The other day while I was out and about I stopped to have a cup of joe at a local coffee shop. With my drink in one hand and my laptop in the other, I scored a perfect outdoor spot to bang out a blog. When I came up for air otherwise known as needing to take a bathroom break courtesy of the grande soy latte I had just slurped down, I noticed a dude with a dog sitting at the next table.
He seemed harmless so I
told him asked kindly if he would keep an eye on my crap while I used the facilities. When I got back, I thanked the dude and threw myself back into my blog; except his dog had other plans. Barking as though the man’s best friend was offended I didn’t thank him too, I looked the mutt in the face and said, “okay, okay, I’m sorry. I should have acknowledged you also; so thanks for watching my stuff. Now scram.”
I turned to the dude and said, “I think he’s pissed at me. Sorry I didn’t make a fuss over him.”
I wasn’t really sorry, but what was I supposed to say?
The dude smiled and made a face as if he’s had this very conversation before. “Don’t mind him,” he replied. “He’s protective of me. And I guess a little needy.”
“A little? Ya think?” I said rhetorically with as much sarcasm as I could muster.
I once again turned my attention to the computer and continued to blog away until I was interrupted by the damn dog for a second time.
Bark. Bark. Bark louder. Nudge up near me. Get all up in my shit. Bark.
“Whatttt? Whaddya want? Quit bugging me.” I said to the dog.
At this point I was annoyed because A.) I don’t even like dogs and B.) I don’t even like dogs.
The dude seemed to be getting a kick out of my frustration. I wondered if this was some sort of shtick; like a way to talk to people. Maybe he uses the dog as his wingman to chat it up with chicks who like to drink coffee.
Alright. I’ll take the bait. I’ll play along just for the hell of it.
“So what’s the deal with your dog?” I said unpolishedly.
“Deal? No deal,” replied the dude.
“No, I mean is he like your sidekick? He goes where you go?”
“Well, yeah. He does go where I go. It’s just the two of us.”
Trying not to belt out my rendition of the 1981 R& B single, Just The Two Of Us, I used his reply as an open invitation to put on my unpolished interview hat and fire away.
Just the two of you? No family? Not married? No kids? You’re just a dude with a dog building castles in the sky? I couldn’t help myself. The song was stuck in my head.
“Nope.” He said and then began to spew out the bullet points of his life.
- Once bitten twice shy
- No kids (as far as he knows)
- Works hard. Plays hard. Travels (yes, with the dog)
- In the absence of a human companion, the four-legged canine acts as a perfectly suitable and loyal compadre
This was the moment I got curious which type of dude-with-a-dog he was. Was he the cool, free-spirited, uncle type dude-with-a-dog who jet-sets around the globe wherever, whenever and with whomever? ORRRRR was he more the weird, creepy, loner dude-with-a-dog who lurks outside coffee shops?
I didn’t stick around long enough to find out definitively because it didn’t really matter and I didn’t really care. However, it did trigger my brain to wonder what life would be like had I zigged instead of zagged.
For instance, imagine if you didn’t have kids; or a spouse. Imagine if you were responsible for no one but yourself; or in this case maybe only a dog. Imagine if you were just a dude with a dog who could come and go doing your thang without having to answer to anyone! Where would you be? What would you do? How would it feel? Would it be lonely or liberating? Have you ever wondered?
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… I’ve definitely wondered.
8 responses to “Just A Dude With A Dog”
Getting kinda heavy??? I think it would be lonely. ?
Was he a young guy? Sounds nice to be a dude with a dog and no responsibilities for a short time, however, probably lonely after a few years.
Great questions RC! And anyone who says that they haven’t sat back at some point in their adult life and asked those very same questions is full of baloney. I’ve zigged, I’ve zagged, and I’ve found, for me, that the beauty of life lies in knowing we won’t know what might have been, only in discovering what we can do to influence tomorrow. Having been on both sides (just a dude with a dog, and also a dude with a wife and family AND a dog), I can tell you as a man that we as people are built to have human companionship. We are not meant to be alone, which is why people who lack human companionship tend to end up with a dog/cat/bird/iguana, etc. to love. We are wired to give and receive love. We are wired to chase life in a way that will allow us to bask in the glow of a lifetime of memories and achievements that are shared with other people, even though some of the steps along the way we’re painful and seemed like never ending dysentery. Here is an analogy that probably makes it clearer: Lately I have been fixated on climbing a major mountain. In researching for this next potential feat of stupidity, I came to realize that no one enjoys the experience of each grueling step of climbing Everest, most of the journey sucks. But, it’s standing on the summit and looking down over the obstacles that were overcome, the difficult path that was taken and conquered, that’s what makes the journey worth it. Maybe “just a dude with a dog” needs to stop being such a pussy and get back in the fight…once bitten twice shy sounds like another way to say “I’m a chicken shit”. Just my two cents kid.
