Every morning I go for a walk in the neighborhood. Only my "neighborhood" isn't in the suburbs - it's more of a farming community. I walk down the road. Or rather, up the hill, down the next road and back.
Through coffee farms, leche orchards and finally turn around at a former chicken factory. I encounter wild turkeys, chicken's crossing the roads and various cats and dogs. Cars pass at times, all giving the "hang loose" sign as they pass.
On the first morning, I called Joe - whom used to live next door - asking him "Where the heck is my dog??" "She's missing her walks with her Auntie". Dakota (Joe's golden retriever) is now in Arizona with Joe. I have not met the new couple next door - I hear they have two dogs. They aren't very friendly - I've heard that about the dogs. From what I know, the people aren't too friendly either.
I sent the neighbors a text letting them know I was their neighbor for the summer and to let me know if they needed anything. First reply: "Thanks, but we are fine" Okay, I thought. Second text: "Thank you so much! Please do the same" I then responded my Granny was in town, but we should get together when she leaves. Not the fun people I was hoping for next door. Oh well.
Yesterday was morning number three. I'm on my morning walk and a dog appears - one I've never seen before. It's a Golden Lab. He has a collar, but no tags. He won't let me get close enough to him to see if his collar has his number in the stitching. He did sniff my hand. So we go on our walk, just like I do every morning.
About half way up the road I turn on, there are people in the middle of the road. One lady with a dog. A man and a woman drinking their coffee. Now, I know all the dogs in the area, but very few of the people. When I see the other dog, I let the people know I'm not sure if this dog is friendly or not - I just found him. "Is he Joe's dog, someone replies?". "No, Joe moved to Arizona replies the lady". "I know, I called Joe yesterday morning telling him I was missing my dog to walk.
I learn Shelia has the dog and lives around the corner. I reply, "Are you missing a dog?", "Yes, that one went to another house - he had been staying with me for a while. We determine it's not Anthony's dog (the mean dog house that had puppies last summer - this dog is too old to only be a year old).
I continue on with my walk with the dog and we are headed back down the hill towards the house. We (meaning me and my dog) run into Mary and Michael - the couple that had been in the middle of the street. We talk some more, and I explain I'm here for the summer.
Mary replies, "What are you going to do?". "Well, I work from home, so I work and my teenage sons will be here soon". She asks, "Would you like to go rowing?" "We go on Tues, Thurs and Sat morning. It's all donations". "Yes, Yes, I would. I've wanted to do that, only I haven't these past summers. I'm also grounded from the surf board, so my goal was to row this year (outriggers in the sunset)". Perfect. Okay, it's Tuesday morning at Keahou." Mary then explains some more details, cost, etc. I let her know I had looked it up. "Oh, so you really do want to row". Yes, I do. "How about if I pick you up and we can ride together." "That works for me - oh I'll be gone on Thursday". "That's okay - at least after you are there once, you will know more".
Smiling as I'm walking back to the house, my dog turns off at the path to the house next to Joe's. One just East, on the same side of the road. I little shack of a house. I've never seen the people, the house or the dog.
This morning, I run into Shelia. "Did you ever find out where that dog lived?" "Yes, it went into the yard one East of Joe's". She replied, "That's funny, I've never seen that dog before". I replied, "That is kind of how I was feeling, like I had made the dog up, I'm so glad you, Mary and Michael actually saw the dog too". "I was beginning to feel like I had imagined the dog". She smiled.
The people whom are staying in my house sent a text yesterday asking a couple of things (She may take piano lessons while in our house). I was telling her I was going to go rowing with some of the neighbors I had met.
She replies "How do you do that? Go meeting the neighbors up the street?"
"Well, you see, I was walking my dog.....