Turns out, Coco/a is a reluctant walker. Going for “walkies” throws the majority of dogs into the spasms of a body-wriggling, tail-wagging happy dance, but this is not the case for Coco/a. I am determined to address and reverse this minor dog failing. With the blizzard behind us, snowdrifts and slush-filled roads ahead of us, I once again buckle on the leash and velcro up the dog’s faux sherpa-lined coat.
What should be a 20-minute walk from our College Hill home to the Brown University Bookstore begins with recalcitrant fits and starts. The hill looms large in front of us, but somehow, between sniffs, tugs, and much cajoling, we make it to the top of Prospect and Meeting Streets. We begin our downward decent to the bookstore. This, direction, for reasons known only to Coco/a appears to be mind-altering. She steps lightly and perkily. No one is a stranger — unless they approach her. We reach our destination, and Coco/a, nose the ground, makes a bee-line to the children’s book section. Books about dogs? Check. Leftover raisins? Check. Leftover Cheerios? Check. We just might be on to something here. Sated by the leftovers of previous — and oh-so-thoughtful — visitors, the dog sits patiently and supremely well behaved.