Two years ago, I was walking our old dog Hazel down the street when an older Russian neighbor lady stopped me and said, “Don’t let dog near my yard.”
Nice to meet you, too.
Since that day, I made a point to not let Hazel get anywhere close to the woman’s property. I also made a focused effort to smile at the woman every time I see her (which is usually one or two times a week) – and each time she and I make eye contact and I offer a grin, I receive a scowl in return. Ah, whatever.
This morning the boys and I were on the return leg of their daily AM walk when we crossed paths with the aforementioned neighbor. As she saw me and these new dogs, she look a little confused. She asked (in her thick Russian accent), “Did you have a different dog?” I nodded yes, and said, “We did – but she died about a year ago. So now we have these guys,” and looked down to the spot where Charlie and Jojo stood waiting. The woman seemed both confused yet curious, and asked, “Are they boys or girls?” Surprised that this woman wanted anything to do with me/us, I replied, “They’re boys. They are 11 years old.”
The woman was now very interested, and with a hint of a grin on her face she continued to ask questions. “Ah, boys. But why for you to get two?” I quickly explained that the dogs are brothers, and had lived together for ten years; but then they were given up by their owner and separated for a few months, so my husband and I adopted both of them to keep them together. I then looked down at the pups, nodded my head towards Jojo, and commented, “This one likes to talk. And this one [indicating Charlie] is quiet.” The woman’s mouth widened into a genuine smile, and she said, “Ah yes, just like all family. One talk talk talk, the other not so much. Yes, brothers. Good family.”
With that, she resumed her path towards the bus stop, and the boys and I continued in the opposite direction towards our house. Today these two little ambassadors softened a hardened heart – and made me very proud.