Tuesday, 27 March 2007
Perfect Timing - The Etiquette of Dog Walking
Have you noticed that when dog walking you often pass the same people, with their dog[s], at the same time, in the same place, every day? Some people are naturally friendly and stop to chat for a few minutes and let the dogs have a gambol and lark around. Some folk just want to give a polite but short greeting. No stopping for them. It's the latter people I find difficult. You can see them coming down the track. How close before you smile and say "Good Morning" or "Fresh this morning" and at exactly which point do you go for eye contact? Where should you look in the meantime? What will be an appropriate comment today in the allowed time? If they're too far away they may not hear properly. Too close and we've passed each other before they've had chance to make their polite response. As soon as I see them I re-run through the last few days comments [ I don't like to be predictably boring]. Reviewing today's weather and/or forecast and start mentally to rehearse my chosen phrase. Just as he/she is approaching I try to measure their steps with my chosen greeting. "Beautiful morning" and a grin. "Yes, rain forecast for tomorrow" he replies and we have passed on our separate ways. The timing is everything - it's all very tricky.