Without a doubt the most interesting way to meet the people in a new neighborhood is to get a dog and walk it during peak dog-walking hours (early morning and before and after dinner). There seems to be something about meeting people when you have a dog (or, better, when you BOTH have dogs) that opens up conversation so easily. And, when you're carrying a clear plastic bag full of hot poop in your hand, all modesty goes out the window and you become instant friends with someone who was just a stranger.
We live in a super neighborhood. There are lots of friendly people and many of those friendly people own dogs. On two instances, I've been out with Mia and have stopped to talk to someone new, only for her to suddenly have to go to the bathroom. There's nothing like talking to someone while an animal is relieving herself by your feet. Do you ignore it and just keep talking? Ideally, but when it's poop, ya gotta pick it up. Anyway, during those two specific instances, Mia has-- how can I say this?-- had some difficulty halfway through going potty. Both times, it seems she was passing something she should not have eaten (one time, fur off a toy, the second time, something that looked like string) and the actual passing part was apparently painful and awkward. Last week, we were standing in a neighbor's front yard talking about Halloween decorations when Mia squatted, dropped a little poo, then started running in circles while screaming and rubbing her bum on the ground. It took a few minutes for the rest of her business to come out, but before she finished, our kind neighbor's husband ran inside and got a wad of paper towels for me.
"Maybe you can pull it out," he suggested. I smiled weakly and said I'd give her another minute to try and push it out.
Sorry, but I'm not going to yank poo from my dog's bum in the presence of strangers. But then again, I think we're probably pals now. Because of the poo.