15 January 2012

Sunday walking with the team.


The weather turned today. We've been basting along under global warming skies, enjoying the high 70's during January. Creepy, but so lovely to be out in the sun. Today a breeze kicked in along with a cloud bank, and I think it means that the weather means to turn serious again. I had to dig out my warm clothes from under the short sleeves.

We walked down to the beach, with just enough time for some sticks before it turned dark. We were bookended on each side by a pitbull, and something told me not to stay. I don't know. Maybe it would have gone fine fine. But I am trying to be better about listening to my intuition every single time now. So the dogs had a short run, then we walked back up the stairs to walk along the path towards where the sunset was spilling through a gap in the clouds. The air looked like frozen water, and the sea looked like chopped up ice. The weather sure turned fast.

And old French man rode up behind me on a bike as rickety as he was. He had a smart wool cap and one pant leg rolled up to reveal a very bony old leg in a long stocking.

"Zat eez quite a me-na-ger-eeee," he said to me.

I am used to this. Not a day goes by when someone does not comment to me that I have my hands full or what a collection of dogs I have. I am used to this. 3 black dogs in a row doesn't seem that surprising to me, but I am happy to be interesting to everybody else. Or maybe they just don't like there to be too much silence when they pass a stranger walking down the road.

"They are a menagerie," I replied.

He climbed off his bike, and began to walk next to me. His eyes were runny and pale, and he was wearing a faded teal jacket. Something about old men in teal makes me very sad. Old men shouldn't have to wear teal.

"Zey are a fam-ee-leee? All of zem?"

"Nope, all different. I just found 'em."

"Are zey, how you say…" He looked away thinking of the word. "You raise them, for the breeeeding? Zee puppies?"

"Uh, no. They're all different. Strays. From the side of the road."

He looked relieved. Not sure what he was going to do if I had said I was a designer puppy mill of funny little black dogs, him and his rickety old bike and jaunty cap.

"Zees is good. I am glad." He got back on his bike and pedaled slowly towards the sunset.

I walked as far as the bench where the Iraqi vet shot himself a few years back. That seems like a good place to turn around when you're walking towards the edge of town. They cleaned up that bench real good. You would never even know.

No one talked to me walking home. I saw another old guy in a teal parka walking 3 aging Beagles. All of them were old and gray, and they walked much slower than us. Barely even moving, the cold in everyone's bones.

6 comments:

Terry said...

I was asked once if I am a dog walker. I sputtered for an answer, because it's both no and yes. Lol

team small dog said...

That is another comment I hear on an almost daily basis. There is a dog walker I see who brings a huge herd of about 9 dogs to the beach with him every morning, and I am in awe of him. 3 dogs, piece of cake.

Mary said...

I want you to submit some of your story-posts to http://www.npr.org/series/105660765/three-minute-fiction

jedandsophie said...

Once again, you paint a picture with your words. I love it when you do that.

nosemovie said...

Maybe the teal jacketed old man likes the idea of being rescued, or just being listened to. I like that idea too. :)

Elf said...

I often get the comment about "they're quite a handful" even with only 2 dogs, even when they're walking fairly nicely on leash. Nondog people are funny.