A quarter of a mile from our house is a large open field where we like to play frisbee with Eisley. It is just far enough away that Eisley is out of sight of the squirrels who live in our front yard, but close enough that we can casually stroll down after dinner in our comfy clothes with full bellies and a rowdy pup.
A couple of nights ago we did just that; finished up dinner, harnessed up Eisley, and tromped down to the Big Field. By the time we got a few feet away, Eisley was tugging so hard I thought she was going to choke herself. She knows what field time means.
Eisley is an avid frisbee catcher. We never had to teach her how, she just instinctively knew that when a brightly colored floppy object goes soaring through the air, you chase after it, jump feet off the ground to catch it, then shake it around in order to convince it to never fly again. Then she trots back to us, drops the frisbee at our feet (sometimes we have to tug it out of her mouth), before she takes off after it again. Frisbee is pretty much the only thing that wears Eisley out, therefore, frisbee is our favorite Eisley activity.
After about 20 mintues of frisbee throwing and catching, sprinting and jumping, Eisley was so exhausted she could barely walk. That means it was time to head home. We clipped her harness back on (no tugging this time), and just as we started up the hill to our house, we see a little old lady with a cane walking down her steep hill of a yard towards us. In the non-cane-holding hand was a milk jug and a little dish.
"I have some water for you doggy!" she exclaimed to catch our attention. I smiled and met her half way up her hill, dragging exahusted Eisley behind me.
She was wearing casual shorts and a t-shirt (pretty much matching the Bowden clan), glasses and house shoes, and was grinning ear to ear. Toothless.
"You will have to excuse me. I already took out my teeth!" she chuckled. "They were bothering me, so... I took them out! Sorry!" She seemed quite amused with herself.
I smiled back at her, thanked her for the water and set the bowl down for Eisley. She started drinking enthusiastically.
"Your doggy is amazing! I saw you throwing that frisbee! How did you teach her to do that? I was watching from the window." She said it all in one breathe, very excited as a child would be describing a day at the zoo. Ross explained that Eisley is a natural frisbee catcher, and that we didn't "teach" her anything... she just does it.
Well the old lady loved that. She clapped her hands together, smiled her huge toothless grin, and said "Well how about that?! Is she a Cat-A-Hoochie? I've seen them on the TV"
At this, I almost lost it. First of all, no one EVER knows what breed Eisley is. But this old lady, well she was pretty darn close. Although no one has ever called Eisley a "hoochie" before.
"Catahoula" I told her. She smiled again, obviously proud of herself.
The nice old lady went on to tell us a few stories, apparently enjoying our company. She told us of the young man who came by on a bicycle and asked if he could use her hose to wash his car. She said yes. (A very generous old woman if you ask me). The next day the young man brought her a loaf of banana bread. She chuckled as she told us she just threw it away. "I didn't eat it, because, well, you just don't know!" she said with a wide smile.
She went on to tell us that the young man returned a few more times to borrow her hose, and after each visit would bring by a loaf of banana bread the day after.
"After I while I decided to eat it. I couldn't just keep throwing it away. And I figured, if i die... I die. It was pretty good banana bread." The whole time she was smiling and spitting (just a little, from lack of teeth I presume).
After a few more stories we started to leave and she insisted we take the jug and bowl with us. "I live alone and I have 12 bowls," she said. "Tell me, does that make any sense?" We thanked her again and turned to leave, and just as we did she clapped her hands with another big smile, looked straight at me and said "Wow! You just have the prettiest blue eyes!"
I could have kissed her.
"Doesn't she have the prettiest eyes?" she asked Ross. Ross looked at me and smiled, agreed with our new friend, and we started home.
Every day on my morning runs I pass by the little old lady's house and I think about stopping by... Spend a little time with her, hang out with her little white poodle I saw through her glass side door, take her some of my own baked goods. I wonder if she is lonely, or if she spends so much time watching "hoochie" dogs on TV and watching the world pass by her front bay window that she is content and happy in her solitude.