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A Tribute to Mutts

Like snowflakes, each one is unique—and never to be seen again

When I walk our dog around the neighborhood, I often see a springer spaniel curled up on his front porch with his family. There’s a Pomeranian who lives a couple of blocks over, and a set of miniature dachshunds who greet us by howling, hurtling off their front steps, and flinging themselves at the fence like low-slung ninjas.

There are several glossy golden retrievers, and in the early fall evenings, they promenade with their people, their coats shining in the last of the day’s light.

Often I stop to chat with these fellow walkers. The conversation, of course, is mostly about the creatures at the end of our leashes.

“What a beautiful poodle!” I will say to a young mom and her daughter, as their dog prances proudly at their side.

“Oh—thanks!” the mom will answer and, seeking to respond in kind, will glance admiringly toward my feet to meet the eyes of our chubby little pooch, Coltrane. “Your … dog … is very cute, too.”

This is the subtle approach. Sassier kids in the neighborhood have been known to put it more succinctly: “What is that dog?”

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