Monday, April 9, 2012

Winnie goes to Walmart

After reading the title of this post, you may be wondering, "What? Dogs can go to Walmart now?" Well, yes and no. Yes, dogs can go to Walmart. No, they shouldn't go to Walmart. Ever.

This afternoon Campbell and I decided to stroll to Walmart to get a few items. There is a Walmart about 1/2 mile from our house, located behind our neighborhood. It's an easy stroll there and back.

Of course, Winnie followed me outside because she wanted to go with us. I told her we would be right back and shut her in the back yard. About half way to Walmart, guess who trots up beside me? Well, Winnie Claire of course! I told her to go home and she immediately obeyed as she always does. The End. Oh wait, no she didn't. She doesn't do that. Ever.

At that point I had a decision to make: turn around and take Winnie home and drive to Walmart like a normal, sane person, or keep walking to Walmart with my unleashed dog following me. If this were a movie, you'd be yelling at the screen, "Go home, you idiot!" So I kept strolling to Walmart. Like an idiot.

Winnie weaved in and out of bushes and dodged cars as Campbell and I kept strolling. Campbell was already fussy because the sun was in his eyes and his hat kept turning sideways. Winnie scampered ahead and beat us to Walmart. Upon my arrival, I found her by the carts rustling through the trash and eating pavement Doritos. Naturally.

At this point I devise a (genius) plan: catch Winnie in the Walmart parking lot (easy, right?), beg a stranger to hold her while I run inside and buy a leash, and come back outside to tie her to a tree while I go back into Walmart and get the few items I need.

As I approached Winnie to catch her, a lady walked up. Carol? Kathy? Who remembers? Henceforth she shall be called "guardian angel" (GA).

GA: Is this your dog?

Me: Yes, she's mine. (To Winnie: Come here, Winnie!) She followed me here.

GA: Didn't you see her following you when you were driving here?

Me: Well, I walked...(...mumbling nonsense...she got out of the back yard...Houdini...mumble mumble...)

GA: What are you going to do?

Me: (I grab Winnie's collar) I'm going to go inside and get a leash and tie her up somewhere out here while I go get what I need and then walk back home.

GA: Do you want me to sit with her while you go get a leash?

[Hallelujah chorus]

Me: Oh yes, thank you so much! Are you sure you don't mind? Thank you thank you thank you! Be right back.

Campbell and I hurriedly strolled into Walmart, bought the leash, and came out. Then GA offered to watch my baby while I found a tree to tie Winnie up. She apparently noticed I was hesitant about leaving my baby with a stranger, albeit a guardian angel, and offered to stroll him beside me while I located a shaded tree and tied up Winnie. What a gal!

Campbell started crying again. GA said, "Oh no, she's crying. It's ok, your mommy's right there." It didn't even offend me that she called Campbell (still wearing a cap) a girl because she had helped me so much. Who am I to correct a guardian angel? My response: "It's ok. She'll be fine. The sun's just in her eyes." (Sorry, Campbell.)

After securing Winnie in the shade, I thanked GA profusely and rushed back into Walmart and was out in 10 minutes with the stroller basket filled with bratwursts, baby food, milk, and a new floppy hat for Campbell. I untied Winnie from the tree and wrapped the leash around my hand about 5 times and began the trek out of the parking lot.

By this point, Campbell was fed up. He was hot. He was tired of being in the stroller. His hat wasn't working. (New hat was too big. He couldn't see a thing. But it was darling -- light blue and white checked pattern). He was screaming. I was dragging Winnie on a short-leash while trying to push the stroller and pelting threats of, "if you pull this leash, I will end you" at her. People were staring.

After a cursory "haha...not my best idea" explanation to the staring strangers, I was home in ten minutes. After what shall henceforth be known as my dumbest adventure ever, we made it home in one piece -- minus one sippy cup that I'm guessing we lost on the walk home.

Lesson learned: listen to the people watching your life-movie (voices in your head). They are wise and want the best for you. Heed their warnings. If you think it might not be a good idea to take your unleashed dog to Walmart, it probably isn't.

Sunday, April 8, 2012