I’ve been writing about the homeless who live on an alleyway by my office, in downtown Seattle. There’s an obvious irony in their existence, cast against the large, corporate office for Starbucks and all the commerce and new real estate cropping up around them, in this neighborhood.
I take walks down the alley to separate myself from work and seek inspiration. Yesterday, I noticed a dog in the distance, and a car stopped in the middle of the road. I came upon the dog and the car just as the driver was getting out. The dog was brown, limping, lapping at a puddle: the driver was a business woman.
I thought she would ask me if it was my dog but instead, she cast her voice at the tarp and skid-framed tent beneath a tree, by the fence and the marshaling yard.
“Hey! Is anyone in there? Is this your dog?”
A face came out of the tent and said yes. He called her over. The woman said what a nice dog (the dog actually seemed to smile at us), and drove off.
I hit the end of the street and turned around, to pass the tent again. The dog was laying on the pavement, still in the road, sunning its belly and apparently napping. By its angle on the road, it looked like it might have been hit by a car.
I waved to the homeless guy and kept walking, preparing for my noon-hour meeting, thinking through our value engineering exercise and how we’ll maintain cost neutrality on our exterior drive thru sign package.