“Buddha!” she called. “Come here! Buddha!” Her command had yet to work, and the young woman anxiously fingered the visor of her baseball cap.

“Buddha!”

“You call your dog Buddha?” I asked in disbelief as a honey-colored mutt slithered up, displaying shame for misbehaving in his every crouching step.

I had not seen the young woman before. The regulars of this downtown Manhattan dog run know the names of all the dogs, but not of one another. The anonymity is part of the morning ritual.

“Why did you name your dog Buddha?” I asked.

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