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HEY, SOOKIE. "A lot of people come up to her expecting to walk away unscathed. But unfortunately, with her, the drool bomb is probably gonna land on your nice clothes." (📸: Ana Sofia Knauf)
It sounds crazy, but it’s true: There are more dogs than kids in Seattle. And when you’re trying to get to know people in this hectic city of ours, dogs can really be your best friend.
Rachael Kloek knows all about that. She’s a professional matchmaker, and her 8-year-old mastiff, Sookie, has introduced her to all kinds of locals since she moved here from Colorado six years ago.
We met up with Rachael and Sookie at Gas Works Park, where Sookie chased down goose poop (true story!) and Rachael gave us some tips on how our dogs can melt the so-called Seattle Freeze.
» Here’s the video from a gorgeous day at Gas Works (apologies for the wind noise!), and, below, some tips:
LET THE DOG LEAD THE WAY. Dogs are a heck of a conversation starter anywhere you go. They’re happy, they’re adorable, and it can be easier for people to approach them than their humans. “It’s definitely easier for me to meet people every day just by walking [Sookie],” Rachael said.
TALK ABOUT MORE THAN JUST DOGS. If you want to get to know the person behind a pup, you can’t just pet the dog, say it’s cute, and move on. You’ve got to segue the conversation into something you might share in common. The trick, Rachael said, is to ask specific questions that get you to talk about more than just the dog. “Do you live in this neighborhood?” is a good one to start with. Then keep going. “People enjoy talking about themselves,” Rachael said. “I know that sounds bad, but they do.”
TELL A WHITE LIE. Looking for someone who can be more than just a friend? Dogs are an excellent springboard, Rachael said. Even when they otherwise, um, wouldn’t be. “If you see someone with a dog or someone approaches you that has a dog, that’s a really great icebreaker, even if you don’t think the dog is that cute, and you wouldn’t normally stop to pet it,” she said. “You think the owner is cute? Then stop, pet the dog, give a white lie.”
AND IF YOU’RE A CAT OWNER? “When I see a cat on a leash I do think it’s a little strange,” Rachael said. “But there are cat cafes popping up all over Seattle right now [like Seattle Meowtropolitan and Neko: A Cat Cafe], so that is a good place to make that feline connection.”
Want to hear more from Rachael? Check out the video on our Facebook page, or learn more about her matchmaking at threedayrule.com.
NOW HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR CITY
Orcatastrophe. One of our most amazing local creatures is in trouble, and this New York Times headline about sums it up: “Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing.” How bad is it? The salmon they eat are dying, they’re at their lowest population levels in 30 years, and not a single orca baby’s been born in the last three years. Our governor, Jay Inslee, passed an executive order to try to help, but it’s not looking good yet. 🌊 (The New York Times)
‘I’d tax that.’ There are a lot of strong opinions out there these days, and people who aren’t big fans of Amazon have taken theirs to the streets. Here’s a roundup of some of the not-so-”Seattle-nice” street art and graffiti that’s shown up everywhere from Capitol Hill to the inside wall of Belltown’s Battery Street Tunnel. It might be hard to scroll through if you’re in tech or like how our tech giant’s changed the city. And if you’re Jeff Bezos, who’s now $50 billion richer than anyone on the planet? “For better or worse, he has become the face of a tech industry that has rapidly remade the look and feel of Seattle,” write GeekWire’s Taylor Soper and Kurt Schlosser. No kidding. (GeekWire)
Thanks, Kay. For four days a week, Kay Abe served food to homeless folks downtown. She did it for more than 20 years, right to the end. Kay died from a heart attack she had while serving her neighbors one night last month. She was 91. Here’s a profile of her from Real Change, Seattle’s street paper. Want to donate to her organization, The Lord’s Table? Learn more here. ❤ (KIRO, Real Change)
An SPD lip sync? Our own Seattle Police Department just promised the internet something kind of crazy: a lip sync video. It’s in response to a “challenge” by the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia, which put out one of a series of massively viral music videos coming from police departments everywhere. Norfolk PD’s clip was set to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” and it’s pretty impressive. What song should SPD do? We’ve got some ideas. Tell us yours here. (KING 5)
HERE'S WHAT'S COMING UP
🍿 Watch Mean Girls over brews (Ballard)
🍿 Watch Office Space on a rooftop (Downtown)
👋 Take a walking tour of Georgetown and learn its history (Georgetown)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership.
Check out this event from our advertiser, West Seattle Junction Association.
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READY, SET, INVESTIGATE!
We have our assignment, folks. More than 400 of you cast your votes (thank you!), and the question about homelessness we’ll do our darndest to answer on July 19 is this one: “Does Seattle get an influx of homeless people from outside areas attracted to better services?”
Could we use your help? Always! If you have sources, resources, or context you think we should keep in mind, hit reply to this email or shoot us a note at [email protected]. Don’t get us wrong. We can do some good work on our own. But if we’ve learned anything making The Evergrey with you over the last 1.5 years, it’s that we do much, much better work together.
Have a good one, all. — The Evergrey