Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Barry - Wingman Extraordinaire!

I knew the importance of socialising our pooches from a very early age and this seemed particularly important as I had my heart set on Barry going just everywhere that he was allowed with me.  So right from the beginning I accompanied Barry to the recreation ground where he encountered dogs of all shapes, sizes and dispositions and he accompanied me down the high street at rush hour, to the post box and, my favourite of all places to have puppy lessons, to the pub.  In fact he has now visited every pub in Surbiton that has the good sense to allow man's best friend to accompany man to the pub.

It has taken a while but now both Barry and Gertrude have learned the basics of good pub etiquette.  There is the odd indiscretion, most notably the occasion when a fellow diner leant over, having already admired the hounds and made a fuss of both, and made an unexpected enquiry about the magnitude and frequency of Barry's flatulence.  We laughed and chatted for a moment about the unearthly expulsions from Barry's behind before continuing with our meal.  Mere moments later the stench enveloped us and Hubby and I suddenly understood our neighbour's interest in Barry's wind.  We finished our food hastily that evening.

However, bottom burps aside, my dogs really do make the best drinking companions.  From the moment they march through the door they are looking around at all the new people whom they can coerce into petting, patting and generally fawning over them to the time they are regally carried out in our arms because they are far too sleeping to walk themselves home, they have everybody eating out of their hands.  They have water brought to the table whereas we measly humans must go to the bar for refreshments.
Hand delivered
(and probably chilled) water

Gertrude always has the choice of lap or floor (draped with her very own blanket, no less!) and she often chooses the floor, I am certain, because from there she can look up at passers by with big, doleful eyes which communicate the tragedy and struggle of her life, gaining maximum sympathy and attention.
Gertrude's best "puppy-dog eyes"

Barry takes an even more direct approach.  He likes to sit in Hubby's lap, like a child, and stare imploringly at every soul that passes just begging for fuss.  He sees his target, locks his bug eyes on to theirs and follows them with his gaze as they pass by.  99% of the time this tactic is successful.  People feel his watchful eye and look around to discover just what or who is causing them to feel uneasy and under the microscope.  When people spot him they smile and coo.  And that's just the big, rugby player-like lads.  The girls squeal and giggle, the volume directly correlating to their inebriation.  It is just like drinking with a minor celebrity.

A regular discussion across the bar between Hubby and I revolves around who gets to keep "the kids" should we ever part ways.  It is a frivolous and silly conversation, of course, but we both like to put our arguments forward, not least because I think that dogs do actually make the best wingmen.  I am certain that, if needed, Hubby could bag himself a new wife in approximately five minutes of arriving down the pub on a Friday night without me.  People instantly warm to you when you have a dog, not just smile but embark on in depth conversation.  They pull up a chair and sit with you.  A pub singer once even sang to Barry and I.

Apparently dogs act as a character reference, guaranteeing your honesty, chivalry and status as an upstanding member of society.  It seems to me that a dog would be a marvellous accomplice for a psychopath, helping them charm their way into, or out of, anything.  That may well be an awesome talent.  Depending on how you look at it.

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