One of the wonderful things about the weekend is that we can walk Pippin until he drops. I must have walked him 4 to 5 miles on Sunday while Susan and the girls probably chipped in 1 or 2, too.
During an evening walk with Pippin, he and I met an older couple walking a miniature Schnauzer.
“What a cute dog! What is he?” asked the woman holding the leash for the gray and white Schnauzer, whose hair, the woman admitted, was a little more grown out than usual for the winter.
“He’s a Lakeland Terrier,” I said.
“What’s his name?” she asked.
“Pippin,” I said. “He’s about five months old.”
“Really?” she said. “Well, this is Merry, like the Hobbit in the ‘Lord of the Rings.’ ”
My jaw hit the ground.
Another like soul. In fact, the name Pippin was her second choice and would be the name of her second dog, when she and her husband got another one. Merry seemed a little more appropriate for a female Schnauzer, I thought.
She told me her son was looking for a dog a little bigger than a Schnauzer. The Lakelands, which get no larger than about 17-20 pounds, would be the perfect size she said. And she was genuinely excited about the “Lord of the Rings” connection, too.
“I’m going tell my son that we saw a such a cute dog, a Lake-land, and that his name was Pippin. He’ll be tickled!” she said.
Sunday was such a busy day. I washed and Susan braided both the girls’ hair. We washed and folded just about every item of clothing they own. We cleaned, shopped, cooked. I had just finished putting a bird in the oven to roast for dinner before I went on that walk. Left alone to fight Pippin over his new bed, which he wanted to chew, and finishing preparing the chicken and cleaning up the kitchen while Susan took some much needed time to work on her term paper, was making me tense. The girls? Off upstairs playing.
I was not in a good mood.
But that brief encounter lifted my spirits. And it made me appreciate the beautiful day and what being a dog owner brings: an opening to meet some really nice people.