landloper.

[land-loh-per]

noun

  1. a wanderer, vagrant, or adventurer.

Are you constantly intrigued by how we connect with some people so easily, so quickly, and with others, not a bit? Every time I sit down to write about new friendships and connections, I present this phenomenon. Some customers will come in to the saloon and we hit it off instantly, before I even bring them their Jameson on the rocks. I have to pull myself away to let them enjoy their time together.

Sometimes it makes sense, like when I meet a fellow landloper. I want to hear everything. How? Why? When? And best of all, where? I find them endlessly interesting.

Even though she can’t answer these questions for me, my newest connection with a landloper happens to be with a dog that I’m watching. Her name is Dakota and I feel like we get each other.

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She wakes up with the sun and walks over to my side of the bed. I open one eye and say, “Not yet, sweet girl. Go back to sleep.” She does. She walks back over to her bed and sleeps for another hour or so.

She seems to understand that if she waits for me to get coffee brewing, we’ll go outside shortly after and throw the ball over and over. She nose dives into the snow to find the ball and it makes me laugh every time, her face covered in flakes. I swear she smiles. Sometimes it seems she gets so overwhelmed with joy that she flips on her back and rolls around in the snow, digging her nose into it and smiling more.

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I sip some coffee and study the trail book with her by side. Her tail wags like she knows we’re going to go on an adventure.

There are countless trails in her neighborhood. Yesterday, I was walking straight on the road and she stopped at a pullout on the right. When I looked her way, she tilted her head and walked a bit more to the right. I decided to follow her through a few trees and we ended up at a small bridge over a creek that led to a trail around the lake. She seemed so proud as I said, “Good job, girl! This is beautiful. Thanks for showing me.”

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Today I let her lead me again. She looked back at me with a look like, “Wait until you see this!” We ended up going through a field that led to a trail that led to a beautiful view up a hill. Again, I praised my little landloper.

I watch this gal for three weeks and I already mourn the day I have to leave her.

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