Names: Raj and Hug
Age: Hug (the dog) is three.
Breed: Hug is a Rottweiller-German shepherd mix.
Encountered: In a trailer park in Norfolk, Virginia.
Backstory: I was taking Ace for his after dinner walk, when — as we passed through a parking lot, behind a mobile home park — a car slowly pulled up alongside us.
“He looks just like my dog,” the driver, speaking in a thick Indian accent, said. “He lives right over there,” he added, pointing at a mobile home that backed up to the parking lot.
He introduced himself as Raj, and we talked for five minutes as he petted Ace, who’d stuck his nose through the open car window.
After Raj pulled away, I circled the block, and walked back along busy Military Highway, headed to my Motel 6.
From out of nowhere, Raj pulled up alongside me again, this time with his daughter in the passenger seat. He stopped his car in the traffic so she could meet Ace, through the window, as well. Then he insisted I come see his dog.
“I’ll meet you there in two minutes,” he said as a long line of cars backed up behind him.
I went back to my room, grabbed my camera and returned to the mobile home park. As Ace and I walked up to his home, Hug came out, pulling the slightly built Raj behind him.
Ace and Hug hit it off fine. And they are remarkably similar in appearance — same mascara eyes, same floppy ears, same curly tail.
They both enjoyed some water and treats, supplied by Raj’s wife. She works at a nearby McDonalds. Raj, who moved to the U.S. 30 years ago from New Delhi, used to work at a McDonalds and drove a limousine until he got sick. He can’t work anymore, his wife explained.
He shook hands with Ace before we left and gave him a prolonged hug.
“I love dogs too much,” he said. “Yes, I love dogs too much.”