every dog i pet in 2016
1.25 ~ ~ full
i’m already running late for work and as i step out from my apartment building and look up the street trying to remember where i parked last night, i see a woman who i’ve met a few times while drinking on the front stoop with jake late at night. sometimes she comes out to take her small brown pupper to use the bathroom and jake and i say hi to her and talk in baby talk to the dog on their way out and back in. i don’t remember either of their names now but i say hi in a way i think is probably too friendly for the few times we’ve met. her dog is wearing a small blue sweater and playing in the snow and this will probably be the only time i genuinely smile all day.
3.8 ~ ~ new
tonight is my first tinder date in tucson. we meet at a dog-friendly bar. sara buys the first round of drinks, and while we’re at the bar ordering it seems like she’s friends with most of the people behind the counter. we find an open table and sit down and talk about what she’s going to school for and why i moved to tucson. while we’re talking a small-medium prince charles puppy walks up to our table and stares up at us. we both pet him enthusiastically and the person on the other end of his leash talks to us for a little bit. the pup’s name is finigan and holy shit this dog had these round, bulging eyes and i want to cry just remembering them.
i got the next round and after that she invited me back to her place. when we got there we were met at the door by 2 barking doggos. one was hers, a dark brown/reddish wiener dog mix who really doesn’t like guys. sara said he was a rescue pup and used to have a very abusive owner. she said charlie is really productive of her and once bit her ex in the butt while they were fricking. the other dog was her roommate’s lemon beagle named sashi who is one of the most sweetest dogs i’ve ever met. sara said one of her other roommates had 2 big doberman pinchers but that roomy had left for awhile and had taken the dogs with her.
3.31 ~ ~ third quarter
luna and ryder!! sara’s roommate is back home and these are her 2 doberman pinchers. they both big and intimidating but so gentle. ryder is brown and always wears a bandana and luna is gray and completely deaf.
6.20 ~ ~ full (summer solstice)
i went to a park with e.e. and charlie to watch the sunset. hp and tom, artists from london who have been living at boost house this month, came too. for the past few days there’s been a lot of rain and wind and this small park looked almost post-apocalypitc with fallen trees and debris scattered all over. it was raining lightly and the way the sun was setting amongst the storm clouds made it look like the world was truly ending. we sat on a bench next to a fallen tree and watched charlie do her dog thing. another dog came up and started trying to play with charlie, but she didn’t seem to be in that friendly of a mood and started barking. the dog was tan-ish and almost medium sized and looked part deer. the dog’s owner came jogging up and said “sorry, jax is just looking for a friend” and then led him away. a little later someone else showed up with 2 large fancy-looking poodles, one red and one gray. we all went over to talk to the owner and play with the dogs, who ended up being named chili and liger. another person showed up with almost identical looking small white and brown dogs who were sisters named solé and luna. charlie was suddenly in a much friendlier mood and jax showed up again and all 6 doggos played together for what seemed like a really long time until it got too dark out and we all had to go.
9.2 ~ ~ new
i had a dream i was petting 3 dogs and woke up really disappointed that it was only a dream.
8.18 ~ ~ full
alexandr and i were having a “work party”, which is basically when we hangout in the same place but work on our own things on our computers. we decided we needed coffee before we started so we went to the coffee shop where they work. while we were there a man w a brown dog that looked like a younger and more muscular version of scooby doo came in and sat in the back. at one point the man got up to get a cup of water and the dog started giving little barks and prancing around like it was afraid he was going to leave and it was extremely cute and endearing. on our way out we walked past them and i bent down to pet the pup and it bit me gently and held my hand in its mouth as if to say “please be nice, i only want nice people petting me.” i gave him a small chin scratch and then left.
9.18 ~ ~ waning gibbous
steve and i were biking home from the gym and when we got to our apartment complex a medium yellow lab/pit bull mix (maybe, not completely sure) without a collar ran out of the parking area and around the corner. i put my bike against a wall and followed it around to a gate with vertical bars. there was a black lab behind the gate. i bent down and pet the yellow dog. it was skittish at first and seemed afraid of my hands but it warmed up to me v quick. the black dog started to whimper a little so i walked over to the gate and pet it and it was really friendly. the yellow dog followed me over to my bike and then turned around and walked over by the gate again. i put my bike inside the apartment and went back out. the yellow dog was trying to get itself thru the gate but it kept getting stuck. when it saw me walking up it ran over by me and started doing little jumps. the black dog started barking and whimpering again and the yellow dog went over by it. i went and walked around my apartment complex trying to find someone who was looking for a dog but had no luck. a car slowly drove past me and stopped and i asked if they were looking for a dog but i think they misheard me bc all they said was “good luck.” when i walked back over by the gate the yellow dog was on the other side of it and playing with the black dog. i pet them both thru the gate and then went back home.
Joseph Parker Okay is the author of 3 books, including “every time i park my car i feel like i’m doing something wrong” (a winner of Nostrovia Press’s 2017 Chapbook Contest). He’s the founding editor of Spy Kids Review and 2Fast2House. He tweets @verysoftlake.