Monday, June 04, 2007

Pit Bull Encounter


Tonight I went to the gym and then to an amazing take out place in midtown called Organic Harvest. On the way home, I turned a corner and found myself behind a man in a tee-shirt and shorts walking five dogs. He was probably in his forties, had grey hair, a grey scruff, and for whatever reason set of my gaydar.

He seemed to have control of his dogs and, as one dog stopped to urinate, he was able to make room on the sidewalk for two young business studs in suits headed our way. Probably headed from happy hour and annoyed at having to go single-file to pass the dogs, one of them, a spiky haired blond with a yellow shirt and red face, turned and said to his friend, "they're terrifying dogs" and shot a look of disgust at the man walking the dogs.

"Fuck you," immediately retorted the man in the shorts and tee-shirt.

I was passing the dogs curbside, on the side opposite the suits, just as the the man turned away from the two and toward me. He caught my eye, angry and ready for me to say something.

"That's nice, huh?" I said and held my palm out to one of the dogs as I passed. Looking back, the man probably thought I was admonishing him for swearing. He must have realized I wasn't when I reached to his dog.

"Yeah, he was the terrifying one. The jerk. My pits are the nicest pits in Manhattan, maybe not the city, but definitely Manhattan," he said as we came to a stop at a don't walk sign.

I hadn't even noticed that the dogs were pit bulls. I see so many dogs in NYC, maybe I've stopped registering them. Even the large cream and brindle male I held my palm out to never made it to my brain as a pit initially. I guess the first thing I tend to notice about a dog is whether it's friendly or not.

That brindle pit must have decided that smelling my hand wasn't enough. As I stood at the light he walked very close to me, sat down, leaned into me, and looked up with eyes begging to be petted. I couldn't deny such a sweet face. It's a very kind dog that will get close to an unfamiliar human and gently ask for attention. I almost got weepy observing the contrast between assumption and reality.

I told the man about my dog, Lady, and he told me about some dogs in the neighborhood like her. He was a very nice man and a dog lover and it was a nice encounter with his pit bulls.

Now it's time to walk my dog. Let's go Lady.