Tuesday, February 13, 2007
But He Wuvs His Wittle Doggie
“Can I help you with that?” asks a man coming up behind me.
I turn gratefully from trying to reach a large dog bed on a high shelf. I am in Pet Cetera, catering to the comfort of the two furry stinkers we toil 9 to 5 to provide for. We have recently pulled up the nasty old carpet in our bedroom, to be replaced in due course with bamboo flooring. But before putting in the new floor we have to tile around the fireplace, pull out two 1980’s style cedar plank walls, drywall, and paint. So we are likely to be living with a bare plywood floor for a while. And the hairy Royal Ones cannot be expected to slumber on cold hard plywood.
Allowing these two 80 pound snorers to sleep with us on the bed is not an option, and shutting them out of the bedroom would just send them to the couches, which theoretically is also forbidden. The dogs don't get that theory. (Now if you ever visit, you will understand why our couches often have strange objects on them, preventing one from sitting, although we usually remember to clear them off when company comes. We allow most people on the couches.)
As the man pulls the doggie bed down from the shelf for me, he observes, “You must have a big dog.”
“Two big dogs actually. What kind do you have?” I ask, seeing a bag of dog kibble in his shopping cart. I have him pegged for a Pit Bull or Rotweiller kind of guy. He is dressed in biker boots, a do-rag, and he has a dragon tattoo on his neck.
“Jack Russell Terrier. Called Max, short for Maxine” he answers. “And she would be really pissed off at me if I made her sleep on a dog bed. She sleeps with me. I spoil her rotten.”
I can see that. His basket holds treats, pricey dog food, a Kong chew toy and a fluffy toy clown.
"Max is so smart" he continues, "She should be in movies. She does this adorable thing where she dances around in a circle then jumps right into my arms."
He carries the two dog beds to the cashier for me, continuing to tell me about Maxine's cuteness. This guy is gaga over his little dog. Men who love animals silly are endearing to me. And this guy is so nice, helping me carry my stuff. I mentally chastise myself for my first impression that the only pet he could have would be a spiky-collared pit bull or a boa constrictor. "Grandma was right," I am thinking, "don't judge a book by"....
SWEET MOTHER OF GOD! For the first time I notice the tattoo on his left forearm. The insignia of a local gang. A gang of very bad dudes. Dudes who have to prove they have snuffed someone before they can belong to this gang, according to one high profile ex-member-turned-snitch in a drug prosecution a while back.
"Do you want help out to your car with those?" he asks.
"Um, no thanks, I'm fine." I almost sprint out of there.
I imagine the scene when he gets home from Pet Cetera: "Hewoe my pwecious wittle Maxie, how was your day? Daddy brought some special presents for you, yes he did. Daddy wuvs his wittle Pwincess Maxie. Daddy's gotta go out again, gotta sell some cocaine to buy you that sparkly pink collar. And then Daddy might have to off a guy, but I'll be back soon, I pwomise, and then we'll go for walkies."