The Postscript by Carrie Classon
My husband, Peter, is trying to impress a local collie.
Peter knows better than this. He had a collie for many years. Collies are not easily impressed. They have their own priorities and their own agenda and if it happens to coincide with yours, you can pretend they did something on your behalf—but you’d be lying to yourself.
But Peter still loves collies. The current object of Peter’s affection is named Lassero and lives on a road Peter takes every day on his hike.
Peter met the collie one day when the dog was sticking his head through the curtains. Peter learned his name from the collie’s owner, and went on to assume he and the collie would be fast friends. Every day, as Peter walked by, he called out, “Lassero!” and the collie ignored him. So Peter decided he would start bringing treats.
Peter brought a cookie and put it on the windowsill. The collie did not come. On the way home, Peter checked the windowsill. The cookie was gone. Peter did this for several days running.
“Maybe Lassero’s owner is finding the cookies,” I said. “Maybe he is throwing them away!” Peter was not convinced.
Then one day, Lassero was at the window. Peter gave him a cookie. Lassero ignored it. Peter put it down on the sill. Lassero poked it with his nose. He eventually ate it, but did not seem excited.
“I don’t think Lassero likes cookies,” Peter concluded. The next day, he went out and bought corn chips.
“If he didn’t like cookies, he’s not going to like corn chips!” I told Peter. “He’s waiting for organic sun-dried beef chips.” Peter looked as if he was considering this.
“I could take chicken,” he said.
“You can’t take chicken on your hike!” I figured there wasn’t much Peter wouldn’t do to capture this dog’s affection.
Then Peter had an idea. “Popcorn! Dogs love popcorn even more than beef!”
Peter packaged up some popcorn and put it in his backpack. “Lassero!” he called. The dog did not answer. Peter left popcorn on the windowsill. On his way down, he checked. The popcorn was still there, but one piece had been moved. It was now in tiny, wet pieces. Apparently, Lassero did not like popcorn either.
Some dogs will do anything for affection. Some dogs will give you affection once they figure you’ve earned it. And some dogs are always going to play hard to get. I had a feeling that Lassero might not be in the market for more friends, but I didn’t want to break this to Peter.
And even though it sounds funny, it’s still a little sad. I’ve been ignored and ghosted by folks I thought were my friends. I realized—a little too late—they were not actually my friends. They already had friends, and I wasn’t one of them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dog or a person. The realization still hurts.
“You have lots of dog friends,” I reminded Peter.
And he does. There is Reacher, who he calls the “Reacher Creature,” a giant dog who jumps up in delight when he sees Peter. There is Bucky, who has very short legs and lies down on the sidewalk when Peter talks too long with Bucky’s owner. There are several tiny dogs who walk on his route every day and bark in excitement every time Peter goes by. And somewhere, just behind the curtains of his home, is Lassero, ignoring Peter every day.
“Lassero doesn’t know what he is missing,” I told Peter. And he doesn’t.
Till next time,
– Carrie Classon is a freelance writer and author and lives in New Mexico. Her columns appear each week.