November, 2019

The dog is not an athlete. It sits low to the ground, with short, stubby legs. It’s healthily plump. It could be any of us after a week of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. It’s a good dog, in short.

Today, it is out for a run. Not an enthusiastic run, but a run nonetheless. 

Its human, on the other hand, is ready. Well dressed in warm, long-sleeved athletic wear, he leads the way, charging forward. He leaps from the street onto the sidewalk. The dog lags behind. “Come on, come on,” the man says encouragingly as the dog hops over the curb.

They continue like this, the man leading, the dog trotting behind, for a block. Of all the pairs out this morning—a man taking his daughter to school, a woman walking her golden retriever, a couple headed to work—this duo stands out. They work at once in tandem and in opposition; an elaborate dance of opposing wills. 

The pair arrives at a red light and comes to a stop. This development seems to please the four-legged runner. But its rest is short-lived. The light changes and the man rushes into the intersection. “Come on, come on,” he coaxes as the dog lingers on the sidewalk for just another moment.

Will Warren writes Scene and Heard. If you know of a location worthy of  being seen or heard, email him at