Carmel is tiny, one mile square, and it’s known for being one of the most dog-friendly places in the world. We tested the boundaries, because Bander went on the trip with us, and we took him everywhere.
If you want a lot of attention, I recommend getting a big white dog with soulful eyes and putting a bright red cast on his leg. Then go for a very slow walk. Honest to god, people were pulling over and jumping out of their cars to look at him. Then they’d say something stupid, usually a variation of this: “Oh my god! Is he OKAY?” while staring at the cast.
Well, to be quite honest, no, he isn’t okay, which is why he has a cast on. But I spent money I didn’t actually have yet in order to get him terrific medical care so that he would be okay someday, and that’s why I dress like a bag lady and he has a big red cast. But Carmel is lovely and I was in a good mood so I didn’t say that.
I did briefly toy with the idea of looking at the dog in horror and screaming to Jesse “Honey! The dog has a cast on his leg! When did that happen? Who did this to him?”
I also considered saying “Oh, he’s perfectly fine, but I’m trying to train him to limp so I bandaged him up.”
Since people were eyeballing me suspiciously to make sure I wasn’t a dog-abuser, I didn’t do either of those either. I just told the story of him jumping off the roof to try and follow our cars and then watch their eyes well up. The dog and I can really work a crowd for sympathy. If I had had the foresight to have Jesse pass a collection plate, we could have made out like bandits.
He sat in various restaurants, and servers brought him plates of diced grilled chicken, generally serving him before serving us. He sat inside the Post Office, under the “Service Dogs Only!” sign while I waited in line to mail a package, and the line would have moved faster except that the employees were all petting him instead of opening another window.
He laid in the middle of a king size pillowtop bed, managing to hog the entire thing. I swear he was smiling while he did it. He got petted by strangers so much that he had bald spots where the hair wore off. The B&B where we stayed took his picture for the guest book. If I hadn’t had to sign the credit card slip, they never would have noticed I was leaving.
Then he took a fistful of Benadryl (wrapped in liverwurst by his sneaky mama) and snored in the back of the SUV all the way home.
He had a much better time than we did.
Everybody loves the dog.