Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Big Splash

When I walk Tommy down my street, the neighborhood kids run up screaming, “Can I pet your dog?!”

If I’m not in a hurry, I acquiesce, but only after I have Tommy in a sit-stay with my foot on his leash (added protection against him jumping up), his attention glued to me as I shower him with treats.

When I give the kids the okay to pet him, they descend on him, petting and patting the poor pooch.
Photo taken a couple of years ago in a Burbank park.
Note I should be stepping on Tommy's leash.
Tommy’s a real trooper, but one time a kid was too rough, and Tommy jerked his snout into the kid’s face. The kid threw his hands over his nose.

I was horrified. Had Tommy bit him?! The kid stared at me wide-eyed, his hands still covering his nose. Was he about to burst out crying or was he just stunned by Tommy’s sloppy exuberance?

The kid was fine (phew!), but it was a scary reminder how important it is for me to manage Tommy out in public. Unfortunately this slipped my mind when I brought Tommy to Pasadena Litfest a couple of weekends ago.

Tommy made a big splash. We ran into the fabulous Petrea Burchard of Pasadena Daily Photo. She's got a soft spot for Tommy and took the above photo of him.

Women cooed over his good looks at the Crepe 'n Around food truck. The Pasadena Humane Society adoption coordinator admired his exemplary behavior.

One bookish dog lover stopped to tell us all about her pittie mix. As I made polite small talk, I noticed a middle-aged hipster in a shiny shirt and striped pants walking in our direction with a huge smile on his face. He had a bit of the crazy about him. Was he smiling at me? Was he headed toward us? I smelled trouble.

"I love your dog," he said and knelt down to Tommy's level to give him some love. I got a whiff of alcohol. Tommy didn't mind. He slobbered all over his face. I tried to hold Tommy back. The guy said, "I don't mind. It's okay." But then Tommy's kiss turned into a love bite, right on the guy's face. Yikes!

The hipster stood up. I apologized. He laughed it off but as he walked away he said, "I'm going to sue you if you don't buy one of my books."

I laughed and contemplated following him to check out his book. Then I came to my senses: Tommy and I hightailed it in the other direction.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lucky Dog

A few weeks ago Tommy made a great pit bull ambassador at Pasadena's Doo Dah Parade. He traveled through the crowded sidewalk with his tail wagging.
He posed for pictures.
He drank water out of my coffee mug.
Rewards came in tortillas tossed from a float.
Unfortunately I'm a bit of a hard ass about his diet, and I nipped that tortilla with the snoot loop.
But Tommy got the last laugh. He scarfed down two tortillas before I could stop him or snap a picture. Lucky dog.