No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.

Christopher Morley

I do not (yet) believe that my dogs converse with me. That particular aspect of my late mother, always seemed a bit humorous and somewhat endearing. As someone who preferred the company of her horses, burro, dogs and cats, to people, she once told a social services worker who phoned, “why, no, I never dine alone.” The worker had failed to specify whether it was human company she had at those times.

I thought about that as I was walking Comet and Dexter early this morning. We routinely circle the neighborhood at times when few are outside. Today we exchanged greetings with a few walkers, a little gal waving to Comet and Dexter from her driveway, and an arriving school employee, taking a minute or so to gather herself before her workday started. Dexter gave each a look as if to say how he never gets any attention. Comet, hung back and wanted to go another direction.

We were deviating from our routine, they said. We always spend time smelling and watering the bushes by the school.

I responded, “No, you always want to dawdle here, but at the times when school employees, parents, and passers-by are present!”

“These dogs are telling everyone how deprived they are”, I stopped in mid-sentence. Lecturing your dogs in front of neighbors you don’t see often is one thing. But lecturing your dogs and responding to their protests, We do not want my neighbors to think me a bit odd.

Am I acting oddly? I would ask Dexter, but he doesn’t pay attention to such things. I’ll have to ask Comet what he thinks.


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