A woman carrying a parasol to protect herself from the sun.
Minnie’s reaction: Very excited. She wanted to plaaaaaaaaaay. Which was strange — we’ve seen women at the park many times carrying umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. Is a parasol that different? Guess so if you’re a dog.
Related: Minnie has different reactions to wheeled human-powered transportation machines: She’s afraid of conventional bicycles, loves skateboards and scooters and wants to plaaaaaaay, and is indifferent to recumbent bikes.
Three Buddhist monks wearing saffron robes, jogging.
That was a first. Lake Murray parkgoers are a very diverse bunch, which is one of the reasons I like it. We see people of all races and ethnic groups. We see Orthodox Jews, Hasids, and Muslims in traditional garb. But we’ve never seen robed Buddhist monks at the park before.
They didn’t seem to be doing too well with the jogging.
Minnie’s reaction: Indifferent.
A woman walking 11 dogs.
More or less 11. About ten of them were similar size and color, more-or-less golden-retriever-like. The 11th was half that size, with long wiry fur, and trailing far behind them on a long lead.
Minnie’s reaction: Indifferent, thank goodness. If Minnie had gotten excited and the dogs had gotten excited, that would have been some kind of Disney live-action comedy movie starring Dean Jones, with dogs barking excitedly and leashes getting tangled and me ending up in the lake.
When I got home, Julie asked, “Was it Sonya?” “Who?” I said. “You know, the woman who petsits for us when we’re both out of town,” Julie said. “She does dog-walking too.” “I have no idea,” I said.
We’ve been using Sonia Shoemaker and her husband Dennis at Pet Pals for nearly 20 years but Julie is the one who interviewed them and the only time I’ve met either of them was almost that long ago, when we got our dates confused and Sonya came to the house early, while I was in the living room, finishing packing. I admit when I heard the key in the door and realized what was going on I kept quiet just to see what would happen when she opened the door and saw me there. She was gratifyingly startled. (Pet Pals does a great job, by the way. If you’re in San Diego and need a pet sitter, they’re the guys to call.)