A Simple and Fun Way to Know Your Neighborhood (I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Tried This Before)

Carry dog treats as you walk around your neighborhood.

That is the secret.

Dog treats. 

My uncle recently encouraged me to carry a bag of dog treats on my daily walk around the neighborhood. I had been complaining about how I’m so distant from the neighborhood now that we’ve outgrown the Walk-to-School campaign, Neighborhood Fitness Night, and even Saturday Pancakes.

“Carry dog treats. That will solve your problem.” He tells me his own tale of how all the neighborhood dogs know and love him–and even follow him around for those treats–and as a result, he has met so many dog owners back home in California. These owners, who once wouldn’t look him in the eye or pause for conversation will chatter away when asked if you might give their sweet dog a treat.

The way into a neighbor’s heart? The pets. I’m learning it’s true.

So I go to the grocery store. For the first time in my life, I purchase dog treats. I’ve never had a dog. I don’t know anything about dogs. But I carry the treats in a little bag on my walk.

Oh, the people I’ve met so far! Oh, the stories I’ve heard already! I’ve learned about aunts visiting for birthday parties from North Carolina and a neighbor on the street behind me that I have never even seen whose dog now loves me. I carry the treats, and when a dog passes, I compliment the dog, offer treats, and let the whole new friendship unfold.

Living with flair means you carry dog treats. You’ll experience your neighborhood in a whole new way.

Someone asked, “Are you OK being known as the Lady with Dog Treats?”

Yes. Yes, I am.

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