They come from all over, as they all do; travelers and pilgrims. I am paid in paper and metal to dispense directions and information. It is something I take great pleasure in; telling people where to go and what to do when they get there.
This set were on their way to Meeker. There was a dog show. Herding trials, to be specific. One of the breeds mentioned with frequency, of course, were Australian Shepherds.
The fact during interactions I sometimes had to fight back breaking down might have been seen as a sign of weakness. Even and especially when I'd mention having grown up on a farm, with a kennel, which raised Aussies. I'd mention Whistler and Chevy, the Grumpy Old Men, pedigreed champions, two close quadrupedal friends of mine, my metaphoric monkey's paws.
It was polite to mention the hounds, and I am so to a fault. Some have accused my sense of decorum as being anachronistic, despite my punk-rock sensitivities. Then again, I supposedly excel at paradox. Another parental gift.
Of course, I thought about her. I remember her traveling the wide world and beyond for her dog shows. Sometimes I questioned her sanity. There were times I envied all the places she had stories for that I'd only read of in books. I suppose it hardly matters now.
Although, it's good thing I didn't see one of her dog showing compatriots. I'd have probably just lost it. And, sobbing like a bitch in public, even if it would've been in context, would've been unsightly.