Based on the Compliments People Yell When I Walk My Dog, I Am Killing It!
One Woman’s Unexpected Rise to Neighborhood Influencer
It happens daily. Anyone lucky enough to spot me walking my teacup Yorkie-poo swerves from traffic, shrieking, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” Other drivers honk and flip the bird, but my admirers don’t care because this is akin to glimpsing an angel or Tom Hanks. They lean out. They click their tongues, like, Wow! Shirley at the office is not going to believe it. Such is my magnetism, even incognito, behind sunglasses, a mask, and a coat that resembles a packable down bathrobe.
The fact that I work all day from the same couch cushion as where I watch TV at night doesn’t affect the spiritual expansiveness that I exude. My very gait cheers people. “So happy!” they call out, hands cupped to their mouths. “Look at that prance!” It goes to show that bunions and plantar fasciitis are mind over matter, and positivity really does pay off.
I first started to notice the attention when my dog was a puppy. He could barely make it around the city block where I live because he weighed about two pounds and he inefficiently hopped like a deranged black bunny. People would gasp, even some of the “tough” guys with beards and tattoos who didn’t normally smile or say hello. They would clutch their hearts and make kissing noises. They would say, “Do you want to come home with me, you sweet thing?” The clamor had been an unforeseen consequence of these slow sojourns — which put me on public display an incredibly long time, my inner light a beacon. Plus, I was just so much better at walking than he was. The comparison was almost unfair.
To this day, people yell out, “Gorgeous! And I bet you’re friendly, too! Aren’t you? Aren’t you?” And you know what? I am friendly. On weekend nights, I almost never run away from the groups of young women who rush me as if I am one of the Beatles disembarking from grainy footage of an airplane. Some of them drop to their knees from the intensity of meeting me, while others shout “So cuuuute!” with an oomph that hints at the cocktails they’ve been enjoying. Regardless, I am gracious and polite. I even offer my dog as an emotional support animal, and I’m really nice about it when I pry…