Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dog People

There are "dog people" and there are "cat people" in this world. There are a few "animal people" who love animals of all kinds, but when given the choice, most people seem to have a preference for either dogs or cats. (This premise was tested scientifically during a recent chorus rehearsal, when our director asked the chorus members if they tended to be either cat people or dog people. Most chose one or the other; only a very small percentage said "both".)

As everyone knows, dogs love to be taken on walks or runs with their owners. (Cats, not so much.) I went on a walk on a recent sunny afternoon, at Los Gatos Creek Trail, not too far from my San Jose home and was accompanied by numerous humanoids walking or running with their pets. Los Gatos Creek Trail is very popular with 1) dog owners and 2) bicyclists. In fact, without an animal companion, or a bicycle, I felt quite in the minority.

I think cyclists like the Trail because it is a long, paved, fairly flat asphalt trail that runs next to the creek. And dog owners like it because there is a very popular dog park a short way down the Trail. (This fact has also been scientifically verified, by way of my talking to some of the dog owners as they exited the park with their pets. I didn't speak with any of the dogs directly, but most appeared to be very excited to be there.)

Most of the cyclists I see on the Trail are muscular guys dressed in black cycling spandex, who pedal furiously to get their exercise, and practically run over "walkers" like me. But on my trek the other day, I noticed this one particular guy on a bike who was not like the rest. He was a middle aged, slightly overweight fellow, pedalling slowly down the path. And every once in a while, he stopped some dog owner and offered to give the pooch a treat. He was a doting dog lover, no doubt.

Except after a while, I noticed that he had a particular pattern, since he was pretty slow on the bike and I kept catching up to him. He never stopped male dog owners, only female dog owners. Young, slim, pretty female dog owners.

Maybe he has found that giving out doggie treats is a good way to meet members of the opposite sex. After all, who doesn't feel comfortable talking with a fellow dog lover? Maybe he has found that meeting female dog lovers gives him better results than online dating.

But it kind of left me wondering - if he truly is a dog person, where was his own canine companion?

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