There is a guy who lives around the corner from me who I always see walking my dog. The first time, he came up to me, and awkwardly asked if Buckley was my dog. I said yes. I didn’t think it was too weird, because I’m also obsessed with dogs, and like to stop and pet every one.

I saw him again, later, when I was walking B, and he was walking his dogs. He again awkwardly stopped to chat, and his dog growled at Buckley. I tried to get by as quickly as possible.

We passed each other on a few more walks, and he always stopped to talk to me, awkwardly. It’s worth noting, here, that he’s a short guy. I’ve already mentioned that short guys love really short girls, almost in a creepy, predatory way. So my guard was up – he keeps talking to me, and is it really about the dogs? I’m not sure if he’s just being a friendly dog person who’s really socially awkward, or if he’s hitting on me.

Later, I saw him on another walk. It was around 10 AM, and he told me that he had just come back from Prospect Park for off-leash hours. “Oh, fun,” I said.

Soon, a strange-looking person walked by, and Buckley flipped out and started barking, as he does. I was trying to hold onto my dog, and the guy started telling me how to handle him.

“Make him sit,” he said. “Rub his chest.”

Ok, dude, this is my dog. I know how to handle my dog. Please mind your own business.

We kept talking, and he told me that he had been up since 4 am programming. I mentioned that I had been up all night, too, but only because I couldn’t sleep.

“Why didn’t you come to the park for off-leash hours?” he asked.

I told him that I can’t trust Buckley off the leash. I explained that he runs away, and won’t come back. I explained that you’re not really supposed to let hound dogs off leash unless there’s a fence, because they get set on a scent and don’t listen well.

He told me that that wasn’t true. He said that there were plenty of hounds who come to the park and are just fine. He said I just needed to train my dog.

I started to explain that I had done a bunch of training with him, but he just didn’t really care about coming when he was called. He kept insisting that, no, actually, all I needed was to work with a trainer.

Ok. You’re probably right, friend. I don’t know my own dog as well as you do. Sorry I thought I did!

I just saw him again. I was sitting outside the coffeeshop, and he tied up his dog and immediately came up to me to ask if I’d keep an eye on his dog. It was kind of weird – like, people tie up their dogs outside the coffeeshop all the time, and they’re always fine. But, sure. Socially awkward and neurotic, or just looking for a chance to talk to me? Who knows. When he walked away, he told me that he liked my pendant.

I look forward to the next lecture.