Tuesday, February 03, 2004


The Woman whose Dog Wears a Green Coat – Larrabee and North Avenue

She walks an Irish Terrier that has precise posture and
wears a forest green Polartec coat. When she sees us coming, even if we are a block
away, she will walk out to the street to avoid us. When she maneuvers her
dog, she pulls hard on its leash as if she’s saying, “I mean it!”

We crossed paths on the sidewalk by the corner of North and Larrabee.
She had just come around the corner, so she didn’t have a lot of time to
react. She tried to get her dog into the street, but a snow bank blocked her.
I pulled Boomer short on her leash as we passed, and I said, “Good
morning” as friendly as I could, hoping for a reaction.

She looked at me fiercely from behind the fur trim of her tightly tied hood.
Her face tensed and her eyes shined pale blue.

The Unshaven Man - Southeast Corner of Oz Park

A white-haired man walked a little dog with fur of the same color
when we met in Oz Park. The dog wore a striped coat and had a severe
underbite that kind of made him look like a piranha.

Boomer and the dog tangled leashes, but the man didn't seem to
mind. He was kind of delighted. "You have a friend. You have a great
friend," he said to his dog, but also to Boomer and me.

We chatted a bit and I told him about our trip to California and
boarding her at All for Doggies.

He said he usually gets someone to stay with his dog, but,
“To tell you the truth, I can’t stand to be away from her.” He did look
sad just thinking about it.

We said good bye and Boomer and I walked some more until we
found a glove. She picked it up and shook it like a mouse.

I looked back through the chain-link fence of the tennis courts
and could see the unshaven man just beginning to search for it,
his left hand bare while the right held the leash.

“Thank you,” he said when we caught up with him. He told me
that a few days ago he dropped his wallet out of his car while he
was getting gas in Evanston, and a NU student called to say that
she had found it. “So, this is my happy week!”

We untangled dogs and parted again. "Oh, you're going to
be great friends," he said as he walked off. "Just wait until spring.
Wait until spring."

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