Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pin It



It began as a promise to a student in my class. He was on the baseball team and I always try to go to see the kids in my class either during a play or during a game or whatever it is they are involved with if at all possible.  I also try to bring Jam along (the hockey game and the football games were a couple of these events). This game was at Tampa Prep: enemy territory in so many ways.

The Terrapins are our chief rivals in volleyball and many other sports and we have a big rivalry with them in what we call the Headmaster's Cup.  We lost it this year to Tampa Prep. GRRRRRR.  Not that I am competitive in anyway, but I did tell Chris (the student who is on the baseball team) that we expected him to kick some major bootie last night.

So, in the spirit of a great night out, followed by a major butt-kicking sports event, we arranged a dinner with friends at Datz Deli (a delight and very guide dog in training friendly!).  I thought I knew what I was doing, but evidently, I was mistaken.  We were driving to Tampa Prep and we came upon a big lighted baseball field and I immediately assumed: "This is it!" So, we turned around, found parking and practically ran the block and a half to the field to find Christina who was waiting for us in the stands.

Text from Christina: I don't see you.

Text from Christina: You aren't at the baseball field across the street are you?

Text from me: Why, yes, we are.

Text from Christina: LOL

Crap on toast. We were at University of Tampa's baseball field.  GRRRRR.  So we had to walk across the street and be heckled by drivers: "Your dog is sexy!"

Really? That's what you yell out of your car at us?  My dog is sexy?  So Fred yells back, "Thanks!" and waves.  He's so nice.  I just roll my eyes and keep on walking.  I'm irritated because I am late, I parked in the wrong spot, I went to the wrong school and I just had my dog verbally abused.  Jam is not at all concerned.  If anything, his strut is a little more bouncy.  Does he know what sexy means?

Hmmmm. I wonder.  The did just do the breeder evaluation...

We see the Terrapin field.  As we are walking up to it a security guard drives up in a golf cart and tells Fred, "Only seeing eye dogs allowed."

"Well, good!  We've got one of those."  Fred continues walking.  I'm in my zone and have completely missed this exchange, which would have floored me because another puppy raiser works at Tampa Prep.  Surely they know that ALL service dogs would be allowed?

We make it to the stands.  Christina has scoped out a spot for us in the front row.  It is Terrapin Territory, but we can handle it. 

Jam standing and looking off to the side, Fred's arm along his back.
 Destin has just made a home run and the score now stands at 4-0 in Berkeley's favor. Go Bucs!

Jam's profile as he watches the game.
When we made our way to our seats we had to pass by a mom with her infant and a small, mobile boy.  I pegged him at about 3 years of age.  He was the fast, running kind of boy.  One of those who says, "Hey, watch me run from here to there!" and then runs without waiting for an ok.  You could tell his mom was already wondering what crazy idea had possessed her into bringing both of them to the game and why on earth did baseball take so frigging long?

We had Jam in a down under, with him beneath our legs.  As we were watching the game, the running boy, or Xavier as we later came to know him, came running by us.  And as if in a slow motion, underwater, Jacques Cousteau movie on barracudas and their feeding habits, Jam snaked out of the dark hole under our legs and dashed out directly at Xavier.  He timed it perfectly.  The end of his muzzle reached the air an inch away from Xavier's cheek when the leash checked him.  Xavier, who had pretty big round eyes to begin with, almost lost his eyeballs entirely.  They nearly popped completely out of his head, but he had such momentum, that he couldn't stop himself and so he went past the big furry barracuda and straight to his mom.

There was an intense moment of silence.

"MOM! That dog almost snuggled with me!"

Yep, Xavier, that is what happened.  In a split second, Jam went from barricuda to Snuggles.

Overhead shot of Jam as he is lying down on the bleachers.
We kept an eye on Xavier, who kept an eye on Jam who was wondering why Xavier kept running back and forth, but Snuggles stayed in a down stay. No more attack snuggling.

There was a moment in the 5th inning when Jam got a little gassy.  Fred  took him out to busy.  Xavier looked around for him.

"Where are they?" He asked.  "Maybe he ran off and they are chasing him?"  He kept a sharp eye out for Jam's return and was very relieved when Fred brought him back.  "See.  I told you they were on a walk." He told his mom.  She nodded and another piece of hair fell out of her ponytail.

As they were packing up to leave, Xavier edged closer and closer to us.

"Go on." His mom said.

"Does your dog bite?" He asked.

"No.  He doesn't bite.  He's going to be a guide dog someday.  He's in training.  He's supposed to be a nice dog." Fred had a hold of Jam.  Jam was facing out at Xavier.  "Would you like to pet him?"  Xavier nodded.  Then he put out a very uncertain little hand. A hand directly in front of the barracuda's mouth.

And Snuggles licked it.

"He licked me!" Xavier yelled.  He turned to his mom.  "He licked me!"
Jam sleeping on the bleachers.  Finally.
 His mom smiled. Fred smiled. Xavier smiled.

Jam licked his lips.

No comments:

Post a Comment