Day 51 

I’m not really an animal person. I enjoy some animals.  Like dogs.  And puppies. And…

…well, I like dogs. I didn’t really like little kids before I had them, but they grew on me damn fast, and now some of my favorite people are children. I’m sure between the time my kids go to college and my grandkids are born, I’ll end up feeling the same way about dogs.

Anyway, I’ve been walking a lot with Sarah. She’s always ready when I’m ready, she never has to make a call or put on mascara before she gets in the car, and she never asks me to wait outside the bathroom for her.

Today the dog and I we went to Grover Cleveland Park in Essex Fells. It’s a really pretty park, but a loop around the pond, past the playground, and up beyond the tennis courts only takes half an hour. I don’t really like doing a loop twice in order to go my distance, but Sarah doesn’t mind. That’s another thing — dogs don’t complain.

Not only does Sarah not complain, she also doesn’t bark (except at the gas meter man), she doesn’t growl, she doesn’t snarl at other dogs. She’s got a sweet disposition.

As Sarah and I were doing a second loop through Grover Cleveland, I was internally complaining and quietly ruminating about a certain terrible person against whom I have a certain terrible grudge. I was really getting worked up. I mean, I really just hate it when people are mean and spiteful and hostile like this person I was thinking about tends to be.

My dog and I rounded a bend and a sleek, black Lab on a leash slowed and approached Sarah.

“Be nice,” his owner murmured.

The dog turned, and bellowed at Sarah. He snarled, and I’m pretty sure he snapped at her neck — like, at her jugular.

Sarah took a diversionary step away from the attacking Lab. She put her nose to the ground. She sniffed something she liked. She wagged her tail. And she kept going.

She didn’t break her stride. She didn’t turn and snap, she didn’t snarl. Sarah didn’t let this big, mean dog make a single dent in her day.

I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. But just to make it clear, here’s a picture of the plaque my great friend Laura gave me for my 50th birthday.  Between Sarah and Laura, I’m going to get this thing down. I swear I am.