Going to the Dogs
Going to the Dogs
Dogs are truly the ultimate ice breaker. Unlike humans, they don’t stress over every nicety and fret about the perfect introductory phrase or proper handshake. Canines simply bound right up, perform the (literal) sniff test and get on with the process of making your acquaintance straightaway.
So, thanks to our gregarious giant, Purdey, Victoria and I met our first group of American friends in a most unexpected manner.
One morning not long after landing in our new home, we were both feeling a bit (okay, massively) overwhelmed by the sea of unopened boxes and residual jet lag. Neither of us were particularly motivated to do anything except glug caffeine and stare at the scene that looked like the explosion of a storage unit. So, I decided we should take the dog for a walk. Or rather, being the gentleman that I am, I suggested that Victoria do the honors. She was very excited about it.
“I’m borderline catatonic and you want me to go for a jaunt in the desert?” she asked.
“Purdey’s big enough to throw a saddle on,” I offered. “You won’t have to walk at all.”
After giving me a look usually reserved for door-to-door solicitors, she gathered up Purdey and poop bags, and was off to…well, wherever our hound’s nose would take him. Which in this case, turned out be straight toward a very friendly Australian shepherd who approached with wagging tail and owner in tow.
As the dogs did the traditional intro dance, Victoria and the doggie dad (called Brian) got to chatting, and he suggested that she take Purdey over to a big area called “the wash” behind a local market.
“Me and a few other people meet there most mornings with our dogs,” he said in a South African accent. “You should come by. I’ve just left, but there are some others still there.” He pointed her in the general direction and off she went.
As Victoria approached “the wash”, it was readily apparent this was not a beautifully manicured dog park. It was basically a long stretch of dirt, rocks and overgrown foliage. But aesthetics were the least of her concerns. In her fatigued state, she was overcome by a vision of Purdey and herself being ambushed by a squadron of snakes and scorpions that were most assuredly lying in wait within every nook of the landscape.
But the imminent attack of desert creatures was momentarily forgotten when Purdey took notice of a group of people with their dogs about 20 yards away. Victoria let him off his lead and he dashed over to his new “pack.” As she walked toward the group, she thought she heard someone comment that he was unaware that wookiees could be kept as pets in the state of Arizona.
While Purdey romped with his new chums, Victoria was given a hearty welcome by the other pet parents, once again proving the theory that dog people possess an inherent awesomeness gene. (It’s science. Look it up.)
Another theory was proven that day, too: being open and receptive to novel experiences will almost always result in amazing serendipities. Not only were friends made, this meet-and-greet reconfirmed that America is a place where people are warm, welcoming and supportive of new people and ideas. It’s that spirit that inspired is to move both our company and our lives to the states, and it’s what keeps us here and thriving in our beloved Wild West.