Monday, April 5, 2010

Once Around the Park

by Diane Crawford from the March 22, 2010 issue

Tagline: Mix three dogs, two dog-walkers and a sunny spring morning--and you've got all the ingredients for a brand-new romance!

In a Nutshell: Shelly is dog-sitting for her aunt and uncle. At the park, a man's dog tangles his leash with Shelly's dogs' leashes. Shelly and Tim hit it off while walking. Later, after Shelly figures she'll never see the man again, he contacts her uncle asking for her phone number.

Observations: I found the humor in this first person story to be very appealing. For instance, Tim says, "Luke's starting his obedience classes this week--which, as you can see, he desperately needs."The pets' names, Lucy and Ethel and Starsky and Hutch, were also cute.

Again, we have the misunderstanding where one of the protagonists sees the other with someone and assumes they're married or taken. However in this story, Tim is alert and explains, "Someone I work with. We're brainstorming a new project this week." So, Shelly's mistaken assumption doesn't last long. Tim's hasty explanation is a subtle indication that he's interested. He wants Shelly to know he's unattached, obviously! Nice touch. That makes me like Tim.

I also liked that both the hero and heroine were proactive people. Shelly wasted no time in calling Tim once she had his phone number. Tim returned to the park several times, hoping to run into Shelly again. However, the ending didn't make sense to me. (See below.)

Favorite Part: Shelly wants to circle the part once more time and:

[she] could've sworn the little dogs rolled their eyes at the suggestion.

In My Humble Opinion: "I'm pretty sure the dogs will be tied up."

Maybe someone can explain this ending to me. The only thing I can think of is that this was a reference to the dogs tangling their leashes at the very beginning of the story. If that's it, it's not that amusing. Also, why would the heroine even suggest that Luke (the dog) accompany them to dinner? She doesn't even own her own dog...

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