Mosby, who has some kind of hound in him, was finding particularly fascinating aromas this morning, and Pepper (the little chihuahua mix) was trailing him because he needs to pee wherever Mosby pees, to mark his territory and try to prove that he, not Mosby, is the alpha male. So I was chatting to Angel while we were waiting for them. I find her a most appreciative audience--she looks at me adoringly, hangs on my every word, and wags her tail encouragingly--I wish my husband still did that! (The hanging on my every word and looking at me adoringly while I speak part ... he doesn't have a tail ... just so you know... :D )
The talk went something like this: "Isn't this just typical? We women get the job done and are ready to move on, and the boys are just dilly-dallying." (Tail thump, thump.) "I need coffee. Mosby, come on ... He's blowing me off. Did you see that? That must be something really interesting he's smelling. Okay, come on now, I haven't had my coffee yet. Mosby! Now he's starting to tick me off. You wouldn't do that to your momma would you?" (Thump, thump.) Mosby! Don't make me come over there! What part of 'come here' don't you understand?"
Right about then, Pepper (my protector) dashed by me, got into his fierce dog stance and started growling. I looked behind me to see a woman whom I've never seen before standing there, apparently a neighbor from up the other pipestem. She was staring at me with a funny look on her face. At this point in the story I should probably mention how I looked: When I get the paper in the morning this time of year I usually just put my husband's long parka over my pj's. It's way too big for me, so the arms flap past my hands and I pretty much swim in it. It's also very warm, which I didn't need this morning since it was 54 degrees out, but I didn't realize that before I went out. (I mean, it is February in Northern Virginia, it's not supposed to be warm in the morning!) Also, since I don't expect to see anyone, I just go up looking like I do when I roll out of bed.
"Hi," I said, and she smiled that strained, polite smile some people give in situations they'd rather not be in. In the meantime, Angel--who loves everyone and therefore thinks everyone loves her--had run up to her and was doing her best smiley-face and wiggle-butt routine at the lady's feet. Angel's recall if she thinks she may get some attention from someone new is about as good as Mosby's on a scent trail, and this woman didn't seem like a dog person, so I headed toward her to get Angel. That's when I saw a faint glimmer of fear pass through her eyes and it hit me -- this woman thinks I'm looney tunes.
And I couldn't say I blamed her actually. Looking at it from her point of view: She comes upon a woman wearing a heavy, old oversized parka, pajama bottoms and slippers on a warm morning. Bedhead hair is sticking out every which way and she has dogs running all around her. Not only that, from where she was standing it probably looked like I was talking to myself. I looked like a crazy bag lady who had lost her shopping cart.
Embarrassed by my appearance, and to try to put her at ease, I said, "Don't mind us, we just came up to get the paper and I was having a little conversation with the dogs," thinking she'd feel better that I wasn't talking to myself--I was talking to my dogs. At which point she nodded, said "Uh-huh," and started walking away. "Have a good day!" I called out to her retreating back.
I looked down at the three of them, who had by now all rejoined me, ready to go get breakfast. "That didn't seem to make her feel better," I said. "Doesn't everyone have conversations with their dogs?"
Thump, thump, thump.
Guess she won't be coming to this year's neighborhood holiday cookie exchange if it's at my house!
It's going to be in the high 60's today! I've had my coffee, brushed my hair, and now I'm taking advantage of the weather and heading outside to sand furniture. I should have some projects to share with you in a couple of days!