What happened to 3-dog lady, and why it pays to never give up being nice

A rare photo of Woodside's 3-Dog Lady, originally not a fan of cyclists but 4 years of us waving & saying hello turned her around.
A rare photo of Woodside’s 3-Dog Lady, originally not a fan of cyclists but 4 years of us waving & saying hello turned her around.

40+ years of riding the usual loop, through Woodside, up Kings, at the same time of day, on the same mornings. To this day nothing remains as memorable as 3-dog lady, an elderly woman we’d pass each morning who was, as you can guess, out walking 3 dogs.  I’d always wave and say hi or good morning, and she’d scowl back. She clearly didn’t think cyclists belonged in Woodside. But I didn’t give up.

It took 4 years. Seriously. 4 years of waving and saying hello, and she broke down. She started to smile when she’d see us, sometimes she’d wave, sometimes she’s say hello.

I miss seeing her. Seeing her out walking her three dogs was one of those reliable things that let you know the world was in order. And seeing her smile after four years was affirmation of something I’ve always believed… that, given enough time, there’s a way to reach someone, even the unlikeliest of someone’s, and connect, smile, laugh, whatever.

It would have been easy to say, why bother, she doesn’t like us. It would have been easy to rationalize that we were more of an annoyance, bothering her, by waving and saying hello.  But that wouldn’t be me. I don’t give up easily. Maybe it’s a Don Quixote complex? But I had to try, as did others on our ride, especially Eric if I recall correctly.

The photo above was taken Thanksgiving Day, 2004. We saw her on a regular basis for, I think, a couple years after that. Then the sightings became more sporadic, and I honestly don’t recall how long ago we last saw her and her three dogs. I recall someone mentioning that she owned the house on Stage Road, near Pescadero, the one with the large Peacocks and two metal machine gun-toting sculptures; I never found out if that was actually true. It’s been 10 years since I took that photo, so she may no longer be with us. If anyone knows her story, drop me a line.  Thanks-  –Mike–

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