I try my best to walk Rose on a set schedule. At the same time every morning. Because schedules are important for dog owners. But, life happens, and I occasionally walk Rose fifteen minutes late during the mornings, her red leash attached securely to my right arm. When I do, we meet this Jr. High-aged girl named Shelby. Shelby is waiting for a long yellow school bus. She resides in an apartment nearby. Shelby loves animals and aspires to be a veterinarian someday. Whenever Rose spies Shelby with her colossal brown eyes, she grows excited!! Instantaneously!! Those brown floppy ears perk. Her forehead furrows. She whines quietly. Then, more times than not, Rose's mighty vocal chords let out some high-pitched baying!! What a gleeful, albeit eardrum-piercing sound!! And, after baying, Rose's entire face usually wrinkles up, as her tongue dangles out!! A "smile". Rose "inherited" that wrinkled-face feature from the Beagle!! Shelby greets my little girl with enthusiasm, like she has never seen a canine before. She strokes Rose's velvety fur and makes nice remarks about that. "You're so soft!!". Shelby gently pinches Rose's loose throat skin with her fingers. She kisses my mongrel on the lips. Says things to Rose like: "You're so sweet!! So good!! So submissive!! I wanna take you home with me!!" We do actually converse in casual conversation together. About Rose. Life. About animals. Veterinary subjects. Then, we part ways!! The other morning, Shelby paid Rose and I a surprise home visit. At 7:30 AM. I was sitting on this very computer, editing Friday's blog post. Suddenly, sans warning, Rose "vocalized" her ferocious hound bark!! I leapt out of my skin. Screamed. My heart stopped beating for a second. I immediately ran toward our front door where Rose had been barking. I firmly scolded her. I pulled my boisterous beast away. Then somebody informed me that the doorbell was ringing!! What?! So I returned to our door, a barking Rose ahead of me. I opened it. Shelby?! Now, Rose grew excitable. Let the baying begin!! Oh dear.... By this moment, everyone who resides in our home was wide-awake. No doubt about that!! Even the heaviest sleeper can get jolted awake by Rose!! I was friendly with Shelby's house-call, but a little curious about how she found my home!! This morning, I purposefully made an effort to walk Rose late. And, as we were nearly at the "halfway point", there was Shelby!! Rose's colossal brown eyes saw her. I recognized immediately that it was Shelby. Rose's brown floppy ears perked. Her forehead furrowed. I remained nonchalant. So far not even a whine came from Rose's vocal chords. Good girl.... Then Shelby squealed: "Hi baby!!".... From all the way down our street!! Oh no.... That was all the permission Rose needed. Her mighty vocal chords let out some high-pitched bays in reply. Around 7:15 AM!! I then attempted everything to calm down Rose. I touched her fur. I made "shhhhing" sounds. I was verbally firm. I used my left hand as a makeshift "muzzle" to quiet her. Nothing worked!! Then, yes, I mentally threw up my hands in surrender. Because, like with a screaming tantrum-throwing toddler, I was not going to win this one!! So we ran toward Shelby!! Finally Rose was calm.... We will be walking fifteen minutes late every morning now. To see Shelby. "Late" is the new normal.