Monday, November 11, 2013

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Dogs of Anarchy

Jam has separation anxiety.  So, we try to frequent restaurants that have patios that allow dogs so that we can bring Jam and Dewey with us when we go out to eat.  Dunedin Smokehouse is a favorite.  We just found a new one in Safety Harbor called the Nantucket Bucket and it was great.

We were all excited to try out Rumba on Gulf to Bay and Keene because we heard that they also had a big patio and allowed dogs.  How nice! How close and convenient to our house!  What a find! And, evidently, the food was good too.  The whole package.

Sunday, we took the plunge and went there for dinner.  Now, one of the things that I am a little bit proud about is that our dogs are very well behaved.  They do a quick down under, under the table and pretty much go to sleep.  If people come over to see them, they are sweet and polite and then they go back to sleep.  There isn't any wild jumping and barking.  There isn't any peeing on chairs.  There isn't any wandering around.

Are you sensing a theme?

We walked up to the big patio of Rumba, which features a huge bar, and noticed several dogs right away.  The nice hostess was going to seat us by one of the dogs, but we requested a table on the opposite side of the patio.  Foolish, foolish me.  I picked the wrong side.

Two tables down from us were two guys wearing Sons of Anarchy shirts (one of Fred's favorite shows).  They seemed like nice guys.  And then their friend Grizzly Adams showed up.  Grizzly walked in with his dog Buddy, who didn't have a leash OR a collar, but better yet, he didn't respond to any commands.

The first thing Buddy does is run inside the patio, find a palm tree and claim it as his own.

Wow.  Inside the patio, Buddy has peed.  Major balls on Buddy.  Grizzly Adams hasn't even noticed as he is walking towards his friends.  Great.

I'm watching Buddy pee, I'm watching Grizzly Adams walk away and I'm becoming very concerned that Buddy is going to, wait, yep, here he comes.  Right over to us.

Inside my head I am screaming.  I will not share those words with you.  They were not polite.  Instead, I put my hand out to stop Buddy from coming next to Jam and Dewey.

Grizzly approached.  "Oh, hey."

"Yes, take him away." The lack of leash has taken away any surface courtesy I might have possessed and I am at irritation. From zero to 55 in about 5 seconds. Grizzly picks Buddy up and walks him over to his table of friends AND DEPOSITS HIM IN THE CHAIR AND STARTS TO FEED HIM AT THE TABLE.

Buddy in his chair, staring at me.
I am outraged.  I am now the embodiment of the stereotypical middle-aged woman from, probably, Sons of Anarchy, that they hate.  I'm sure I'm looking at their table in shock.  I probably just said something like, "They just broke every health code in the book!" And to make matters worse, I am secretly hoping that the manager will come by and tell them to make Buddy sit on the ground like a normal dog.  Or better yet, kick them out for not having him properly under control.  But no.  None of that happens.

It's like a little nightmare for responsible dog owners.  First, Grizzly Adams is mobbed by what I can only imagine are half wits, as it seems to be a steady stream of people who are delighted to see a dog sitting in a chair at a table in a restaurant eating food!  They crowd around, cooing over Buddy.

The crowd of halfwits around the table.
 Finally, Buddy can stand the adulation no more and jumps down to wander around at will.  Grizzly Adams doesn't care and lets him.  Where does he go?

One guess.

Our table.

He walks behind Fred and lifts his leg.  He pees.  Fine.  Whatever.  I see Grizzly Adams get up and start to search for Buddy.  Once again, I have Buddy pushed back and away from Jam and Dewey. He finally finds Buddy and picks him up and takes him away. Again.

I cannot leave this restaurant fast enough, I thought.  While we were waiting for the check, a woman wandered over.

"Can I pet him?" She said pointing to Dewey.  Fred told her no that he had his coat on, but said she could pet Jam.  She wasn't thrilled by that option.  "We wanted to make our boxer a service dog."

"Oh, did you?" Fred asked.

"No.  But he's a little old now."  Fred asked how old.  "Twelve or thirteen."  She looked a little vague on the details.

"Better not to bother with the training then," I said.

She nodded.  "And he has cancer."

"Well, there's that too."  I said.  I looked at Fred. He looked at the ground.  The lady walked off.

Oh my.