I forgot to tell you the best part of our walk yesterday! You see, Charlie has this "thing" about shoes. She doesn't chew them up like some dogs, although I vaguely remember her ruining a couple pairs when she was a puppy. Thankfully she grew out of that stage quickly. No. Charlie likes to bring me shoes. But she doesn't just grab a shoe and sit in front of me with her tail wagging. Noooo. Charlie will take the very tip of a shoestring in between her front teeth, ever so gently, and with the shoe tenderly dangling from her teeth will begin to ascend the staircase, letting the shoe bang into each stair as she climbs to the top. And with each bang, I start giggling to the extent that by the time she's at the top, I'm in full-blown belly laughs. She then stands proudly in the middle of the living room with the shoe dangling mere centimeters from the floor, shoelace fully extended. And it's so god-damn adorable I can barely stand it!
I know that I encourage this behavior by laughing in the first place. Because she is able to illicit the laugh, hence attention, she will continue to do this as long as I continue to laugh. And that is just fine by me. It's cute and no shoes are harmed in the process. I truly believe that Charlie sees shoes as her "ticket to ride." When I put shoes on, we go somewhere. So when she brings me a shoe, I'm positive this is her way of saying she wants to go.
Which leads me to our walk yesterday. We walked past an older man resting on a bench with his shoes off twice; once on our way to White Water Park and then again on our way back. The second time he saw us, he engaged us in conversation and asked what Charlie's name was. I then learned that his dog, Peaches, who looked just like Charlie, had died a year ago. He was very happy to be able to pet another dog. And while I was chatting with him, Charlie innocently picked up one of his shoes and started prancing about with it. Being used to this behavior, I thought nothing of it, but then all of a sudden realized she just picked up some stranger's shoe! He started laughing and chased her in little circles to get his shoe back while Charlie thought that was the best game ever! He was really a good sport about it. And as we were walking away, all smiles, he thanked me and said "that was the best thing that happened to me all day!" How awesome is that.