@SS nice synopsis and excellent analogy to boot. Thanks for your candor. And regarding your next potential feat of stupidity? Count me in! I love stupidity and it sounds like one quest this “chick” wouldn’t be “chicken shit” to conquer.
Yes Silver Unpolished… I did love your interview and objective contemplation of the lifestyle of the Dude with A Dog.
So SS… While I generally don’t comment on others’ feelings, in this case I do because I’m having difficulty distinguishing between what initially appears to be humble emotional expression, (with even some BITE to your delivery via an attempt at some eloquent aphorisms you either plagurized or perhaps quoted from somewhere.. double takes regardless.. B+’s at best..), and what seems to be life confusion on your part, as shown by your inappropriate attack on the dude with the dog, most contrary to the intital softness of your fragmented comments.
I have determined that I don’t want to severely discredit your life lesson to us all, but rather simply pull down your skirt, and bring your attention to how inappropriate it was to call this dude with a dog a pussy, you PUSSY. Have you thought that just maybe, this guy was so excited to have someone the caliber of Silver Unpolished, give him a shot at public recognition, maybe even brag to his friends and family, to then subsequently read YOUR BRILLIANT COMMENTS. Yes, he might have had some unrecoverable bumps in the road and yes he has potentially found companionship with a dog even (asinine to think only lonely people get dogs), but is he really a chicken shit? I’m curious. Who have you found prolonged successful companionship with? Honestly! Come on now, you can tell me.
Anyway… Everest, where each step is grueling, (good luck… stick with Ranier or Hood, they were challenging enough I promise), until WE reach the summit (come on, I’m right next to you), “looking over the obstacles we overcame to get here and realizing that it was all worth it”. That was great!!
My guess SS, as I reflect more on your assault on this dude, is that these summits will likely continue to be figments of your imagination frankly, and I question in your case if any major treks were ever really completed (no I don’t mean the mother’s day 1/2 marathon or the iron man that you blew out your hammy on). I mean the big ones. The ones that truly inspire people bro. If however you did have some major accomplishments, where did you take the U turn? Your words before were not those of a success, but rather the words of a novice.
In my own personal experience, and I too had similar arrogance and ignorance light years ago.. Now also married, kids, several dogs in my time, vast range of world experiences, and have viewed the planet from countless huge peaks.. I respectfully bring objective perspective. Note that I’m not playing Robin Hood, or defending the defenseless, or justifying the vast levels of societal complacency, I do however want to make clear that everyone has some “glow” as you stated before. For myself, once someone has done a truly measurble amount of “stuff” in their life and has exuded real range, you start to learn that it is about the ride and not only the peaks. That “most of the journey doesn’t suck” unless your life sucks. Additionally, as you grow and continue to evolve, you will also likely learn to respect the people who perhaps can’t make the climb as well as you, and become aware that your interpretation of them being “chicken shit”, is simply a mirror of the absence of true perserverance in your own core.
For me, I would define a successful “journey”, as one that yes unquestionably has some major accomplishments (I certainly hope you have had some of those), but also one that has created the wisdom to “really give and receive love”. BTW, your love for the dude with the dog was extraordinary.
In summary, before I get back to my 6 month training at high altitude with Sherpas to acclimate my body for the climb to Base Camp 4, I can certainly say that I walk away from your comments knowing that you have the courage to call someone a chicken shit and a pussy, and I think those words are most profound.
Oh yeah, as far as the bumps in the road big guy … I’m going to ask the Dude With A Dog to give you some guidance.
Just my two cents kid.
@B….. Welcome to the unpolished party! Your input is exactly the kind of banter I’ve been waiting for on this “lil-ole-blog-o-mine.” I report the news or story; and then encourage readers to chime in. I can only hope @SS catches your comments and gets back in the game. Why? you ask? Because it’s not nearly as fun if we all agree! Rather, providing a platform where what unfolds are two seemingly “alpha dogs” going head to head with opposing POV’s is well, quite frankly, unpolished nectar! I can’t ask for more than that now, can I? After all, isn’t that what a blog is supposed to be about anyway? **Cue the music: WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? [WHO,WHO,WHO,WHO] *** Hmm, I suppose by writing the post, Just A Dude With A Dog, I did! I let the dogs out!
However the real Coup d’état would be if the actual Dude With A Dog whom I met at the coffee shop would read both your comments, step up and help us all get to the bottom of it. Here’s hoping he didn’t throw away my business card after I told him I’m hardly a fan of dogs………… Alpha dogs not withstanding! Thanks again for your comments; your thoughts are always welcomed!
That was a great story. I really have to think about this.
Who the hell is SS? Talk about heavy?