Standing at the lights, Luke, Elsa and I waited for our walk signal. We were on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and heading home after leaving the beach. There was only one other person at the lights waiting. In the summer months, this particular crossing is usually packed but yesterday it was just us and one other guy. He was young, in his late 20s maybe and he glanced back over his shoulder at us when I told Luke and Elsa to wait. Then he did a double take and smiled, then laughed. Finally he said "is that the boy and she is the girl?" Pointing at Elsa as the girl. I wanted to say "you're smart," but I didn't. I said "yep." Then he apologetically said "I had to laugh, I've never seen a beard like that on a dog." I smiled because he was now smiling and talking about Luke. The guy admitted that he loved it and he thought that Luke probably loved it too. Very cute.
Just before the light turned green a young family approached and I heard "look at that dog Mommy." We got our walk signal and head across the street to the car and a much awaited drink of water. We love the beach so we take advantage of it as much as we can. As of June 15th you can only bring your dog on the beach before 9am or after 6pm until sometime in September. But the beaches will start to get much more crowded now that the kids are getting out of school so I don't mind missing the big crowds.
I don't think that we ever go out when I don't hear comments about Luke's Goatee. I had to laugh when one woman asked me "did his groomer do that on purpose?" Perhaps she thought that Luke's groomer had missed a spot? No matter, she thought that it was adorable when I told her that it was in fact done on purpose. Funny. If people don't come right up to me and ask about Luke's goatee, I hear it from afar. "OMG look at that dogs beard," "look how cute that dog is," "look at his chin hair" and many more. But it's not always the comments that let me know that people enjoy Luke's goatee; sometimes it is just an expression. Smiles, laughs and maybe the slightest glimmer from the stoic type let me know that Luke has made a connection.
Often the goatee throws people. Most folks don't know that my dogs are poodles from the get go because they aren't clipped in the traditional poodle clip. Add in some chin hair and their mind is completely boggled. I've even been asked "is this normal?" from someone perplexed by the chin hair. But it is the smiles that Luke elicits with his chin hair that makes me smile. Sometimes just looking at something makes you smile, doesn't it? I know that when I look at Luke's amazing face that I smile; but that is because I know the amazing dog inside. Although I too would probably smile even if I didn't know him. The fact that he can squeeze a smile from even the gruffest types is pretty cool.
For some reason Luke's chin hairs seem to make people happy and in this day and age that is a wonderful thing. Much like when people smile watches Elsa display her youthful zest for life. There isn't a great deal of thought or reason put into it, a smile just appears. It really is the little things in life isn't it? I watched a 5 month old puppy brave the waves yesterday as he charged in with reckless abandon. That split second of impulse made me smile.