Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Ultimate Conversation Starter

Moving to a new city has not been easy for me. The combination of knowing nobody (besides my two roommates) and not having a serious job has made it almost unbearable at times. It gets lonely. And I love Ennis, but my dog can only comfort me so much. Human interaction is not only desired, it's necessary to my very survival here.

I admit: I'm not very brave. Meeting strangers doesn't come easily to me. I can go to the movies, a play, shopping, the library—all by myself. But bars? Restaurants? Not likely.

This is where the dog park has been my ultimate savior. Because what better conversation starter is there than to talk to someone about their dog? I mean, c'mon... everyone loves talking about their dogs, because it usually leads to them talking about themselves. People like that.

The important thing for me is to remember the human's name. I never have trouble remembering a dog's name. I still remember all of the puppies' names from my PetSmart Puppy Class, but never ONCE learned their owners' names. The same is true for almost every dog I've met. Sad. But I'm making a point not to be forgetful this time. So far it's paying off.

Ennis has made lots of friends, and I've definitely started good talks with people. Puppy play date, anyone?

This is Ennis and Barnaby. Seeing Barnaby at the park was a bit of a trip, and I got a tad over-excited. I love Aussies (obviously) and, well... he looks like a certain someone I also kind of like. His owner Ann was nice enough to take this and send it to me. Hopefully I'll see him again once it's sunny more.

Up top is the apple of little Ennis' eye: Holly. Her owners Tom and Nicole are really amazing, and we've agreed that our pups are pretty madly in love. Ennis is a bit of a player, with girlfriends all up the West Coast, from Malibu to Fremont to Oakland to Arcata... But Holly can hold her own.

Plymouth Pillars has some frequent visitors, and Ennis is lucky enough to see many of them regularly when the weather is good. Sarah with Harlow (um... Whippet mix?), Tony with Baxter (Burnese/Border Collie mix), Lou with Foxy and Bear (Shiba Inus), Chris with Rupert (Bassett Hound)—lots of people with precious dogs, all of whom seem just as eager to meet fellow dog lovers as I am.

In a city with nearly 45% more dogs than children, it would behoove a new Seattlite to pony up the bucks and get a pooch to help him/her mingle. Especially in Capitol Hill, where so many young people are getting their footing in the world and building up their sense of responsibility. What better way to do that—to help learn your place in this busy, complicated world—than with a warm smile and a friendly, "Wow, your dog is beautiful. Boy or girl?"

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