The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

On Dogs and Tough Guys

dogs, taking puppy for a walk

Photo courtesy of Brittany Rolle.

The slim, green-eyed teenaged boy wears the now-typical skinny jeans, flashy shoes, and puffy black coat. He stands with his elbows out a bit, holds his arms away from his frame, pretending he takes up more space. When larger boys board, he stretches even taller. He shifts his jaw and flares his nostrils while nodding to the music on his headphones.

Then a woman boards with a dog. He is cracked from his serious glare when he spots the red puppy. The façade plummets as he makes small, playful faces at the little creature. The boy smiles to himself as well. And the dog stares back with rapt attention toward what he so easily brought down to earth.

–Vienna, Austria

Photo courtesy of Brittany Rolle.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Rolle.

14 comments on “On Dogs and Tough Guys

  1. Jayde-Ashe
    June 17, 2013

    Amazing little story! I love the photos as well, I really want to be walking down that dirt road in the sunshine right now 🙂

  2. joannerambling
    June 17, 2013

    Cute dogs can turn the toughest guys into little boys…………..

    • Hi Joanne,
      I guess they can! I was so surprised. I’ve never had a dog myself, so I rarely notice them, but this one I noticed on account of the boy’s reaction. So fun to be here on earth with all these other humans, isn’t it? 🙂
      Thanks for the comments and reading! You’re a gift!


  3. petchary
    June 17, 2013

    The tough guy pose is just that…a pose. And that little innocent gaze undid it. So sweet!

  4. suej
    June 18, 2013

    Love your observations! The undoing of a pose, great!

  5. anglophiletoad
    June 18, 2013

    There is no such thing as a tough guy around a dog…

    • Apparently not! It reminds me of a story about a Turkish tough guy when his mother called. Just melting. 🙂

  6. Browsing the Atlas
    June 18, 2013

    I love the picture.

  7. More evidence of how good dogs are for our health. Terrific story.

  8. Pingback: Macho Maço Man | The Nice Thing About Strangers

  9. Leya
    April 11, 2015

    I can recognize this so well…you are a master of putting things into words and live stories. I can see the two of them exchanging glimpses and smiles. I once had a dachshund (at least your photo looks like there is a piece of the breed in this dog) who also had this quality of melting people into soft lumps of smiles and sounds. Not all dogs have that ability, but almost any young man has it when looking at some sweet brown eyes! Have a great weekend!

  10. davecenker
    April 11, 2015

    Some people (and most animals) have a natural aura about them that melts any false impression we may be portraying and reveals our core. I like those people – and animals 🙂 Beautiful little story Paige, and a wonderful message – thank you for sharing 😉

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