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Where’s an Authority on Stuffed Rescue Dogs When You Need One?

April 14, 2013

The boyfriend and I were walking home from a friend’s house the other night. We had had a few drinks but not several. We could safely walk a straight line, is what I’m trying to say. Perhaps my line would be a teensy bit straighter than the boyfriend’s but whatever. The people we passed on the way to our place, though? Well not so much. For example, the girl who was crying hysterically because she didn’t understand her Blackberry. She was stumbling down the street, her tear-stained face simultaneously strained and crumpled as she wailed, “I just don’t GET my Blackberry, you know? I just don’t UNDERSTAND it.” Her boyfriend silently followed behind her looking as if he wanted to push the girl in front of the next TTC bus to drive by. Fortunately for her the TTC service in our area is sorely lacking due to excessive construction so she was safe for the time being.

Spotting a hot dog stand, my bf decided he was desperately in need of a sausage. We waited behind two young, pretty girls who, based on their attire and inability to stand without weaving back and forth had obviously just left a nearby club. One of the girls attempted to hand money over to the vendor and knocked several pop cans off of the shelf in front of her. I managed to catch one before the rest clattered to the ground.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,” she gasped.

She thanked me profusely (you have to love Canadians. Unless we have fallen into a drunken rage, alcohol cannot kill our ingrained politeness) as I handed her the one pop and the BF and I bent down to retrieve the others.  She placed the beverage I gave her back on the shelf, knocking the rest of them over. One of those carbonated missiles grazed my ear and another landed squarely on my shoe, my brand new Diesel stilettos. The boyfriend straightened, completely unscathed of course and placed the pop cans back on the shelf for her as she apologized ten more times. “I’m trying to help and I’m just making things worse,” she mumbled.

As the boyfriend placed his order, I turned away from the stand. I simply could not watch this girl slop condiments all over her nice clothes. I now found myself face to face with a wild-eyed man carrying an incredibly large stuffed dog. He stared unflinchingly at me. In the background, I heard my boyfriend threaten to start a food fight if this girl dropped just one more olive on his good shoes. In return the two girls began to flirt mercilessly with him. I struck up a conversation with the man in front of me. He was obviously not quite right in the head and I attract crazy people like a magnate. I’ve learned over the years that if I start the inevitable conversation, I have much more control over the tone and direction of our exchange.

“That’s a nice dog. I said. Is he a rescue?”

“Yes, I rescued him tonight. A woman was throwing him in the trash, can you believe it?”

“It is absolutely appalling how some people treat their stuffed animals. Thank God you were there.”

“It was disgusting! The dog wasn’t even hers. It was her son’s. She said he had gone off to college and she needed the room. And this wasn’t the only one she threw away. There were so many of them but I could only rescue one.” His chin dipped to his chest.

“Don’t be sad. You did a good deed, Sir. Do you know what kind of dog it is?”

“It’s a Border Collie. I’ve named him Charlie.”

“That’s not a Border Collie,” said my boyfriend, joining in the conversation.  The girls had disappeared. “That’s a Sheltie.”

“No it’s not, it’s a Border Collie.”

“You don’t think I know a Sheltie when I see one? Your stuffed dog is a Sheltie, Sir.”

“I’m the one who rescued him. You don’t think I know what I rescued?”

“Rescuing a stuffed animal doesn’t make you an authority. In fact,  I don’t think you even got the sex right. I think you rescued a girl Sheltie, not a boy Sheltie.”

“You think?” he asked, turning the dog over to examine it’s crotch.

“Well either way, Charlie still works,” I offered.

“Yeah,” he said, sadly. “I guess…but I still think it’s a Border Collie. I’m going to ask my girlfriend when I get home. She’ll know.” I was pretty sure that by home, he meant one of the many shelters on Yonge or in the Club district.

“Okay, well. Can I buy you a hot dog?” I asked.

“No way, I won’t put that garbage in my mouth. Do you know what’s in those things? I’ll take some money, though. It’s a long walk. I’d rather catch a bus.”

I reached into my wallet and pulled out a bus token and a few dollars. “Good luck catching a bus in this neighborhood. See ya, Charlie!”

The boyfriend and I headed the final steps home with one dented Diesel stiletto, one men’s dress shoe covered in sauerkraut and one street meat style Italian sausage that even a homeless, crazy person knows better than to put in his mouth.

“That was totally a Sheltie,” said my boyfriend after a few moments.

“It was a Border Collie.”

“Really? I guess I don’t know from stuffed rescue dogs.”

“Nope. Just because you met a guy carrying one doesn’t make you an authority, Sir.”








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