We took Buddy for a walk in Valley Forge park today. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since long before we got him, having seen countless people happily walking their dogs along the path every time I drive through there.
Buddy, as always, was crazy excited- bouncing around like a wind-up toy and sniffing everything with the fascination of a two year old. He loved the long grasses on the side of the path a little too much and we had to keep reining him in for fear of ticks and whatnot. Needless to say, we didn’t get to cover much distance.
We had just rounded a curve in the path when we heard a very loud, very deliberate screech of brakes on a bike tire- the kind of thing you hear when someone is trying to hurriedly come to a stop to avoid hitting something. We looked up to see what had happened.
A young woman was running- running over to us, removing her bike helmet as she came. She only had eyes for Buddy.
“Oh my god! He is the cutest- what kind of Dog is this? Oh my god!” she said, bent over to look at him.
We rushed to give his usual introduction: “This is Buddy, he’s a toy poodle.”
Buddy gave his usual greeting: bouncing around and making quick, short sounds with his open mouth and wildly flailing tongue- the sound that is not a bark or growl or any other distinguishable noise.
“Hi Buddy!” she cooed at him. “Can I pet him?” she asked without stopping to see if it was ok. We were fine with it anyway, we wanted to test out our training, see if he could behave appropriately when greeted by strangers.
She pet him, cooed at him, marveled at him as he jumped up and down in front of her like a spring. We just stood and watched, amazing at how excited she was. She might have been more excited than he was, actually.
The power of Buddy: stopping people dead in their tracks!