The Poodle Who Was Gravely Ill

There are many reasons why I love my dad but this story is the most recent:

My dad sells antiques and has cases in a few antique shops where we live. Those who sell antiques are, well…an eclectic and eccentric bunch. It’s my belief that the “odd ball” to “normal” ratio is greater than in the general population. They are a fun group…but yeah, odd sums it up. As part of his contract with one of the shops my dad is required to put in “floor time” meaning he has to be in the store to answer questions, help customers, etc. On one particular day another antique dealer came into the shop with his wife to work on their case. They had their poodle with them. It was the husband’s habit to carry the dog in a baby sling much like this one:

baby

While he tended to precious poodle, he would sit in a folding chair and direct his wife on how to display the merchandise in their case. At this point in the story, my gut reaction would have been “Screw you,” but maybe that’s why I’m not married. I wasn’t there, so I’ve had to use my imagination to fill in the blanks, but I picture him spoon feeding the poodle a medley of fresh veggies and foie gras , while sitting in a director’s chair, wearing a beret, enjoying a smoke from a long gilded cigarette holder, and stroking his pencil-thin mustache:

camp

Dad was quite used to seeing the couple and had always assumed that there was something wrong with the dog. Otherwise it would just be madness. Dad had just finished with a customer and walked around the corner to see the poodle ambling around on his own and appearing to be in particularly good health.

“What the hell?! I thought that poodle was a cripple!”

To another employee, “Did you know that poodle can walk?”

“Of course he can walk.”

He was shocked. I’m not sure if he was more annoyed that the guy let his wife do all the work while he toted around his completely non-crippled dog or because he felt foolish that he had felt sympathy for said completely non-crippled dog. Or maybe it was that everyone else seemed to know the dog was not gravely ill.  I’m guessing it was probably a combination of all three.

“I never asked what was wrong with him. I didn’t want to be rude. But that sonofabitch has been carrying around a perfectly healthy dog for years! I always thought he was an invalid. The nerve!”

Ahhhh Dad…I love you.

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