Our neighbors are a friendly enough bunch. We have a Crime Watch Program. Most of us know the people that live in the houses close to us, but it’s a long street and a diverse group of elderly, empty nesters, families with teens and a few parents with elementary school kids. Across the street from us, there’s a long narrow drive and a few houses tucked back from the road. Other than a friendly wave on garbage day when cans appear on the main street, I seldom see these folks. That was before Stella.
Even before she became the newest member of our community, the promise of her had caused an unexpected phone call from these distant neighbors. They want to know where to look for a dog. Actually, this was not an unusual request for me. Over the course of a few years, I had fostered a myriad of dog breeds that I had walked through the neighborhood, some for a few days or weeks, others for months. These pooches had caused me to become a curiosity. I am sure this parade of furry friends had inspired people to think of me as “the dog lady.” So it wasn’t uncommon for someone to contact me for help in finding a new canine pet. And even though I stopped fostering after adopting Shadow over five years ago, my reputation appears to live on.
I gave my neighbors some tips and soon a chocolate Labrador appeared. Since Stella’s appearance in their lives, I have been invited into these neighbor’s house on several occasions. These folks have been keen to schedule play dates between my dogs and Stella. They don’t just wave anymore, they emerge from their house to chat.
I have no doubt that this blue-eyed furball of energy has sparked a level of friendship with these neighbors that would never have occurred otherwise. I have conversed with these people more in the last three weeks than in the entire 12 years we’ve lived in this neighborhood. Dogs are an amazing catalyst and you never know what kind of good will they will leave in their wake.