One day I came home after a long day with Ozzy, and Mr. Singh, my little Hindu doorman, said, "Mr. Broose. I got something for yew." He handed me a letter. I was hoping it wasn't an eviction letter because of all the barking and urine stains in the hallway. I couldn't believe somebody ratted me out and told the management company. Then I noticed it wasn't even addressed to me. On the outside envelope it read "To Ozzy:" in red curly penmanship. Inside, there was a letter.
Dear Ozzy & Bruce, It was really nice meeting you guys the other day. And Ozzy, if you ever need someone to walk you, I'd love to. (I suppose Bruce can come along too.) Please call, Allie.
She enclosed a business card. She worked at an advertising agency. My first reaction after I blushed was, "Who the hell is Allie?" My second reaction was, "Good boy! This is fucking amazing!" I couldn't believe it. This woman actually wanted to go out with me because I had a dog. I tried playing back all of my dog conversations in my head. I had absolutely no idea who she was. I thought it might be that Fran Drescher woman I met the first night I brought Ozzy home. "Hayy look at the puppay." God, I hoped not. I waited two days to see if the secret puppy admirer came forward. Then I called her.
"Hi, Allie, it's Ozzy. I was wondering if you'd like to take me and Bruce for a walk one day?" Allie started laughing and said, "Sure, Ozzy." She made plans with my dog to take me to Central Park the following Saturday. I had no idea what she looked like. She told me, "Hey I don't usually do this but it's hard to meet nice guys in New York, and you seemed like a nice guy with your dog so I figured what the hell."
Wow. This was the first time a woman didn't use me to get to my puppy. She used the puppy to get to me. I was flattered. I-was-a-nervous-wreck. As far back as I could remember, I had never been much of a ladies' man. I could have sure used a puppy back in the awkward pimply, McDonald's-arched hair-doo days of adolescence. I was so unattractive that the first girl I ever made out with had to make out with me. Her friends dared her to in a game of Truth or Dare. Now, thanks to Ozzy, my furry aphrodisiac, I wasn't just a guy anymore. I was a guy with a cute puppy. I was sensitive by association. I was a candidate for fatherhood. If I could pick up puppy poop, I could change smelly diapers. I was a provider. I was somebody they could trust. I was a guy that wasn't scared to commit. And women smelled that a mile away.
From "Puppy Chow is Better Than Prozac: The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life" by Bruce Goldstein. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Press.