Yesterday I went to our favorite Thai place for some take-out. Cheryl and I and our puppies have been regular customers there for years, and we've come to know the employees, most of whom struggle with English in a polite, delightful sort of way. At first, we could tell that the waitresses were a little perplexed about why we bring the puppies into the restaurant. Now they always seem happy to see the dogs.
Yesterday, though, I could tell something was different. When I walked through the door, the girl behind the counter smiled and then ran to get the owner, a pleasant older lady, to bring me the takeout. Unusual. The owner and I had some small talk, and I noticed that three of the young waitresses began to gather around behind her and look at each other, all smiling. Very odd.
"I have a small dog," the owner said, now with a serious face and speaking in her thick Thai accent, "and he like to pee on people."
Moments like this don't come along very often in life, so you want to make the most of them. Obviously these women believe I am some sort of dog expert and that I can tell them how to fix the problem. It's important, I thought to myself, that I don't start laughing.
"Really," I said. "Well, that's not good."
One of the waitresses then came and stood closer to the owner, as if on cue. "Yes," the owner said and put her hand on the young woman, "she came to my house, and my dog pee on her." The girl nodded that this was true. They all looked at me for an explanation, and my brain went scrambling for an answer.
"Well," I asked, "how does the dog act while he is peeing? Is he happy, excited, jumping up and down?"
"Yes," they both nodded, very serious.
"Small dogs are like this," I said after my brain failed to come up with an actual explanation, "and nothing much can be done. You need to try to calm him down, maybe give him a sip of beer before someone comes to the house." I laughed, but they looked at me in a puzzled sort of way. "Just kidding--don't give him any beer. Beer isn't good for dogs, and it will make him pee even more. Just try to be calm with him, and gentle."
I am an idiot.
Here's a picture of Coach, happy and with his tongue hanging out. He's IFT in a few days. We'll miss him very much.