The steps leading to the entrance of the Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar were sandstone tan and edged with dark brown, no doubt painted to help patrons better see each step and not trip. Too bad the architect thought adding one extra dark brown line on the tan sidewalk spaced one step width from the first real step would be attractive. All it really did was to create a fake step which caused me to trip before I reached the real step. Rosie thought that was amusing.
“Hey Dad! Walking goes left, right, left right. It’s not that hard. Even for you two-footed humans.”
“Quiet,” I muttered, as I continued up the steps, contrarily climbing right, left, right left. I waited outside with Rosie while Fran went inside to request a table on the patio, where dogs are allowed. As we were waiting, a little 20 month old boy peeked at Rosie from a gap in the gate.
“Hi,” said Rosie. “You are just my size. Do you want to come out and play with me?”
“He can’t hear you Rose. You know only Mom and I can hear and understand you.”
“I know, I was just being polite.”
“Anyway, you don’t like small people.”
“Be nice They are called children, Dad, boys or girls, not small people. Or if they are dogs, they are pups. And I know I don’t like them, they pull hair and play rough.”
“Granddaughter Grace doesn’t pull your hair or play rough. She is very gentle with you.”
“I know. I just don’t want to set precedence and raise your expectations of my behavior. Anyway, I was just being polite”
Fran and the hostess returned to lead us to our table. We entered through a swinging metal gate and turned left just before the big unlit fire pit located in the center of the patio. There were napkins but no place settings around the pit’s gray stone edge. Apparently this was the conversation spot where people waited for their tables.
I said to Rosie, ”I bet the fire pit was crowded during the cold winter. It’s good it was off today. The temperature is about 80 tonight.”
There was a pit bull laying next to their owner’s feet, just looking around and smiling. He had a stout leash and looked very content and friendly. We took a circuitous route to avoid him. With his tongue lolling out he watched Rosie walk on the other side of the adjacent table.
“Don’t walk to close to him, Rose. You wouldn’t even be breakfast for him.”
“He’s ok, Dad. Harvey won’t hurt me, or anyone,” Rosie reassured me.
“OK, good. You have a remarkable sense of other dogs’ temperaments, but how do you know his name is Harvey?”
“I called HER Harvey because that is HER name. I thought we discussed this along with “the bitch” last week.”
Not wanting to re-open that still fresh wound and recently lost battle, I said, “Here is our table. Do you want some water?”
“No, thanks. I am fine.”
“But it’s hot out here. You should drink some water.”
“I said I am fine. You and Mom just go ahead, enjoy your drinks and eat your human food right in front of me while I sit and hide under your table. It’s fine!”
“Hmmm. I think someone is hot, thirsty and grouchy, but suit yourself. We could have left you home, you know.”
Silence, while Rosie thought, “Yeah. What a shame that would have been. I could have slept with their whole bed to myself, where its cool. I could have played with my toys. Yeah, what a treat to come here and hide under a chair. Pup, it’s hot!”
Rosie wandered around the chair legs, still attached with her bright pink leash, causing me to untangle her every few minutes. Finally, she lay down in the shade and panted.
Yvonne, the waitress, brought us our drinks and a bowl of water for Rosie, which she promptly ignored. We were seated at a small table on the outside edge of the patio. There were tables for parties of two and four. Some were pushed together for larger groups. Seven or eight very young kids hovered near their grown-ups, occasionally making a break for it before being caught and brought back, laughing. Five or six amazingly well behaved, docile dogs lay, sat, or stood by their owners’ tables. It was noisy, but not objectionably so. A small bar with colorful neon flood lights formed the restaurant’s exterior wall.
Rosie stood up and walked around in a circle tying my leg to my chair’s. When I reached down to untie us she said, “I prefer Jack’s to this place.”
Surprised, I asked why.
“Jack’s is smaller. There are fewer watch-out-fors.”
“What are watch-out-fors? “ I asked.
“Things to watch out for, Dad. The world is a dangerous place, you know. It’s smart to be on guard all the time.”
“Oh, poor Rosalita. What did happen to you before you were found lost and abandoned in that field in San Jose?”
Rosie let out a powerful sigh. “I am fine, Dad. I don’t want to talk about it. That part of my life is over. I live with you and Mom now. I truly am fine.”
- To A Hotel Someplace
- The Star Alliance
- The Quantum Butterfly Effect
- Revisionist History? Naw, Just Editing “Backstreets”
- Oh Genre, My Genre
- Quiet Time
- The Rain Returns
- Delta Dawn
- The Last Run
- The Cell Phone
- The Factory Whistle
- The Corn Field
- The Highway
- Havana Rose
- The Pleasure Machine
- Rosie You Turkey
- Rosie’s Secret Garden
Pingback: Short-short Stories | "What If…" by Dave Oney