I was walking the dog last week, as I often do. Lately, it's been pretty sucky because it's about -50 outside (possibly a slight exaggeration, but only slight), and the sidewalks have disappeared under 10 feet of snow (see earlier disclaimer). So yeah: lots of snow and cold.
This doesn't put me in the mood to walk, but Beckett is a demanding beast, and if we don't walk him, our belongings and peace of mind will suffer. So it's snowy and cold and we're walking ... and I cut through the library parking lot at the end of our street. Did I mention that Beckett, while demanding walks in sub-zero weather, also has very sensitive paws? That's right—he can't walk over road salt. So while it's snowy and cold and I'm walking the dog, I have to pick him up and carry him over the roads where there's a lot of salt, so he doesn't spend the next 5 minutes pathetically limping along on 3 legs. You don't have to tell me who's in charge here.
So: Snowy, cold, walking, avoiding salt on the library's front sidewalk by cutting through the parking lot behind. But apparently, 5 o'clock is prime time in the library parking lot. It's packed, and lots of mothers are coming out with kids in tow. One immediately stops to talk to Beckett.
"Oh, aren't you a beautiful puppy!" She coos. "What's your name?"
"Beckett." I answer dutifully, even though I'm standing a foot away. Beckett's ecstatically leaping on this woman, who is fawning over the "precious puppy."
"What kind of dog are you?" She asks him next as she rubs his ears.
She hasn't even acknowledged my presence. I feel like it's an A-B conversation, and I would love to stop eavesdropping ... but she's conversing with my DOG. And I'm starting to get irritated.
I've decided that, the next time I'm confronted with a dog-talker, I have two options. When she (because, let's be honest, it's usually a woman) speaks directly to the dog, I can either:
a) Bark in response. If she's looking for a realistic answer, that should suffice. OR
b) Wait for her to acknowledge my presence. Then I'll shrug and say, "He's a dog. He doesn't talk."
Either way, the scenario ends with me walking away, triumphant. Until I pick up the dog and carry him across the street.