Hank Williams Jr. and I met up with a couple of neighborhood kids this morning. Hank and I were out for our morning walk. The kids were making their way to the local elementary school. A girl and her younger brother - she about 10 years old, he about 7. She pushed herself along on her scooter while he walked beside her.
It was inevitable that we would meet since they were heading for the same corner, coming at a right angle to our route. Hank was eager to greet them and strained against the leash as we walked up the block.
At the corner, Hank stopped. The boy turned to me and I said, "he's friendly." Immediately the boy made to pet Hank's head, at which point Hank decided he was afraid of the boy and began to jump around and bark. I quieted Hank and instructed the boy to simply put his hand out to Hank's nose for the customary introductory sniffing ritual. Eventually the boy graduated to patting Hank's head, receiving a friendly lick in return.
The boy mentioned to me as an aside, "we have three black labs at home."
"Wow!" I replied, "that's a lot!"
"Yes, and four cats," he said.
"You have a zoo of your own," I observed.
He nodded in agreement. His older sister had been silently watching the encounter from a short distance away. She piped up at that moment, not wanting to miss a sisterly, though friendly, swipe, "Three dogs, four cats, and my brother."
We all laughed, and then the kids turned to continue their way toward school. But first, the boy said goodbye to Hank and then turned to me to bid me a quiet goodbye as well.
We went our separate ways, but I went with a warmer heart on this cold Spring morning.
Hope your weekend is warm and wonderful!