The dogs are sound asleep, passed out on the sofa and floor. What tired them out? You may be wondering. It was not a long brisk walk or a vigorous romp around the backyard. Nor was it the retrieval of the tennis ball in the newly expanded boundaries on the first floor. These pups are exhausted from our outing at the pet store. Go figure.
This morning we left the house for a quick visit to the vet for bordatella boosters. Both of them were eager to climb into the car wearing their winter sweaters. They sat up tall on the rear seat bench looking out the windows. Even though there is snow on the ground I cracked open their windows. They love smelling the outdoors as the car rolls along. One at a time they stepped onto the scale and sat obediently while their weight was recorded. Koda is 50 pounds even, and Summer is a whopping 57 pounds. They were so good at the vet visit that I was smiling proudly as we pulled out of the parking lot.
Then I made the brave decision to bring them to the large pet store. Whenever I have shopped there I have seen people bring their dogs with them. Fun! Why not? On the short drive across town I began thinking about other fun outings I could start embarking on with the dogs. Stoney Pointe shopping center was dog friendly, pack walks, dog parks, Belle Isle… We arrived and I hesitated in front of the doors considering for a moment that a picture in front of the store doors would be fun, to mark this special first shopping experience together. I fumbled around in my purse for my iphone and the dogs got antsy so there was no picture of that moment of anticipation.
Koda and Summer lifted their noses in all directions checking out the smells, sights, and sounds of the large pet store. To say that I was not prepared for this stimulating environment is a big understatement. Aisles lined with dog treats and toys were only part of the excitement. The real thrills came from the wide variety of four legged shoppers. Koda and Summer excitedly bolted forward at the first dog they saw across the store. I pulled back on their leashes and made a quick left turn into the toy aisle. Kongs, ropes, balls, you name it they had it. I led my sweater covered shaggy duo down to the end and around the corner to the collars.
Here is where I made my first mistake. I took far too long in choosing the collars. I was deciding on colors, patterns and sizes. Meanwhile the 8 month old puppies that don’t get out too often began to get restless. I am standing there pondering flowers or hearts for Summer when the dogs start barking up a storm. I glance over to see an older couple with a corgie, the woman sneers our direction and tells her husband to pick up their short dog. Embarrassed but trying to show I am in complete control I said something like, “My dogs are just excited to be here.” Then I grabbed the two new collars and headed to the treat aisle. A line was forming at the checkout so I grabbed the first couple bags of training treats I found.
We stood there third in line. A short man in front of me was holding a yorkie in his arms, Koda and Summer were practically kissing his dog because of their tall heights making them eye level with the tiny terrier in the little man’s arms. I pulled back on the leashes. I was a wreck by this point, sweating in my warm pullover, dropping my items to purchase on the floor repeatedly as the dogs lurched here and there to check out everyone around us. A checker must have noticed and quickly called me over to check out.
For a brief moment I was transported back to the days when my four children were little and I took them shopping in the grocery store. Stay in the cart, no we are not buying any candy, I said no, watch out for that display, don’t touch the fruit we are not buying, put that down, where is your brother, what is in your mouth, where did you get that, get off of the floor right now, I mean it.
Not so easy then with rambunctious kids and definitely not easy now with spirited puppies. But I will not give up. There will be other attempts at shopping together. We are done for today. I am as wiped out as they are. Nap time!