Friday, November 21, 2008
Of red skins and pale faces.
Because of that, I've often contemplated rigging a handle to Sam's harness, much like a seeing-eye dog's. That wouldn't be difficult. Then, wearing a pair of dark shades, I could pretend to be vision-impaired. There'd be no denying Sam access to all the places I go, save for one minor detail. Being hopelessly untrained, it would be the blind leading the blind. Sam would slam me into clothing racks or drag me after little children he loves to meet. Or worse, causing a scene with a wooden "Indian." I'll explain.
El Paso Saddle Blanket is a very large import store locally that is dog friendly. It's a place we can go without role playing. Because of this, and an invitation extended us by a friend who was exhibiting as one of the guest artists the Saddle Blanket features each Saturday, I decided it would be an excellent chance for Sam to hone his social skills.
After about an hour of visiting with various artists displaying this day, I was very proud of Sam. He had handled himself perfectly among strangers, even the other dogs who happened to be there. I was getting very relaxed about his public demeanor. But then it happened.
While visiting a painter we hadn't yet spoken with, Sam suddenly went bananas. Straining at the end of his leash, he was barking ferociously causing everyone to stop and stare.
What Sam had discovered was a wooden "Indian" about four feet tall, watching him from behind a stack of merchandise.
Obviously, Sam didn't like stealthy Indians "mad dogging" him.
Unrelenting in his protest, I had no choice but to suggest we go outside for a walk. Maybe Sam could use some fresh air. Maybe take a pee.
It was during our exit that Sam then discovered the store was full of wooden Indians watching him! Because of his excitement upon entering the store, the Indians had escaped his notice. But now, having seen one, he was seeing them all, leaving Sam feeling surrounded amidst a pow-wow. Sam's boisterous reactions made it easy for customers to follow our progress towards the exit door.
Once outside, Sam reclaimed his composure. After a few minutes of walking around, Sam relieved himself then stood there, looking up at me, waiting.
"No, Sam, there are rules," I said. "There are some things you don't do and some I don't do. Like, you don't pee in the store and I don't pee out here," I explained, looking up to see the sideways glance of a mother quickly leading her two small children past us. Our glances collided mid-air in a collision from which there would be no survivors.
As Sam and I prepared to reunite with Mrs. Dada inside the store, I reminded: "Now, don't forget. No peeing in the store."
"Oh, and Sam? No barking at the wooden Indians either."