Dog Walkin' Wednesdays

Dog Park People Take One

A while ago while I walked the dog park, with cold biting through my thermal leggings, I had a thought that I really need to find a dog walking partner.

Someone with a gooddog who’s compatible with my gooddog and weirdo, Betty White and with the human and weirdo walking her, me.

But finding the right walking partner and dog, is kind of like being part of a hetro couple and trying to meet a couple friend, where the men both like each other and the women like each other too. Harder than it sounds.

I don’t like walking fast for starters, so I need a slow-ish walker like me. And Betty, well she has her own quirks and doesn’t gel with just any old dog. Lol.

As I walked, there was a sudden confusion circle of dogs playing. I stopped for a

moment to let Betty join in, and a woman fell in step beside me. She told me how much colder it felt outside, and I agreed. And then we started walking and talking. I explained some of my dog’s neurosis, and she nodded knowingly. She listened as I (over) analyzed my dog’s weird behavior at the dog park. She accepted my explanation of Betty’s behavior. And we walked on, chatting about dog nonsense, but finding a nice flow. She was chatty but pleasantly so. I felt like she listened to me, and I liked listening to her. Bonus. Our dogs were getting along.

And then we passed another older gentleman on the dog path. He was another regular dog walker who walks with a regular group at my dog park. He’d called out hello earlier, to make me feel welcomed, and I’d thought it sweet even though I had no desire to walk with his group.

But he knew my female walking partner and asked her about when she was going away. And after, I asked her about that too, and our conversation got more personal. She told me she was going away with her boyfriend.

As we talked more, she told me about her kids and then we talked about her ex-husband. She was honest about how horrible their divorce had been. He’d cheated on her, she told me. And he’d done it while she was fighting breast cancer. We exchanged dark humor digs about that. Our sense of humor gelled. Great guy, I told her, what a loss. The best she agreed.

I felt for her though, and we bonded a little more. I know people who have gone through divorce. It’s not easy. And cheating, too. That’s tough. My husband is not the sort of person I’d ever expect to cheat on me. Lord knows, he’s not perfect and neither am I, but cheating is not something I think either one of us would ever do. But I get how hard it must be.

And then we talked about our kids, hers a little bit older than mine. We laughed some more, and then we came to her exit gate. My legs were freezing. Did I mention it was cold? I wanted to keep moving, but like a good date, we were both hesitant for it to end. She told me her name and I told her mine and we both laughed and agreed our names marked us as old. “You’re about the same age as me,” she said. And I agreed. We had great chemistry. The kind that doesn’t happen very often for me. Someone I really connect with.

But then another puppy showed up and stole Betty’s attention away. I had to move on, and my new walking friend had to leave. She told me she had people coming over and she hadn’t even started getting ready for them. (This was before Covid Lockdown and social gathering was still a thing) She was an extrovert to my introvert. But a special one. The kind I connect with.

We said goodbye and now I regret that I didn’t get her details. Her number or a time to meet up again. But she was going away, and I haven’t seen her since. She was the equivalent of meeting the perfect guy when you’re single. Meeting him, flirting with him, connecting with him and then being too chicken to ask to do it again, another time. And so, he slips away. As she did, too.

Hopefully, we’ll meet at the park again. Until then, I’ll keep looking for a great fit for me and Betty. And talking to different people at the dog park. Because really, there are some interesting folks out there on walking Wednesdays.


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