Good dog bad dog

Yesterday I was walking through my neighborhood listening to my iPod (System of a Down’s “Mesmerize”) and feeling friendless and alone. I heard a dog barking and two little girls shouting, and I looked up from gazing at my navel to see a large-ish black German Sheppard running towards me, a leash dragging along the sidewalk behind him.

The two little girls were about 10 (I’m a bad judge of age) and were chasing after the dog, but they were far, far behind him and the dog showed no signs of slowing down. Dog’s tongue was hanging out, his tail was wagging, he looked like he was just playing, actually. The girls were shouting and laughing for the dog to stop.

The dog got to me and, since I was a stranger, ignored me and tried to run past. I looked at the girls and then put my foot out and stepped on the handle and the leash started to pull from the spool (it was the kind that winds up into the handle). The dog felt the pull, and slowed to a stop, panting hard from his run.

The girls ran up and fell over the dog, laughing hard and telling him he was a bad dog (but from the tone of voice they weren’t mad – they were likely glad that the dog hadn’t gotten away). They thanked me, briefly, but mostly paid attention to the dog, as they caught up his leash and led him back home.

That was the last time I did something nice for someone, I think. At least more than just holding the door or something small. It felt good. It made me smile.