The small-town, "everyone knows everyone" vibe here is great, too. The same people walk their dogs every morning, when the air is a little chilly and the grass is wet and cloaked with a layer of fog. And the same people walk them at night; no need to use reflective harnesses or clothing here - there are rarely any cars on the road. We make eye contact, smile, exchange sympathetic glances when one of us is kneeling to pick up after our dog. We know which dog to steer clear of on the sidewalk and which ones like to give sloppy kisses. Sometimes we even know the names of the neighbor's dogs and not the names of the neighbors themselves! We always pick up after our dogs, not only because it's the right thing to do, but also because our former gym teacher might see us out of his window, or because it might get stepped in by the lady who has cut your hair since you were 14.
I'm not sure about the other residents of this town, but I always look forward to the noon and six-o'clock whistle...because the neighborhood dogs go nuts! I crack up every time I hear one lone Beagle start howling in tune with the whistle, then slowly, the other dogs join in. I don't get annoyed by the resident Basset Hound's barking, if only because it makes Riley's ears perk up in the most adorable way (though the yipping Yorkie that visits every once in a while...that's a different story). I love taking Riley on walks past different houses and knowing I'll see the poodle's head pop up, the Pittie's nose nudge the curtains open, and I'll hear the Westie's low, gruff barks as soon as he hears the jingle of Riley's collar. It's always something fun to look forward to :)
How do you feel about your neighborhood's dogs? Are they friend or are they foe?