Every Saturday night as I lock up the shop and leave the back door around 6:00, there is a reddish brown dog laying on the sidewalk, He has a face the shape of a fox and is timid and shy. His owner must be downstairs having dinner or his work week's ending beer. The dog lays patiently, waiting for his owner to exit the restaurant. For the first couple of weeks, I talked with the dog. He kept his distance and his tail firmly tucked between his back legs. I didn't touch him. The next week or two, I gave him dog treats. He wouldn't take them from me, but I would lay them on the sidewalk and as I said goodnight and walked away, I could hear him eating them. Tonight, I closed the shop late. It was a warm evening and lots of people were out, so I stayed open. Phil worked with me. For a few moments, I was laughing and talking with Frank, from the next door tee shirt shop, when into the open doorway stood the dog! I went to him and said hello. He looked at me, let me pet him ( ! ) and then waited for his treats. He wouldn't take the dog cookies but walked to the back door and waited for me to put them in the usual spot. I went back inside as he ate the cookies and waited in the lobby, once again talking with Frank. The dog came to the door again and looked at me, wanting something. Frank and I went to the dog, where he let both of us pet him, tail firmly stuck in its' usual place. I could read his mind, that little red- fox dog, " I need a drink, " he spoke loudly and clearly. I filled a bead dish with bottled water and he drank it in the doorway to the lobby. After finishing, he went back to his sidewalk space, lay down and waited for his owner.
So who has grown used to the other? Me to him or him to me? Which is the better trained of us? Saturday night and my little friend has grown comfortable with me and I am delighted that friendship comes in many forms.