Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Dog Walking, June 2019

Shortly after eating a cigarette butt and pooping in an alley, she is trying to kiss a stranger. “This is the cutest puppy I’ve ever seen,” the stranger says. Indeed. The 10-week-old dog is cute, and seems to know it, going out of her way to say hello to passersby, no matter the hour or how busy they seem.

Late on a Saturday night, when bar goers who got an early start are meandering home, she greets a handsome couple. “Don’t bite,” her owner chides, as the dog goes full Hannibal Lecter on the woman’s hands. “It’s OK! I’m her cool grandma. I’m spoiling her,” she says. “It’s his dog,” her partner quips.

Nothing brings strangers together like a big-footed puppy.

Daytime revelers coming back from U Street NW sprint across the street to say hello. A mother says her daughter would love this dog, not knowing that her daughter had, days earlier, fallen for the pup, and dog owners who remember long nights of crate training stop and reflect. “It gets better,” they say. A man rolls down his window as he drives by to yell to the small, fluffy dog, “That’s the ugliest pitbull I’ve ever seen!”

A nanny pushing a stroller bends down to pet her. The dog plays nice and doesn’t pounce on the tiny charges she’s taken out for a walk. “He’s friendly,” she says. This small animal makes the city feel small; this friendly monster makes the city seem friendly. —Will Warren

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