Three people who change my life every day.*

My dachshund attempted to eat the tennis balls off of an older lady’s walker while my giant labradoodle made sweet, sweet love to his human girlfriend.

Let me back up.

The dogs and I walk every day. If it’s actively precipitating and we can’t go, there is great unrest in the pack. We walk! That’s what we do!

Maybe 18 months ago, we made a new friend on our jaunt around the neighborhood. There’s a family-owned barbershop a block over, and the mom of the owner does nails. She was sitting outside on a bench in the sun when we came by.

Big Doodle basically attacked her with slobber and love. He just knew she was his person. Their love was mutual and immediate.

Since then, the barbershop has become a can’t-miss destination. When Big Doodle hurt his leg at the beginning of the year, our goal was for him to be able to walk to the barbershop. It was necessary for his emotional well being. They are his pack.

The pack has expanded to include the owner of the shop and the lovely woman who does hair. They let us come in and shed all over. They then ply the pups with dog treats and popcorn.

Yes. They save day-old popcorn and bring in treats just for Big Doodle and Lil’ Frankfurter.

At first, Lil’ Frank was scared and did his usual cowering routine. But now? Now, he feels completely safe and will get a little pushy about wanting – nay, requiring – his recommended dose of popcorn.

So, Lil’ Frank lets folks pet him, and Big Doodle makes the rounds, gooing on whoever will talk sweet to him and offer a few pets. It’s clearly the highlight of their days – mine, too.

Today, an older lady was getting her hair set when we stopped by. Her walker was standing next to the barber chair. No big deal.

The dogs enjoyed their popcorn and their pets. And then? Lil’ Frank noticed the walker. It had split tennis balls on the bottom of the legs so that it would glide easier.

Tennis balls! Lil’ Frank lost his mind. He was so excited! He then attempted to remove the balls from the walker.

Meanwhile, everyone laughed and Big Doodle slobbered on his girlfriend and she cooed, “Oh, Doodle, I just love you so much!”

Is it any wonder that when we walk by on Sundays, we must all stand forlorn at the door, pouting?**

I’m thankful for these kind people who welcome our ragtag crew.

*Except on Sundays.
**One Sunday we were pouting and the owner pulled up right then and there, as if on a mighty white steed. He let us in and of course provided popcorn. Now, Big Doodle thinks that if he just pouts long enough, this should happen each time.

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  • Reply Andrea October 28, 2016 at 11:03 am

    That is fantastic! Sure beats our walk to the end of the road and back with my dog freezing still if he sees anything different than the day before. Yesterday he decided he was afraid of my umbrella that was collapsing from the wind, causing him to anchor his 14 pound self in the middle of the street. I think I am moving toward the dogwalker hall of shame.
    Love that photo!

  • Reply Becky October 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    There are any number of friendly destinations our dog likes to stop at for a visit pretty much every direction we head out in. On one of our walks the other day, she saw one of our friends standing by her car, talking to a friend. Not wanting to interrupt, I tried walking past with a wave while the dog insisted on walking right between the two, repeatedly, back and forth, in a brazen "NOTICE ME" attempt while I apologized and unsuccessfully tried to yank her away. She finally was distracted by a squirrel.

  • Reply Nance October 28, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Terrific photo. What nice people, the Barbershop Bunch, to be so accommodating to you three. That's what a true Neighborhood is all about.

    And Dog Pouting? Matched in intensity only by Cat Patience. Trust me, I know. Boy…do I know.

  • Reply Sharon K October 30, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    very sweet. my SIL went by the liquor store drive up one day without the dog. the lady at the window always gave dog some treats – where is dog? is dog ok? omg. did dog get sick? she was so concerned about dog. my SIL felt somewhat underwhelmed – yes, thank you, i'm fine.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin November 7, 2016 at 1:40 am

    I love this little story about your neighborhood. It makes my heart sing. And the sweetness of gentle people and dogs.

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