We take our dogs to the dog park about once a week. They’d love to go more but the dog park is a drive and washing them down after is never fun. We also take them for walks. Granted, we did that more before Buster who has not learned about leash manners very well and has stranger issues.
On one of the first walks we took with Skeeter, we ran into a landscaper who stopped and talked to us. (myself and the girls) about our dog. The girls were a little creeped out by it and it did seem over the top. I mean we were pleased with our “beagle mix”, but what was making the man go crazy. That was before we knew that Skeeter was far from beagle.
It wasn’t a one time thing. A certain kind of man will ALWAYS comment on our dogs. They are usually a little older than us or they are from the south. They watch our dogs bound through the prairie with just the tips of their tails showing over the brush. They watch them on the flat green spaces. They either engage us in conversation or tell whoever they are with about our dogs.
These men often get a bit misty eyed about the hounds. Apparently they are a man’s dogs. Or they spent too much time watching The Fox and the Hound. Or they dream of an alternate life where they go hunting with their trusty hounds.
It could be that they are stuck with labs or goldens because of family. (because they often do have such dogs) Or they admire the dogs for their independence and joy in running–but while they wait to make sure they’ve not run too far afield–they don’t need us to keep a tight rein on them. No one is alarmed by a hound dog bounding up to them, especially ours. Women and children don’t feel threatened by them–even as we yell at Lola that there is to be NO FACE LICKING. Buster and Skeeter both shy from most people off leash. (the exception is if Skeeter catches scent of treats. They are forbidden in the dog park and yet people bring them anyway. Skeeter can scent those treats from far away.)
In any case, a certain kind of man has a few daydreams about the day he’ll go out with a pack of hounds or have one trusty hound. Or he will miss the hound he had as a child. I like those men.