We discovered quickly that we learned the names of the dogs at the park very quickly, yet we know none of the people's names. There are Carlos and Emma, the poodles, Timmy and Bobby, the miniature schnauzers, Muffin, the golden retriever, Blue, the chihuahua, Duchess, the shih tzu and Toby, the labradoodle, among many others. I know all of these dogs, and I recognize their owners, but don't know the owners names. And they know Benson. Lots of people know Benson. Today, I was taking him out for a walk, and we were walking through the gate at our condo complex. A man looks at Benson, waves at him, says hello, and calls him by name. Here is the strange part. I don't remember this guy. He is not a dog owner from the park. I described the guy to Erin, and she didn't remember him. We must have met him at some point, but only once, and apparently very briefly, maybe in the elevator. Benson is becoming quite a celebrity around the building and around the park. Maids, nannies, dog owners and others... the boy makes an impression. There is one maid that we see most afternoons who walks a Westie. Every time she sees Benson, she starts calling his name and waving at him ("Ben-Son! Ben-Son! Ben-Son!"), from across the park, until I bring the boy over to say hello to her and the Westie. Other reports from the Benson front: there are grates in the parking lot, narrow things that drain water, and Benson insists on either walking around them, to the narrow piece of the driveway where the grate stops, or he gets a running start and jumps over them. I guess he is getting used to walking on a leash in a new environment. When we take him to the park, he also insists on sniffing every lamp post that we walk past, which is a little tedious, since they are placed every 20 feet or so.
Also, anytime I eat a peanut butter sandwich or a pop tart, he sits next to me and barks until I share with him.