Heather and Mattie walked the few blocks to the street party at a quick pace. Heather hadn’t bothered to dress up especially, knowing that Mattie was always the subject of any attention when they were out anywhere together. Once they entered the throng of people, all eyes, and often hands, would be on Mattie. Heather was okay with this. She was content to let Mattie be the draw, and to bask in the glory that surrounded her, knowing that she could take the opportunity to engage people once they approached to see her beautiful companion.
They reached the crowds of Church Street and were immediately an attraction.
“Oh my god! That dog is huge! Lady, can I pat your dog?”
Heather turned to the young girls, both wearing fairy wings and glitter. “Of course,” she said, offering a big smile.
“What kind of dog is this?” someone else asked.
“This is Mattie, she’s a Landseer. That’s a variation of the Newfoundland dog.” Heather had refined Mattie’s details, her age, weight, how much she ate, down to a finely-tuned script which she would repeat dozens, possibly hundreds, of times throughout the evening as they walked around the street fair.
Mattie stood patiently and proudly as people walked up to her and patted her head, her back, her tall, square hips. Heather continued to answer the volley of questions, chatting about Mattie with everyone who stopped. In the first hour, she and the dog had managed to move only about half a block.
No matter how engaging she and Mattie were, eventually people moved on, the novelty of the massive dog having worn off, or from not wanting to be pests. Heather barely noticed, as she was almost immediately running through her script about Mattie for someone new.
After a few hours, Mattie’s sweet nature remained but she was clearly tired of standing on the hard asphalt in the hot weather with the crowds rushing past and loud music blaring around her. Heather reluctantly turned the dog towards home.
Returning to the quiet side streets, the street lights casting a glow of orange on the white sections of Mattie’s mottled black and white coat, Heather chattered away.
“Wasn’t that great, Mattie? We met so many new people, we made so many new friends! You were the star of the night! You’re such a good girl, so pretty that everyone wanted to meet you! That was so much fun! Shall we go back tomorrow?”
Mattie stopped to pee on a bush, a string of drool hanging from her chin almost to the ground.
As they arrived home, Heather reached out and gave Mattie’s head a gentle pat before opening the door to the darkened house. “Maybe tomorrow Mattie, we’ll meet someone special. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?” Mattie snuffled in response. Heather turned to look back toward the street fair, the bass from some music at one of the stages causing a vibration that thudded through the ground. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, girl. You’re my only friend.”
Photo is a still from a video of Dethan, a very proud Landseer with his own Youtube channel.
This story is part of a week-long series of Pride-themed flash fiction. Check out the full schedule here.