we meet so many folks, from all walks of life, during our adventures.  venues range from dog parks, to restaurants, to boutiques; from pittsburgh, to chicago, to other fabulous cities.

of our many adventures and acquaintances, our favourite encounters exist with The Quiet Man.  reminding me of john wayne’s character in the film by the same name, The Quiet Man is one of few dog daddies who haven’t imposed with super cheesy, “hey, babe, let’s go out” date requests.  i’m a vegan.  i don’t do cheese.  🙂  but with regard to The Quiet Man, i thoroughly enjoy our conversations and frankly look forward to them.

one day, during the dead of winter, snow silently falling upon gwendolyn’s russian fashion, The Quiet Man and i discussed a future life, one after our dogs.  of course, i weeped for the next fortnight about this inevitable future; but nonetheless, something that he whispered during that discussion absolutely struck a chord.  explaining of why he chose to adopt again, he simply stated, “i’m a better person with a dog.”

i understood perfectly, as gwendolyn certainly makes me a better person.  because of a dog, i realised my human potential.

fast forward to sunday morning, exactly one hour after publishing our first blog post, when we bumped into The Quiet Man and his dog.  skeptical with divulging the true nature of my blog, i settled on citing its web address only.  he could quickly read and forget about my bulimia, only remembering gwendolyn’s cute photos.  i was embarrassed about being imperfect.

but rather than hiding behind my website, i bit the bullet and directly stated, “i’m blogging about gwendolyn’s zany adventures.  each day, we’ll do something fabulous!  she saved my life by ending 11 years of disordered eating.”

The Quiet Man responded, “a dog saved my life, too.”

in the longest conversation that we’ve ever shared, The Quiet Man explained that several years ago, he settled upon suicide.  “i planned to shoot my dog.  and then i’d immediately shoot myself.”  i could barely breathe as he explained.  my heart bled for The Quiet Man.

gun in hand, he changed his mind at the very last moment.  “i couldn’t hurt my dog,” he said.  The Quiet Man continued on, loving his dog, and resolving his issues.  he continued living.

after bidding adieu to The Quiet Man, my eyes welled with tears, and my heart filled with hope.  sitting on the ground and hugging gwendolyn, i thanked her for opening this beautiful world of opportunity.  together, with courage, she and i will help so many people, perhaps saving a human’s life, or even a dog’s.

i am elated to have The Quiet Man and his dog in my peripherals.  they are so special to me.  and gwendolyn adores them, too.

© nicole marie story and nicoleandgwendolyn.com, 2011.