Today was another extremely hot and humid day, and two figures away from the triple digits. The air conditioning of the small convenient store on the corner of seventh felt therapeutic against my skin. I stood there admiring the large Bob Marley picture on the wall while enjoying the cool atmosphere and was thinking that the store manager might have to go throw me outside to get rid of me. Obviously I wasn’t the only one or thing, thinking the same way.
A girl and her Boxer walked in, she joined a short line and I noticed that the minute the shaggy dog’s rope went loose it sprawled out comfortably on the floor and closed its eyes. I couldn’t stop admiring his well-groomed fluffy brownish tan hair and easily decided he was one adorable pup. I wouldn’t want one for myself though but I would definitely walk this one sometimes.
I chewed away at the gum I had bought and the customers after me were all gone now. The girl stood thoughtful with a pack of Always sanitary napkin peeping through the thinness of the barely white plastic carry bag she clutched. I could tell she was contemplating the heat and the rest of her journey. Her face was sweaty and she looked exhausted. I bet she was regretting her walk with such a terrible heat wave hovering. I stared interestingly at the girl’s vividly upset look and then at her dog in a totally opposite mood so undisturbed and sleeping peacefully. Several minutes had passed before she took up his blue and yellow twisted rope and gently pulled it. The dog didn’t even stir so she momentarily pulled at it to attract its attention.
By this another line was filing out and getting closer to where the dog had laid motionless. Now she was quietly angry and whispering in a firm tone: “Let’s go Vinny. Let’s go Vinny.” The dog didn’t budge even with her hands on him gentle slapping him. She cracked an apologetic smile and said, “He’s never like this.” She shook her head and impatiently poked Vinny to get up. He was making a fool of her and she was kind of looking embarrassed.
Finally Vinny opened his eyes and she cracked a smile of relief. “Let’s go Vinny.” She urged impatiently. She poked and tickled him to get up but Vinny still didn’t get up. I was totally amused now and so were all the other patrons. Probably ‘Minutes Away Market’ was the only little convenient store that allows pets for ten minutes. It was written boldly below the Bob Marley picture and I guess that was all the time one needs to get their purchase and leave. It was so expensive to shop there anyway so patrons mostly buy an item or two that they really need.
The manager, no doubt was watching the show all along now got out of his secluded tinted glass cubicle and stepped briskly towards Vinny and his temp. The dog didn’t even look up and I felt pleased that now I had good reason to linger for longer in the store without feeling like a squatter or a queer. Unlike everyone else probably I was the only one who already knew the reason behind the dog’s behavior. Simply put, Vinny was just trying to escape the terrible heat too. Christ the dog is sensitive enough to understand good from bad temperature, lol.
The manager poked Vinny to get up, the dog looked at him then turned away his head while the poor girl pleaded and pulled at rope. The manager akimbo, tapped his foot impatiently and told the girl firmly to lift her dog out of the store. Vinny was more than half her size, and it was already tormenting enough outside plus carrying a big dog was unimaginable. I had to stifle an outburst of laughter as the girl panted and struggled to lift the stubborn dog up. She was fuming with Vinny as she stumbled outside. The manager shook his head in disbelief at the unusual situation. Once outdoors and back on the road the girl roughly dropped Vinny to the ground. The dog reluctantly but skillfully landed on his paws. Am sure she wasn’t taking Vinny for a walk any time soon after today, I thought in much amusement.