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Meet David and Goliath: Best Friends, Minneapolis Sidewalk Celebrities

Cities thrive on characters, and these matching buddies are getting noticed all around town.

Provided|

Goliath, left, and David, right.

Six years ago, right around the 4th of July, David Meads's mom and sister began badgering him to buy a puppy off the internet.

Eventually, his mother worked out a compromise: Let's head down to the Golden Valley Humane Society, pet some pups, and see if you catch dog fever. It worked, but not in the way she had expected.

"Lo and behold, there was Goliath," remembers Meads. The 75-pound mutt (half Great Dane, half Mountain Cur) had endured a helluva journey before sitting for weeks inside the suburban shelter—from a flood in Mississippi, to a rescue in Texas, and finally to Golden Valley.

Meads knew right away he wouldn't be buying any puppies. He had to have five-year-old Goliath, who managed to show off a remarkable array of commands even while suffering through kennel cough.

"He's been my best friend, saved my life," Meads told Viraluae earlier this week. "If ever there's a moment of doubt or sadness in my life, he's here to put a smile on my face. And that's kinda where the hats come in..."

Ah yes, the hats. If you're one of the 434,000 folks who saw Taylor Dahlin's tweet earlier this month, then you're already accustomed to seeing Meads and Goliath strutting their stuff through the streets of Minneapolis with matching hats.

Meads said the tradition started simply enough: A friend's kid put a hat on Goliath, eliciting smiles galore. That inspired the owner, who works service-industry jobs at Gai Noi, Fulton Brewing, and Agharta Records, to begin assembling a wardrobe for his big ol' dog.

Goliath now rocks about 15 different custom hats that Meads fashions with attachment straps, plus various costumes. There's the shark one that matches his owner's canoe (see photo above); there's the Elmer Fudd one that pairs nicely with Meads as a Yeti (perfect for snowy days). Sometimes their hats match, sometimes they don't.

David and Goliath walk a lot, averaging 20,000+ steps per day. They've become fun fixtures in and around their Uptown neighborhood.

"All around Minneapolis he's really becoming popular," Meads reports. "It's not just the internet: We've been walking everywhere for six years."

The 50-mile (!) walk that Dahlin captured was their longest ever—up to Loring Park, around Target Field, through Uptown and the lakes. Goliath, now a "sweet old man" of 11, was tuckered out the following day, but reportedly had the zoomies shortly thereafter. Meads is convinced Goliath sensed the online buzz that tweet had drummed up; young coworkers were clamoring about it, he says, and friends from as far away as Alaska were calling in their digital Goliath sightings.

"Oh yes, he totally knows about his celebrity," Meads says with a chuckle. "Whenever somebody comes up, he hams it up quite a bit."

Provided

You're encouraged to greet Goliath if you see him out walking, though his owner warns to approach with caution if you're with a larger dog. Treats are also encouraged, though not everything is a hit; Goliath spit out a cucumber that was offered to him just last week outside Lago Tacos. (He prefers chicken, according to Meads.)

"Spotting David and Goliath in their matching hats in the Wedge made my day, and it didn’t surprise me that others had a similar response and shared the tweet, leading to David himself seeing it," Dahlin says. "Wonderfully weird, creative, and artistic characters like David and Goliath are some of the best parts of Minneapolis—they make our neighborhoods richer, more vibrant places to live by spreading joy."

And that's the exact word Meads gravitates toward when describing his fashionable, increasingly famous walking buddy.

"I love it when I see him make somebody smile," he says, love for Goliath obvious even over the phone. "And I think he gets it too… that joy."

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