Monday, February 15, 2010

The Day My Dogs Went Shopping at Target

For those of you who have seen the movie Marley and Me, if ever there was a moment where I felt like my dogs could steal a scene in that movie, it would have been yesterday.  Pictures in this post are irrelevant to the story.  I just put them in for some doggie visuals.  But details in this story have been in no way exaggerated.

Aaron and I had a very romantic day planned running to Home Depot and Target.  We had to buy some floor paint for the wine cellar we are working on in the basement (updated post on this coming probably next week), and more importantly, a "good" vacuum to pick up the dog hair that has been accumulating since last July.  As a side note, I now get all the hype about Dyson's.  It's incredible. I'll spare you pictures of all the dirt and hair it picked up, although I am tempted.

Since we had been at the wine conference all weekend (recap coming later in the week), we decided to bring the dogs with us on our shopping trip.  We couldn't leave our two valentines alone all day again! 

About 20 minutes after we left the house, Tux got, um....a little carsick.  Leaving us to roll down the windows on a 20 degree day.  He seemed to recover quickly.   By the time we got to our final stop of Target, we ran through the store as quickly as possible, knowing the dogs were probably at their limit for cartime that day, and we got to the Jeep to unload our cart.  I'm not sure if it was the smell of vomit in the car, that they had already been in the car for two hours, the crowds of people walking throughout the whole SuperTarget parking lot, or the fact that they take after their mother and were just so darn excited about being at Target, but whatever the reason, they decided they needed to get out of that Jeep and go shopping. 

While Aaron was holding a vacuum in his arms and I had four bags of groceries in my hands, the dogs jumped out of the Jeep in the middle of the parking lot while we were trying to load up our loot.  And they didn't just stand there and stretch their legs and shake it off either.  They RAN!  They ran full speed down the aisle right towards the Target entrance.  It was about this time, that I really wished we had spent more time on the "heel" and "come" commands.  Running full speed on our 12.4 acres, fine.  Running full speed in a Target parking lot.  Uh-uh.  It was like watching two country bumpkins go wild in the crowded city, with so much stimuli and people to greet, that they didn't know what to do. 

I dropped all four bags of groceries in the middle of the aisle and started running after them.  As they were approaching the crosswalk by the front of the store, I saw a white Tahoe turning the corner.  All I could think about was the fact that no car is expecting to see two pony-like dogs galloping frantically in front of them in the crosswalk of Target.  So my reaction was to scream.  "NOOOOOOO!"  I'm not sure if I meant it for the dogs, the car, or the crowd of people swarming around, but I knew I needed to get someone's attention.  And I did.  About twenty people by the entrance stopped to see what was going on and watched this scene unfold. 

The Tahoe stopped abruptly.  Fortunately not hitting the dogs, but rather allowing them to run across the crosswalk. People didn't quite know what to do.  Had these been beagles or spaniels, someone probably could have grabbed the dogs and stopped them, but I don't blame anyone for being intimidated by their size.  Instead of lunging towards the dogs to grab them, they were steering their carts clear of them forming a pathway for the dogs to get inside the store.  And their weight was certainly enough to activate the automatic doors to open.  I approached the crosswalk holding my hand up in front of the Tahoe to let me pass, just in time to see Tux and Belle run INSIDE of Target.

I'll pause for a moment to recap some thoughts running through my head at that time:

Where the heck is Aaron?  Why is he leaving me, his petite wife, to run after our two Great Danes?  Whatever. At this point, I just need to get them.  I don't have a leash.  How am I going to get a hold of them without a leash?  Oh my gosh, where did they go?  What if they have gotten to the produce section?  What if they are at the Butcher.  Oh, look at the expression on that ladies face just leaving the store.  Oh, no, oh, no.  What if I get in trouble with Target and they ban me from their store forever?!  I forgot Cream of Mushroom soup. Maybe they'll get that while they are inside. 

I got to the doors and saw the dogs right by the red shopping carts, jumping in circles putting on a show for the crowd of people that had formed around them.  I saw a man holding a bouquet of flowers, a puzzled look on his face and I remember thinking how he was probably going home to his wife and would have a really great story to tell her when he gave her those flowers.  There was a little old lady standing behind her cart trying to exit the store, with the most horror stricken look on her face as she was trying to get around them and just get out of there.  She found no humor in the situation whatsoever. A man and his wife were standing there admiring the dogs as if seeing two rambunctious dogs inside of Target was nothing new. I found it humorous they found it an opportune time to compliment me on my "nice looking dogs" and ask me what kind they were as I was trying to tackle them to the ground.

Another woman at this point was kind enough to stop and at least try to corral the dogs so they wouldn't go any farther.  She spread her legs and squated as if she was guarding someone in a basketball game, which wasn't a bad approach to take with these dogs. Thankfully that helped as I was at least able to grab Tux by the collar as she did that.  And after some more help, eventually Belle.  I didn't have them quite under control as they were still jumping in excitement while I hung on by their collars.  I breathlessly and profusely apologiized to the people witnessing this scene.  "I'm sorry, I'm sorry.  They jumped out of the car!  They're friendly. They're just puppies." I explained using that as an excuse for their behavior.

At that point, I was still wondering, where is my husband?  A lady stopped to ask me if I had "back-up coming?"  After I pulled them by their collars out of the store and was standing outside looking for Aaron, a young woman with the cutest little four year old girl stopped and sweetly asked me, "Can I pet your doggies?" 

So hard to resist that sweet little voice. Tux and Belle, who adore children, probably a little too much, jumped in excitement at the prospect of playing with a creature three times smaller than them.  They love children, they just don't realize how much bigger they are than most of them.

That's when Aaron drove up in the Jeep and I released the biggest sigh of relief possible.  Poor dogs were still overly excited and since we had too many bags in the back seat, the dogs decided they wanted to sit in my lap on the way home. I'm not kidding. So I had Tux in the front seat, his front legs straddled around my waist, back legs in the ground and his belly pressed up against mine as he licked my face on the way home. And Belle with two front paws on my lap and back legs in the back seat.  Yes, I know this isn't safe...or comfortable.  But I didn't care, I just wanted to get them home. 

There you have it.  Marley times two. Okay, I gotta run.  Just caught Tux eating Aaron's glove.

Later in the week, I'll post what I learned at the grape nerd convention.