The dog in the coffeeshop

On the way to coffee, Joel played chicken with a city bus. I’m blaming this new hobby of his on his new boyfriend. He encourages Joel to take risks. I simply prefer not to be one of the things and people so risked, which I told him after assuring him my body had just swallowed its own sphincter in fear. Neither of us were angry, it was just one of those things to discuss and then to allow to pass.

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Joel and I were at Butter, a coffeeshop with fabulous cupcakes that shares building space with my favorite herb shop in the city, Present Moment. As we enjoyed our hot beverages, a woman trundled in with a pug-faced dog on a short leash. The dog stared at me, doing that puppy-pack placement stare, and when I moved my feet to a flat position he began to tug and lunge at me.

His owner, or leashholder, perhaps, talked to the people around her about the puppy who jumped at people but was not otherwise aggressive – he just seemed to want attention. Joel and I were quietly judgmental; we both have lots of thoughts on training dogs these days, especially since Stella came into our lives. ((Joel “introduced” her to the Lord and Lady as one of his private rituals. How cute is that???)) The puppy was tugging on its leash, and its owner was talking about the dog but not enforcing commands at all – just letting him tug and jump. I became uncertain as to whether the dog needed training, or the owner.

As I listened to her talk to the counter service, she reminded me of Hawaii, and the gently spacey and friendly hippies that seemed to counter the boutiques in Hawaii.  I warmed towards her. It wasn’t stupidity or laziness that led her to a jumpy pup; she just needed to discover a good approach.

Unable to resist, Joel and I stopped and gave puppy our due before we left. His owner was delighted. “He wanted to head to you the minute we walked in,” she told me. Puppy wagged his tail and jumped a little, but mostly looked ecstatic at the pets I gave him.

She was equally delighted with Joel. “Oh, you have such a good spirit, dogs can always tell.”

We discussed briefly what his breed might be – he had the face of a pug, the strength of a mastiff and the body movements of a terrier. If he’d sprouted wings he might be a griffin.

As we left, she commented again on how Joel and I seem like such good spirits. “You both seem wonderful. Take care of each other!”

It made me giggle to myself. So many people just assume that Joel and I are a married couple that I often think in some previous life we were.