So ……what is it with all the bite-sized dogs around? (Um…I mean actual dogs, the canine variety….I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I was talking about cocktail sausages…this is after all, a food-related blog. )
There I was, walking out of the supermarket, my hands full of grocery bags. It’s a common problem when you live two blocks from the grocery store. You think, “Of course, I can carry five bags. It’s only two blocks. And it’s five bags only to spread the stuff around evenly. It’s not like they’re full!” You are, of course, wrong. Then you struggle with the bags and get home, swearing up and down to have more sense the next time. But memory is fallible and so the next time you are right back where you began, toting ten bags. But I digress. Getting back to me and my bags on that particular day……
I walked out the supermarket with my purchases, trying hard and fast to work out the physics of balance and weight. I was also steering myself away from the people trying to enter a store, all the while mentally lamenting my husband’s Vitamin Water requirement, easily the heaviest item I was carrying. I was successful navigating past five people out the door and heaved a sigh once on the outside. Now I could charge past most people on the pavement. I’m formidable when I’m armed with my bags. And I walk this pavement all the time. I know where the potholes are. So I confidently put my foot out. And immediately there was this loud squeak and furious snipping around the seam of my jeans, like several rabid ants attacking all at once.
Trying to jump away completely killed my scientifically tuned balance. And two bags fell out of my hands, accompanied by more squeals and the snipping became muted furious sounds, the likes of which I’ve only heard before from a cornered rat my dad once had the misfortune of capturing. I tried to find a way to put the remaining bags down, while furiously trying to remember which bag had the eggs. Then the gravity of the rat situation hit me. I had actually almost stepped on a rat. I got ready to barf as I cleared my other bags. But the gerbil-sized creature next to my bag was too ugly to be a rat even. On closer inspection, while it still looked like a rodent (ugliest ever!!) and smelled a bit, I gathered that the squeaks and sounds were, in fact, barks and growls. Any doubt I might have had were wiped away by the studded Tsarina collar and leash connecting the ‘dog’ to the bicycle rack a few feet away.
(Let me just say here, I love dogs. I love cats. I hate rats. I have a problem with a rat masquerading as a dog just as I would have a problem with a dog masquerading as a rat. Dogs and rats are two different species and never the twain shall meet, genetic scientists take note! The idea of stepping on a rat was nauseating, but the idea of killing a dog, even if I thought it was butt-ugly, was horrifying. Even though this one was clearly a terror.)
Of the bags that fell out of my hand, the sliced bread tumbled out and hit this bundle of squawks. Brilliantly assuming that it was being attacked by baked goods, this creature then launched an attack back, leaving in its wake limp plastic and bread crumbs. It then launched an attack on the scone mix. The end result was flour all over the corner of Bay and Mason and some poor mutt’s brand new Schwinn. The dirty brown fur ball was now a dirty white flour ball. Clearly this dog had some serious thoughts on gluten consumption.
Tsarina’s human companion arrived in this time. She dropped her bags and as soon as she figured out what had happened, started squealing in surprisingly similar yet much louder tones than the dog. Words (me), noises (her) and flour (the dog) were liberally sprinkled around. She called me a dog hater. My smug rejoinder was telling her that this wasn’t a dog, it just didn’t have the necessary qualifications, like looking or sounding like one. She told me this was a toy dog. You carry them in your bag. (A dog that doesn’t look like a dog and that redefines taking your dog for a walk..brilliant!) So then what was she doing leaving her out on the pavement where the slipstream of a passing skate-board could blow the dog into oblivion? Why wasn’t she in a handbag where she belonged? Apparently the dog had been throwing up in her bag all day and so had been left out on the street to let it all out.
Poor thing. Dog or not, it had been sick and sitting out in the hot sun, tied on a leash thanks to her bratty owner. At this point, I felt sorry for the dog for having such a thoughtless human companion and decided to end the matter by apologizing to her for having an owner who should technically cause the rest of us to resign from the human race. I rescued her from the flour threatening to engulf her and handed her off, hoping she would spend the rest of her day getting a bath
I guess people believe a dog is a dog is a dog. I have learned that I do not love all dogs equally. For me to love a dog, it has to be a dog. It cannot fit in my palm or be a glorified rodent. And I must be able to hug it and see it and not worry that I accidentally flushed it down the toilet. My very actual toy dog (he’s hypoallergenic, which apparently real dogs can be genetically engineered to be now….oh my god!), Oscar, agrees.