|Yaxley is ready to do his business at Buehler’s.
No, not that business, he’s selling hot dogs.
“You have dogs for sale?”
“That’s right. One dollar for a hot dog and the brats are a dollar fifty“
“Um. I mean the dogs . . . are they up for adoption or something?”
And so begins an awkward segue into explaining our pups in training for Canine Companions for Independence.
Yaxley and I spent a gorgeous Saturday afternoon with other CCI supporters at Buehler’s Fresh Foods in Delaware, Ohio. It was a Grilling Dogs with the CCI Dogs fundraising event located at the wonderfully shaded entrance to the store. A nice little setup with hot dogs, brats, drinks, and chips for sale. And slices of pie fresh from the bakery. Enough good stuff to draw a hungry crowd.
As food booth volunteers, we were given the options of food prep, running the cash drawer or crowd socializing with the pups. I’m kinda stumped on how to share my job choice without sounding lazy, so I’ll just be up front about it and lay it all out there for you.
Look, I already cook a meal nearly every bleary-eyed evening after a long day at work goofing around with budgets. So thinking I’ll pass on any opportunities involving food or math. Socializing, though? That sounds easy. Especially since I’ll be holding the leash of an adorable puppy that will be doing most of the work.
So with my work ethic safely stowed away, I pulled up a $29.99 lawn chair and awaited our audience.
Hey, it’s not like Yaxley had to do the work all by himself. He had lots of help in greeting folk. Jones was there to break up the heavy work load, so poor Yax didn’t have the carry that burden of greeting every little kid that stopped by to give a belly rub.
|Jones and Yaxley ready to work the crowd|
|Just a little bit closer, kid. Almost . . . close . . . enuf . . . to. . . lick|
Then just in time as the lunch crowd is showing up, the relief team of Haiku and Dahl are there to assist. In hindsight, in the photo below I now realize there’s a large red arrow that’s pointed directly at Dahl’s labrador noggin. And then yet another arrow is right there at her, um, tail. Certainly not intentional and my apologies to Dahl for any loss of dignity. But still — it makes me giggle when I look at it.
|Ok, everybody say Cookie!
Yaxley, Haiku and Dahl smile for the camera.
And then, oh the glory of it all, another young puppy shows up. Yaxley makes a seamless and immediate shift change from professional crowd socializer to six month puppy goofball. Hey there cutie, he says. What’s your name?
|Girly girl Jada.
Check out those soulful brown eyes.
Yaxley meets the glorious Jada, an eight month old CCI pup in training. And his puppy brain short-circuits. Just as the neurons start misfiring and inspiring random puppy behavior, I’m handed Jada’s leash to hold for a minute. And Yaxley announces that it’s now Break Time! Hey Jada, let’s rassle!
I unhinge Yaxley’s puppy snout from Jada’s front leg and try to explain that, Yax honey, Jada’s not that kind of girl.
We gather up some self-control and get back to work. Then Yaxley tells me enough is enough, Food Lady. I certainly can’t expect him to work all day.
|Aw, can’t I just chew on her leg for a few minutes?|
So Yaxley and Jada declare an official nap time for all working dogs.
|Dahl shows the youngsters how the pros do it.|
|Dahl! Dahl! Lookit me! I’m doing it!|