Two men in my neighborhood own Bedlington Terriers. I know this because I have for months been seeing them walking their dogs near my house. And I noticed this because I’m fascinated by Bedlington Terriers, for while these dogs are fully canine they look remarkably like lambs.
All this time living at my current address, I’ve been nonchalantly watching these dogs, plotting my opportunity to unobtrusively approach an owner, strike up a conversation and, while doing so, pet a Bedlington Terrier. Today, walking home from errands, I noticed one of the Bedlington Men waiting for traffic at a street corner — the very street corner at which I had planned to cross. Patience had paid off! I walked up to the curb and casually glanced down at the seeming dog-sheep hybrid.
“Is that a Belington Terrier?” I asked.
“Yes,” the owner replied. Nothing more.
After a few moments, I had to say something or I’d lose him forever. “Well, it’s a nice-looking dog.”
He sorta-smiled. The traffic continued. God bless rush hour.
“What’s its name?” I asked, already at a loss as to how else I could trick this man into talking to me.
“Mary,” he said.
“Oh, like “Oh, like ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’?”
He looked at me like I actually said “Oh, like Mary, Queen of Scots?” or “Are you fattening her to eat her?” or “Do aliens sometimes talk to you through your freakish sheep-dog, you sex pervert?” His eventual response: “No, like the name.” As if it’s typical for people to give their pets plain people names like Mary or John or Susan or James. At this point, we were now both crossing the street. The window opportunity was about to slam shut and break all my fingers.
“I just thought because she kind of looks like a little sheep…” I began.
We hit the corner and he went straight when I would have to go left. “No, it’s a dog,” he said, correcting a mistake I hadn’t actually made. And the little Bedlington Terrier — who I know would have loved me so much — trotted out of my life forever on little lamb legs.
Of course, I’m crushed. Not only does the owner think I’m crazy, but I actually also think he’s crazy to the point that I don’t think I will ever want to talk to him again, even if he and I and Mary the Bedlington Terrier (not a sheep) were all to duck into the same bomb shelter during a nuclear war and ended up the three last humans-and-one-canine (not a sheep) in the world.
But just to illustrate that he is crazy and I am not, please allow me to use a visual aid.
This is a Bedlington Terrier:
This is a lamb:
This is another Bedlington Terrier:
This is another lamb:
Here’s a side-by-side:
Why must all Bedlington Terrier owners be mentally ill? (Yes, this is what I have taken away from this incident.)