What began as a simple adventure last Thursday ended with enlightenment. Allow me to explain.
Charlee had just returned home from an outing with her dad. Apparently, she found the outing rather disappointing because she immediately ran over to me and did her little dance, i.e., several 360-degree twirls, indicating she wanted something (or more accurately, wanted something more).
Having only a few errands on my agenda, I asked Charlee, ”Do you want Mommy to take you on an adventure?” That obviously was the right question because she ran over to her chain and tapped it with her nose. So, off to The Home Depot (conveniently located next door to PETsMART) we went for a product return now four weeks procrastinated (two birds with one stone, n’est-ce pas?).Since our home renovations began back in July (yes, we are now in the fourth month after a brief hiatus during August), Charlee has become quite a celebrity at The Home Depot. She likes their spacious orange carts because she can take a nap if the mission there hits a time-consuming snag. Anyway, the return clerk greeted her, petted her and gave her an Alpo Snap. Charlee thanked her with a generous head nuzzle. “Aw. Is Charlee a therapy dog?” the clerk asked. “Mine,” I replied promptly. “Saves me thousands,” I added.
With that errand completed, we headed next door to PETsMART. This particular PETsMART is not Charlee’s favorite because it has a pet daycare and boarding facility, both of which concern her. (She has abandonment issues because I traveled extensively for work over a 10-year span.) Anyway, last Thursday, she wanted out of the store.
Needing to compensate for a rather disappointing PETsMART workout, we power walked the 15-store strip mall as we do in the cooler weather. Generally when we do this, we stop at Fry’s Supermarket, where Charlee jumps on a bench and takes a short breather before heading back to the car. But, not this past Thursday …
Instead, Charlee headed right past Fry’s to the front door of Barnes & Noble, pulling me towards it with determination. “No, Charlee. No dogs allowed in Barnes & Noble,” I said. Charlee, usually one to behave immediately, was insistent that we go inside and sat down on the pavement in front of the door, staring up at me expectantly. “Charlee, no dogs allowed,” I repeated firmly, as she was blocking the door where patrons were gathering. “There’s a Starbuck’s inside,” I explained, knowing without a doubt she totally understood me and the rationale for her outdoor confinement. “Now let’s go.” She obeyed then, albeit reluctantly.As we walked slowly back to Fry’s for our short rest on the bench, I felt obligated to alleviate the disappointment I was so certain Charlee was experiencing. “Just think,” I said, trying to cheer her up, “maybe humans are not allowed on Planet Dog.”
Charlee looked at me as though to say, “Of course, humans are allowed on Planet Dog. Who else could we train so well?”