Friday, November 17, 2006

Can I Pet Your Dog?

Okay, so I have two dogs: Chandler and Phoebe. Chandler has been Michael's dog since he was three months old and he's now 11 and Phoebe was mine since I adopted/rescued her from the shelter at age 8 months. She's now 8 years old. Chandler is the "Happy to see you, Happy to see you" Yorkie. Phoebe is the "Don't fuckin' touch me or I'll bite your miserable hand off" Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix. The thing is (and LOTS of you can attest to this) once you get to know them you discover the Phoebe is the lover. Sure Chandler loves his friends, but Phoebe goes nuts over people she loves. It just may take her five or six years to decide you're now one of those people.

Anyway, I was just downstairs taking them for their evening stroll. I needed to go deposit some checks in the bank so I took them with. The bank is downstairs in our building: Commerce Bank. I take the dogs in there often with me. It's a dog-friendly bank. Not only do they give lollipops out for kids and local gay boys on Extasy, but they also have doggie biscuits for the four legged patrons, which is sweet. The thing is 1) our dogs eat too much and don't need more treats and 2) I cannot verify what's in these things, so each time that we go in, when they offer a treat I say, "Thank you but they cannot eat it-their on a special diet." I guess they must assume that my dogs keep Kosher or something. Whatever. After the biscuit turn-down, the next question, invariably, is, "Can I pet your dogs?" And I always have to explain that they can pet Chandler and he'd gladly accept the attention and love (ham that he is) but that Phoebe is off-limits because there are limits to my personal liability insurance, and she has quite a nasty set of chompers.

Tonight was no different. I went in, waiting on the interminable line and a new employee there who I've never seen before comes over and goes through the routine. She's wearing the requisite dark blue or black pants and a red top that is the Uniform. She's a big gal and though you can tell she really tried to put herself together, she clearly got dressed into that outfit with a tub of Crisco and some fishing wire. I swear, I never knew what the sound of lycra screaming was until I watched her walk over.

Anyway, after the biscuit turn-down and the Yes-Chandler and No-Phoebe petting talk, she says, "Oh, it's okay... all dogs love me. She'll be fine." I'm thinking, "Great. Another one of these 'I'm different and special' folks." I reiterated to this woman that, "No, really. She looks friendly and cute but bring that hand any closer and she'll snap it off. Really. Please don't try and pet her."

I should think that if she were smart enough to ask permission to pet, when I told her not to and explained WHY that she'd get it and move on. This is the most annoying type of person I encounter in NY when walking them on the streets. She persisted and this time in baby talk and a high-pitched voice: "Oh, No! She's not going to hurt meeeeeeee!!!!" And I'm thinking, "Baby Talk. Kiss of Death. We're at Defcon 5! Quickly! All men to battlestations!!!" Phoebe's hackles start rising on her spine. She's flipping out and starting her low-level growl. I start to tug on the leash but it's no use. She's in alert mode. This genius repeats in a babier tone "I'm not gonna hurt you silly-willy..." And with that Phoebe lunged at her. Thankfully, the leash was already pulled back so she missed this genius by a few inches. Startled, the genius who was crouching down in her heels jerked back on being startled by Phoebe's lunge and BAM! Flat on her ass. She put her hand out to the side to help herself up and, CCRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPP!!!!! Yup. The central ass seam ripped.

I tried so hard not to laugh and I was successful. She got to her feet and immediately felt towards her backside and discovered what had happened. I apologetically asked, "Are you okay?" And she politely, not forgetting her customer service role, faked a smile and said, "Oh I'm fine, thank you." She then turned to Phoebe and there was Phoebe, wagging her tail desperately. Clearly pleased with herself. And I thought for a moment and then said, "Sure... why not. They can have a small treat."