This morning there seemed to be one crisis after another. I ran out of creamer for my coffee, one of my editors needed to vent at me about another writer, and I had a no show on a phone interview which really ticked me off because I got up at the crack of dawn to call freaking London to talk to the guy. By noon, no amount of caffeine was going to make me productive, so I gathered my daughter and two dogs and headed to Sonic.
We love Sonic. The girls (my dogs) enjoy Sonic more than any other fast food restaurant. I think because they can interact with the help. When we go to other fast food or bank drive thrus, they only get frustrated because they hear the server’s voice but they don’t see anyone. For my neurotic, Bambi-looking pooch, LuLu, this is especially worrisome. Voices with no bodies attached make her skittish, and she starts to shake.
But at Sonic, not only do the girls see a head, but they see an entire body as the serving staff roller skates up to your window to bring food.
Okay, there has been an instance or two when Frankie, my moose dog, has tried to relieve the server of the food before he or she has had a chance to hand it off to me. In fact, the last time we were at Sonic, the server had to bring us our order twice since Frankie’s paw knocked the tray with the food out of the server’s hands. While the server laughed at the incident, I was not as amused since the double cost of the fast food meal was as much as a sit down dinner somewhere else.
Anyway, today I took precautions and kept the girls in their seatbelts until the server skated off. Then, I carefully laid out each girl’s burger so that they would have their food in front of them while my daughter and I enjoyed our lunch. It’s funny how we got maybe one bite into our chicken sandwiches and both dogs were already done with their meals. Obviously, I have failed in teaching them proper table etiquette.
We tried to ignore the panting and whimpering from the back seat that easily translated into “GIVE US MORE FOOD”, but it soon got to be impossible. So, I ripped off part of my sandwich, divided it into two pieces, and gave one to each dog. This is when the trouble started. One piece must have fallen on the floor of my Escape, and for some reason both dogs wanted that one piece. They dove to the floor and a Cujo moment ensued.
A Cujo moment in my house is when both dogs start to fight — usually it’s over a toy or a bone. It’s never a big deal; it’s just loud. I get in the middle of the two of them and yell “STOP NOW!” That command sends them off to opposite corners. Then, they feel badly about their outburst and come together and start kissing each other. However, in the small confines of the car, the STOP command had little effect. The dogs were growling, the fur was flying, the food was everywhere and my daughter and I were not helping matters by yelling as well. Finally, I jumped into the backseat and into the middle of the fray and put an end to the barking, sniping and bad behavior. When all was said and done, my nice clean escape with its newly detailed leather seats, was filled with dog hair, mashed burger pieces and splatters of ketchup. It looked like a scene from CSI: Miami.
While we thought it was a wild scene in the car, I can only imagine what the people in the car next to us thought. After the doggie altercation was over, I happened to look up to see if anyone caught the canine chaos. The two teenage guys next to us were convulsed in laughter. I cannot be sure if they were laughing at us, but unless they had some other type of comedic entertainment going on in that car, it’s a pretty good bet that we were the source of their giggling.
I quickly buckled the girls back in their seatbelts and took off. I guess the road trip and the fighting proved to be too much for them because they slept the entire drive home. When I pulled into the driveway, I let them into the backyard and they both caught sight of the same squirrel. They took off after the rodent and then stopped to play with each other in the yard. I knew then that all was forgiven. The one nice thing about dogs: they don’t hold grudges. We should all take a lesson from them.