Pet project

Tillie takes the lead as a conversation piece
Blog, tweet, app, text….. If you’re reading this you are probably into 21st-century communication in a reasonable way.

But let me ask: Are we perhaps in need of reminding of the joys of simple one-on-one contact?

If so, I suggest one-on-dog commitment. Stay on this leash for a couple of hundred words.

Bold in a cheeky sort of way in since primary school, I am the sort to initiate chatting with most people I meet either on a street or in a park. “That university sweater you’re wearing . . . I have not only been there but was booked for speeding as I approached the entrance . . . ” Such opening gambits are my stock in trade.

For nearly a year I have often had a four-legged aide to the business of meeting and exchanging a few minutes of conversation. Especially with dog owners. Our young friend Tillie is forthright, to put it mildly, in approaching creatures of either two or four legs.

She has a face and manner to launch a dozen questions such as “How old? What breed?” “We’re not sure,” I answer. “She’s a foundling.”

From such beginnings I often learn about people’s loves, life’s travels and maybe too the sad days when their previous dog was lost or became so ill that one last trip to the vet was arranged through a veil of tears.

No app is needed for such warm interaction. The text is merely verbal. I lock on to the speaker’s eyes and digest the highs and lows that have blown in the wind.