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The Dog That Brought Them Together

The heartwarming story of how Editor-in-Chief Edward Grinnan met his wife.

Golden Retriever

I was introduced to my wife, Julee, by her dog, Rudy, a rather corpulent cocker spaniel. I was walking on West 72nd Street in Manhattan on a seemingly ordinary May evening when along came Rudy, trundling at a measured but determined pace, completely undeterred in his stately progress along the busy sidewalk by his fellow New Yorkers, who were using their two legs to try and get past him. On the other end of his leash was a dazzling blonde with massive green eyes. I could almost feel a breeze when she batted her lashes.

“That’s the fattest cocker spaniel I’ve ever seen,” I blurted out, thinking this might be a good way to strike up a conversation. I was met with an annoyed look for my efforts. Julee tried to keep moving, but Rudy suddenly became obstinate. He stopped, looked at me, woofed perfunctorily, and bulldozed his way over, dragging a scowling Julee behind him and nearly pulling her off her pumps. She was an actress and singer, I was soon to learn, rushing home from an audition to walk her dog.

We walked around the block together while I tried to smooth-talk my way out of my opening conversational salvo.

“Rudy has the most magnificent ears I’ve ever seen,” I offered.

That got me another turn around the block and Rudy, in what I surmised to be an effort to impress me (or perhaps to help me impress his owner), tried to pick a fight with a much larger and younger dog, and I was able to help extricate him from the conflict. By the time I walked Julee and Rudy to their building, I felt I was coming close to redeeming myself. Julee showed lukewarm interest in my offer of Chinese food later that week, scribbled her phone number on a taxi receipt pulled from her purse almost as an afterthought, and disappeared into the elevator, Rudy giving me a final look over his shoulder as he slipped past the closing door. Upstairs on the twelfth floor, Julee let herself into her apartment, tossed Rudy a treat, and then dialed her mother in Iowa. “Mom,” she said, “I just met the man I’m going to marry.”

Me? I was just hoping to get to see her again. On the way home I ducked into a pet store. Usually you get the girl a gift. I got Rudy a little something, planning to drop it off with Julee’s doorman in the morning. An inner voice told me it would be a good idea.

Sometimes God shouts, sometimes he whispers, and sometimes he sends a woof.

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