It hap­pened at Wal­mart (again)

The Covington News - - Living - Beth Rowe may be reached at opieorowe@att. net.

It’s been a while since my first ‘tell all’ col­umn about my ex­pe­ri­ence from work­ing at Wal­mart and boy have I got a story for you! As ev­ery­body knows, you can’t just run down to Wal­mart with­out run­ning into some­body or see­ing some­thing and com­ing back with a story to tell. You don’t even have to go in Wal­mart to see the ac­tion ei­ther some­times. If you hap­pened to be at the Cov­ing­ton Wal­mart on a re­cent Fri­day evening, you’ll know what I am talk­ing about.

We made a spe­cial trip to Wal­mart, just for laun­dry de­ter­gent and it turned out to be a ‘spe­cial trip’ in­deed. We de­cided to let our lit­tle dogs, Opie and Lit­tle Bit, come along for the ride. Now these two get ex­cited about rid­ing any­where, es­pe­cially if it means a treat. Their trips are very lim­ited dur­ing the sum­mer months, but it had cooled off con­sid­er­ably by late evening and we thought it’d be okay for them to tag along. This wasn’t their first trip to Wal­mart and they’ve never been in­side, but all that changed with just one trip.

Af­ter cir­cling the park­ing lot a few times, Sweet Pea fi­nally found a suit­able park­ing spot and killed the en­gine. He looked at me and said “I’ll run in and get the de­ter­gent be­cause you’ll be in there for­ever so just stay here with the dogs.” Les­son num­ber one: No mat­ter what they say, men DO talk more than women; Les­son num­ber two: Men do not ‘go any­where and come right back’, es­pe­cially if it’s to Wal­mart (that’s an­other Wal­mart story in it­self so stay tuned); Les­son num­ber three: Not even the most lov­ing dog own­ers with good sense would ever think of tak­ing two dogs for a ride, es­pe­cially to Wal­mart on a hot, muggy July evening. There’s not much I can say to jus­tify my ac­tions at this point so I will just plead the fifth on this one and blame it on too much sum­mer heat fi­nally get­ting to me and fry­ing my brain.

Sweet Pea was in­deed gone a while and, de­spite my best ef­forts to keep them quiet and oc­cu­pied, there was just too much go­ing on and they wanted to be part of it. Sweet Pea left the keys in the ig­ni­tion so I could turn on the air if needed but it had cooled off con­sid­er­ably and I had the win­dows down about a quar­ter of the way. The boys had fi­nally given up on Sweet Pea and got quiet and we were en­joy­ing the respite from the heat. I guess maybe it was a lit­tle too quiet and bor­ing for Lit­tle Bit be­cause the next thing I knew, he’d jumped from back seat to the driver’s seat, put his paw on the but­ton that rolls down the win­dows all the way and jumped out. It hap- pened so fast I hardly had time to think as I jumped out of the truck, run­ning af­ter Lit­tle Bit through the Wal­mart park­ing lot.

Luck­ily, most of New­ton County was at Wal­mart that par­tic­u­lar night be­cause it took ex­actly that many of us to catch Lit­tle Bit. Word must have got­ten out that there was a re­ward for his cap­ture be­cause there were plenty of peo­ple try­ing to help catch this run­away dog and not one of us could catch him. You wouldn’t think catch­ing a lit­tle dog would be so hard, but you’ve never met a dog like Lit­tle Bit.

Lit­tle Bit was just a puppy when we first saw him, wan­der­ing from house to house as though he were lost and look­ing for a friend. He be­came a reg­u­lar visi­tor and we were all in­stantly smit­ten with him, in­clud­ing Opie, who’d found a new friend. Our daugh­ter found it hard to say no to Lit­tle Bit, es­pe­cially af­ter learn­ing he had no fam­ily and some­how conned us into mak­ing him part of our fam­ily. You know how the rest of the story goes, af­ter a while the new­ness and fun wears off and it’s Mom and Dad who are pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for at­tend­ing to his needs.

The prob­lem with an­i­mals is I have a weak spot for them and turn­ing away from a cute, sad face is nearly im­pos­si­ble for me. Lit­tle Bit is a charm­ing Chi­huahua mix with cute lit­tle but­ton eyes and big ears. But looks can be de­ceiv­ing and be­hind that charm­ing lit­tle face can be a lit­tle mon­ster and that is ex­actly what we got in Lit­tle Bit. Sweet Pea says “it’s just the puppy in him” and he just turned one, so un­for­tu­nately, we may still have a ways to go with him. The list of things he has de­stroyed is a mile long and we’ve learned the hard way that noth­ing is safe with him around. Cute as he is, there are times when I ques­tion what we were think­ing in get­ting an­other dog and I have come just shy of putting him out by the road with a sign around his neck a few times. And then he cud­dles up in my lap and gets mushy and all those torn shoes and blan­kets are but a dis­tant mem­ory.

Af­ter his re­cent ad­ven­ture, I dis­cov­ered what may have been a sim­ple fix to nip this in the bud a long time ago. I no­ticed the other day Lit­tle Bit was re­ally in tune to a com­mer­cial with Span­ish lan­guage and he stared and lis­tened at­ten­tively to what was go­ing on. I re­peated what was said and he got ex­cited, wagged his tail and did the happy dance as if he knew ex­actly what I meant. You’d think af­ter rais­ing two kids, I would have this par­ent­ing thing down to a science; the se­cret is in how you talk to them but I never imag­ined he lit­er­ally didn’t un­der­stand English. Per­haps with a lit­tle more pa­tience and brush­ing up on my Span­ish, Lit­tle Bit’s angelic side may come shin­ing through and not a minute too soon.

BETH ROWE COLUM­NIST

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