Wandering through the heart of Wilton Manors means walking through an area that other people consider their playground.
It’s my neighborhood, you don’t live here, you’re borrowing it.
I’m up at stupid O’Clock. That varies between 4:45AM and if I really am sleeping in, as late as 7AM. One of us will get me up typically before 6 but it is almost like I set the alarm for 4:45.
Two solid hours before sunrise.
That means that some of the creatures of the night are not yet gone. No, Wilton Manors isn’t that edgy or dangerous, it’s that people have a habit of lingering after the bar closes. If there’s a problem here, it is almost always due to an outsider coming in.
Typical for a resort.
So I watch as we walk. Being up that early means I am out before the beginning of rush hour walking Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM). It benefits him as he’s still quite fearful and afraid of things like traffic, the 50 Bus, and the beater of a minivan that the newspaper delivery folks tend to use to drop off the morning dailies.
At 5:15AM there is very light traffic, and that’s just enough to keep the dog alert without being wrenched out of his mind due to a stream of cars.
This one particular morning was an odd one. There were leftovers in the bar parking lot having a party. Salsa music floated out of a car and I caught random snippets of a conversation in Spanish, but not enough that I could completely understand.
Walking further south on Wilton Drive, the Fort Lauderdale police cars were servicing their normal Donut Emergency speeding north with the lights flashing. They turned into the Courtyard Cafe and went for their breakfast. Why they need to speed like that I have no idea but I do plan to have a talk with the chief of police next time I see him about this. It’s a two or three time a week occurence.
I was awakened from my own reverie by a flash and a friendly wave. One of the patrolmen on our own Wilton Manors PD were waving a hello and a quick burst from their lights. Nice folks on duty here.
We have a long daily walk to start the day. I’m out more than an hour most mornings. A two mile walk with a dog can be a half hour or it can be two hours. It all depends on how much there is to sniff and whether the walk itself slid late and I’m running into local friends to chat with.
Yeah, I can run at the mouth.
But right in the middle of Wilton Drive, in a traffic lane, there was a woman in a silver VW Jetta. She was waving at me.
Now, being used to the creatures of the night, I am wary.
She got out of the car. It was stopped in the traffic lane. I was amused and relieved when she got out of the car in a black lace baby doll shirt and some rather short shorts. There was no way she could have been hiding anything in all that lace.
I heard her story:
“Excuse me, but I want to give you something!”
That’s new. I’m watching traffic approach from the north.
“You see I have some things. I had a dog that I had to give up because my landlord won’t allow dogs. I have a little Yorkie and I have to rehome him for a while.”
I’m thinking that I’m about to be given a dog by a random woman dressed in a baby doll shirt. “But ma’am…”
“So I have all these treats and I want to pass them onto someone who has a dog while I figure out what to do about my Yorkie.” She opens the back door in a swift moment and starts looking through her packages. I notice that her shorts were quite short indeed, but nothing out of the ordinary in Florida in August.
She pulls out a bag of treats and a small container of dog food. Rack immediately stops being afraid and realizes that this could be good for him. “I have some goodies. Don’t worry, they’re all still sealed! Can I pet your dog?”
Rack let her pet him but not too much. A truck sped by and he flattened out on the pavement.
“Aww, he really is afraid. Enjoy these! I really wanted someone who had a dog who treated them right to get them and you two looked like you were having fun on the walk! Take care, bye!”
“Thanks, that was truly nice of you! Thanks again, we will enjoy it!”
Needless to say I was bemused. The package of dog treats and the small container of food were perfectly sealed, so Rack will get some treats.
It isn’t every day that you get stopped by a stranger in a major city to be given treats for your dog!