Swallowing Your Pride...And Other Things

Well it’s happened. I inadvertently ate a doggy treat in public.

It wasn’t one of those times a person could excuse themselves because they were in the ring or training with a treat tucked in the cheek so the hands were free. That is fairly acceptable in the world of dogs and probably unnamed pounds of liver, chicken and hot dogs have been consumed by guardians in this fashion with very little in the way of response because that is just one of the many odd things that happen in the show ring or training venues.

No, this was a little different.

For a few hours a week I take tickets at a local parking ramp and now that the cooler weather has come, many drivers who are dropping someone off have their furry companions along for the ride. So I keep a little stash of assorted biscuits and treats on my counter to hand out to the dogs through the little window.

This is all good. Unfortunately, I also kept my lunch on the counter, which usually consists of some fresh vegetables. Of course I don’t have food in my mouth when a car drives up but on this day I wasn’t paying attention and had popped what I thought was a grape tomato into my mouth as a driver I had not noticed pulled up to pay a ticket.

Now, when one is expecting to eat a grape tomato and instead randomly pops a dog treat into one’s mouth, it becomes rather difficult to disguise the surprise and involuntary need to gag. A reflex not unnoticed by the driver.

“I got a candy bar here if you’re that hungry.”

I couldn’t help but grin at my own mortification.  “Oh, you saw that, huh?”

“Yea, I even know what brand it is because my four year old likes to eat them. Unfortunately.” He smiled. “She says they’re good.”

“I beg to differ.” I replied as I had no choice but to swallow for the sake of propriety. The event brought us to an interesting conversation on the trials of having a ‘dog house’ and how it tends to change one’s perspective of what is important, what is not and other ‘doggy’ lessons; such as never leave your sandwich unattended no matter where it is, and keep track of all dirty underwear especially if you are having company over because surely the panties will be making a guest appearance at the most inopportune time.

As he drove away I considered a lesson that I knew by heart, but did not always practice.


Lesson one: Be present. Keep in the moment and do not let idle thoughts distract you from what is unfolding before you in the ‘now’.

Lesson two: Don’t put grape tomatoes and dog treats in the same vicinity if you’re eating lunch and you have not heeded lesson one.


Picture courtesy Barker Baker

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