THE BLOG
02/25/2014 06:15 pm ET Updated Apr 27, 2014

A Letter to the Woman Walking Her Dog in My Neighborhood

Don't worry.

I swear on whatever book you find inspirational that it's not anything weird, but I see you nearly every single day. From the unforgiving wood of the seats surrounding the kitchen table or from my plush office armchair in the next room over, I watch you solemnly walk your spritely, off-white dog Sunday to Saturday and then over and over again. You walk her in the face of a mid-winter's snow, in the downpour of a sweet-smelling spring rain and in the obnoxious heat of an early August afternoon. You and your pooch have become more reliable than the mail carrier who once promised to brave all kinds of weather to faithfully deliver our old-fashioned spam.

I want to tell you something, Woman Walking Your Dog, and I'm going to do it in writing. While I recognize the unlikeliness of you ever reading these words, god knows I would never dare approach you on the street, not even on the safe patch of asphalt that cuddles up with my driveway, to say any of this in person -- Aca-Awkward! This here will have to do.

I want you to know that I respect you. I respect that you are out there every day, in the fresh air and the varying conditions, with your beautiful husky always a few feet away, oscillating between grass and road, tethered to you with a cherry red leash. I respect that you walk at a pace that speaks of being in no rush, that this daily walk of yours is a pleasant one, the opposite of a chore. I respect that you wear clothes that speak to comfort above all else; old sweats, dirty boots and hats that don't match any of it. And I respect that today, you had a towel wrapped around your obviously still-wet head of hair. There you were, out in public on well-traveled residential streets, not giving two sh*ts about how the world sees you.

You probably don't know this, but I am the father of a pair of young girls. They would like a dog someday and I, in turn, would someday like for them to walk that dog in whatever clothes they happen to be wearing around the house, with whatever mop of hair they've got going on when their dog needs to get outside to do his or her business, and maybe, if a 'gotta go/whimpering at the door' moment ever happens when they've just emerged from a bath, as one clearly did for you today, that they too will feel comfortable enough with themselves, both inside and out, to wrap their dripping wet locks up in a fluffy white towel and stroll around the neighborhood with a confident air about them. And in no particular rush at all.