I’m a sucker for
a) tall men
b) men with beards
c) cute dogs
So when I encountered a tall man with a beard walking his cute dogs, you can hardly blame me for assuming this is the story I’d be telling our children.
-Mommy, how did you and Daddy fall in love?
Well, Clementine, once upon a time, I lived in Washington, D.C. and walked to work every morning. I had seen your dad in the neighborhood and thought he was very handsome, and he also had a dog that looked a lot like Rosie.
-Yeah! Lou and Rosie are the same kind of dog!
Yes, they are. So on one cold morning in January, I was walking to work and saw this handsome man walking his dogs just ahead of me. Lou was being hyper, and she was jumping garden to garden. Your dad was exasperated—
He was frustrated.
-Oh, like you get when we’re late because I can’t tie my shoes.
Yes. Exactly like that. So anyways, he had to stop because Lou was taking a big poop in someone’s flowerbed. He was saying, “Are you kidding me?” right as I walked by. We made eye contact and I smiled and said, “Isn’t that how it always goes?” and he said, “Yeah, and I only have one bag left!” Then I pointed at the dog that looked like Rosie and said, “Is she a red heeler?” And he said, “Yeah!” And I told him, “That’s what my parents have. They’re the best.” And he said, “Yeah, they are, except for when they do stuff like this.” And then I laughed and kept walking. But then I got to the crosswalk, and while I was waiting to cross, he and his dogs caught up to me. “Where do your parents live?” he asked.
Exactly. And your dad said, “Oh, cool. Yeah, there are a lot of red heelers out west, and not many out here. We got her in Las Vegas.” I bent down to pet the dogs, and Lou loved me immediately. “What are their names?” I asked. “That’s Lou,” he said, pointing to the red heeler, “And that’s Hank.”
-I miss Hank.
I know, sweetheart. I do too. So I asked your dad, “Oh, like Hank the Cowdog?” and he laughed and said, “We get that a lot, but no—like Hank Williams.” Then I laughed and said, “I grew up with a blue heeler named Shania. I named her when I was 9.” Your dad laughed too and said, “That’s awesome.” By now we were on the other side of the street in the park, and he said, “Well hey, have a good one.” And I said, “You too.”
-And then you lived happily ever after?
The next morning, as I played this fictional conversation in my mind, I saw him and Hank across the street in the park. And then I saw Lou, her leash held by a petite brunette in a fashionable trench coat. I turned the corner and walked to work a different way.