She's not much taller than a bar stool and is trailing a monstrous white dog on a thin wire leash. The dog's weight is so mighty he waddles, and the woman can do little more than follow in his meandering path. Which is heading right for me.
I say "Hi."
The dog stops walking and this woman starts talking. Fast. About how she was going to do laundry today, but noticed I was busy at mine, so she went grocery shopping instead. Yaddada Yaddada.
I'm enjoying her manner of speech. She's from Houston and her words roll one into the other, liltingly. It's lovely. Each well-formed word morphs into the next quickly, without hesitation, without corruption.
When she stops, I want to hear more, so I ask about Mr. Waddles, who must, I think, be quite old.
Never did I expect this story:
Storm, his name, is a 9-year-old wolf/huskie mix trained in Afghanistan as a munitions sniffer. He saved lots of lives there, and got a Purple Heart.
After his military service, he was used in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and helped locate the bodies of 133 people. His owner, a U.S. Army Colonel, is friends with Donna, her name, and gave her the dog when he could no longer take care of him.
And, Donna rattles on, Storm's not fat nor does he waddle because of his weight. His skeletal fame was altered, she says, as a pup during munitions training. He was walked on a short, tight lead, that held him back so he could feel trip wires. So, he learned to waddle.
It's getting dark, so we part with plans (that we broke) to have coffee in the morning.
Now, I don't know how much of this is true. I can't confirm a thing on the Internet. But I do know Donna and her husband love this dog, and use his image as their company logo. So I took a picture of the logo. That much is true.