Bear and I took off yesterday into the gorgeous, chilly Monte Vista afternoon and encountered my neighbor who lives down the street. She was by “our” golf course with her tiny, white Bichon/Poodle mix. He’s the “anti-Bear”. The two have wanted to meet for a while. Usually the little guy just barks hello at us through the front window of his house as we pass by. I wave and we press on.
During my early rehab from hip surgery, I finally got to talk to this neighbor. Sometimes she’d walk a bit with me, holding her dog in her arms.
He leaves messages for Bear along the grassy area by the high school and she leaves some for him. In a way, they’ve “known” each other for years.
“How are you doing now?” my neighbor called out. Unlike dogs, we rely on speech.
“Great!” I said. I still get a little weepy when I answer that question. Maybe I always will.
She leashed her dog. If anyone asks, I tell them that Bear is very gentle and friendly. I also recommend that, if they want to meet Bear, it’s better if they come to me because Bear can pull me down in her excitement to meet them. If I stand still, I have control over her. I didn’t have to tell my neighbor. She understood that.
I told Bear to “Sit!” and “Wait!” Bear was perfect, though her tail was sweeping the street at 100 mph. My neighbor came toward us.
Bear met the little guy as my neighbor held him up in her arms. It was incredibly cute. We chatted, and the little dog rested his paw on Bear’s head. “She’s like a horse to him,” said my neighbor. True that.
Bear then did something she hardly ever does. She very slowly and deliberately jumped up on my neighbor. My neighbor has a well-reconstructed club foot, and she’s very slender. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Bear’s usual thing is to sit on her haunches and hug a person around the knees. I was amazed by my neighbor’s incredible calm. But Bear moved slowly and gently and didn’t push on my neighbor at all. It was as if she just stood up beside her. The two dogs touched noses, and Bear got down.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “She doesn’t usually do that.”
“It’s all right.”
I scratched the little guy behind the ears, appreciating the virtues of tiny dogs.
Then we were each on our way. “Have a happy Thanksgiving,” I said, proud of myself for remembering.
“You too!” my neighbor called back. When Bear and I passed their house later on our walk, the little dog was conked out on the back of his favorite chair with his face toward the front window.
I have a lot of respect for “silly looking” tiny white dogs. My mom had a toy poodle by the name of Misty. Misty had been left with my mom to dog sit. When Misty’s owner came back from her vacation, Misty wouldn’t go home with her. She wanted to be my mom’s dog.
Misty was like Miss Piggy’s poodle, so when I went over to my mom’s to watch The Muppets (I didn’t have a TV) Misty sat beside me on the floor. One afternoon, my mom and I took Misty for a walk on the ditch bank behind my mom’s condo. Three BIG dogs (German Shepherd, Rottweiler, mysterious big dog) came toward us. Misty (leashed!) leapt out of my mom’s control and chased the three big dogs away.
Many a large, brave spirit lives in a tiny body.