"The thing is," he continued, "I don't want to waste my time while I'm walking him"--he jabbed a thumb toward the dog, who turned away to sniff at some fading poison ivy. "So I look for something useful to do." He gazed down at the path, his eyes searching the ground for stray cigarette butts. We stood together like that for a long, silent minute.
"Well," he said finally, and turned to the dog. The dog made eye contact. "All right, all right," the old man said, and they turned together and walked slowly away.