Saturday, October 11, 2008

Morty, Goodwill Ambassador Par Excellence

Walking the dog makes meeting people in our neighborhood much easier. Just this week I've met two families who live on our block, both with kids--the kids are usually interested in Mort, and the moms think he's cute (or at least say he is), and he's his easygoing self, happy to sniff them and be petted or (gently) tugged around. One of the families lives in the house to the north of us, and the other just bought the house that was for sale several doors down.

But Mort's most effective act of good neighboring has been winning over the woman who lives across the street. This is an older woman who is always concerned about where people park. She has (loudly and publicly) expressed her displeasure at our parking in the street rather than in our driveway because it takes up space that folks without driveways could use.

There are a whole bunch of reasons we don't park in our driveway, beginning with the impracticality of shuffling around three cars and a truck belonging to two households, etc., etc. I had been meaning to talk with her at some point, and offer to move our car into our driveway temporarily if she had family or friends visiting her who couldn't find a place to park. In keeping with my conflict-avoidant nature, however, I hadn't quite gotten around to approaching her, afraid that she wouldn't be mollified by this offer, and we'd end up further at odds.

... but it turns out she loves our dog. She called out to Mort & I as we were returning from an afternoon walk earlier this week--actually, what she said was, "I love your puppy." So we had to go across the street and say hello. She couldn't get enough of Mort, just kept petting and praising him, and was perfectly civil to me. Neither she nor I said anything about the whole parking thing. To tell the truth, I wasn't completely sure this was the same woman, because she was much more pleasant.

Then today she was out and greeted us again as we were on the home stretch, so we went over and she invited us into her yard. We hung out for ten or fifteen minutes, she alternately loving on Mort and talking to me. He, of course, made himself right at home on her porch. We eventually got around to talking about the parking issue. Turns out she can no longer drive, but used to have a handicapped designation on the space in front of her house. She likes to have her children park there when they come to visit. I did offer to move our car whenever her people need space, but she said that wouldn't be necessary... I think she just has some frustration about the neighborhood in general (parking, people don't pick up their trash, etc.), but when your neighbors have a pug, how frustrated can you be, really?

So here's a short video in celebration of Mort's natural diplomatic skills. OK, it has nothing to do with that, really, but here's a new Morty video anyway, with a brief cameo from Violet. Sorry it's so underexposed:

Now if only we could convince him that it doesn't behoove a good diplomat to bark at everyone who goes by the side windows...


julie said...

Morty! I was thinking of him on Tuesday, when I took ice cream up to the group home, funded by my mom. William reflected on how much he loves ham sandwiches. He said, "you go home, and you tell your momma, next time, we want HAM ice cream."
So I thought of Morty, and also of some of my cousins who also believe the anything can be improved with the addition of large chunks of meat.

BrianY said...

Morty sez +1 on ham ice cream! What an excellent idea! I hope that you somehow worked that into your supervised ministry writeup for the week.

Stephanie said...

I always knew Morty had it in him to be the Goodwill Ambassador he was born to be! He spreads that Hoosier friendliness everywhere he goes. Miss him, and you, and Violet. Not crazy about the idea of Ham Ice Cream.

Shelly said...

I would not be for ham ice cream. Although if I were a dog, who knows? Glad to hear Morty is breaking the ice (cream) with the neighbors!

Anonymous said...

Morty would not be a dog if he did not bark at everyone that went by.

Stephanie said...

Breaking the ice... cream! You. Are. So. Funny!

And if barking at anything and everything is the criteria for "doginess," then Morty is the Top Dog.