On the way down to the front door of our building, a neighbor of ours said, "It's never a complete day unless I see Roscoe on the elevator." She even held the door for us as we went outside.
Just as we got to the sidewalk, we met a smiling homeless man who was opening one of those giant meat sticks they sell at 7-Eleven next to the cash register.
He pulled the plastic wrapper down and broke off about three inches of it.
"He's one adorable dog. How old is he?"
I told him that Roscoe was eleven.
"He and I are closer in age that I would like to admit. You know with dog years... Would it be ok if I gave a fellow old man a piece of this meat stick? Don't worry, it's not the spicy kind."
I nodded. He leaned down and placed the piece in Roscoe's mouth.
"His beard is as gray as mine. We old guys have to stick together."
WIth that he rubbed under Roscoe's chin as Roscoe chewed. As soon as Roscoe swallowed, he waved and walked away singing, "Roscoe, Roscoe, I love that name."
Of course Roscoe refuses to acknowledge that this is special in any way. He feels he deserves it. We make our way down to the park. In the park, off-leash, is his girlfriend, a bulldog named Sweetpea, and his pug friend, Nigel also running free. I let him off his leash and the three of them play for a while. He looked like a puppy running around panting and chasing Sweetpea as long she allowed him to chase her. Of course, if he got close, she would swing around and crush him to the ground with the whole front of her body.
While this was going on, an seven year old girl and her mother approached. The mother told the little girl that these were the kinds of dogs that chase parked cars and that's why their snouts were so flat. I smiled, even though I'm tired of hearing people say it. The little girl repeated the joke, not getting it, and stared at them in wonder.
After a moment, the little girl ignored the other two dogs and went straight for Roscoe. While the other two dogs watched jealously, she rubbed Roscoe's ears for about three minutes. Finally Sweetpea got too jealous and tried to push Roscoe out of the way, but instead licked his face while he got his ears rubbed.
I've never seen him happier.
For Roscoe, it's just that he finally got a walk that meets his expectations. All the other walks before this one have been different degrees of disappointment. I know he blames me for the rain, but I'm not sure if I get any credit for the sunshine.
He's asleep on my lap right now, snoring and yelping in that muted way that dogs do when they dream. I don't want to wake him up and calm him down like I usually do. I'm just hoping he's dreaming of the park.