and I are doing our thing, I am in the zone and conversation is the last thing on my mind. That’s why when someone does actually speak to – or shout at – me I find myself floundering for words. Half the time I think I just blow by, not realizing the person is actually talking to me until we are several steps away. The other have I kind of awkwardly laugh and stutter out a response that even a doctor of linguistics couldn’t decipher.
In over three and a half years of walking at least ninety minutes a day, I’ve heard a lot of bizarre comments directed at us. Here is just a snippet of the ones I remember, followed by the responses I wish I could have managed.
“That’ll keep your hands warm!” – as I bend to pick up a pile of dog poop.
Ummm… I guess? I’d rather just wear mittens.
“Traffic isn’t for the meek!” – as Shiva and I wait to cross a busy highway.
Indeed. Neither is dying.
“You’re all speckled!” – while reaching out and grabbing my recovering reactive dog by the muzzle.
“Keep that dog away from me! A dog that looked just like that almost killed me!” – as Shiva sniffed the grass on the other side of me, not even looking at the person.
Really? Just like her? Are you sure? Because I haven’t seen any other dogs who looked just like her anywhere. Ever.
“Wow! I’ve had dogs before but geez… Are you sure you can handle her?”
Yep, as long as condescending strangers leave us alone.
“Dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs…” – as sung by a young boy.
Dude. It’s like you are reading my mind!
“He’s a tough fella isn’t he? No one is gonna mess with you with him around!”
Then why are you talking to me? Grrrrr.
“You’re such a pretty little girl!”
You’d better be talking about the dog. And yes, she is, thank you.
“Definitely Border Collie. Yep. No doubt about it. Or maybe Keeshond? No, Border Collie. Absolutely.”
“You’re doing a really good job!” – as shouted by a police officer who had pulled over in her car.
And those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. Have you had any odd interactions with random strangers?