I was down in the village during the week.
Naturally a visit to the coffee shop was on the agenda, so as soon as I had finished business Penny and I headed up the road to our destination of relaxation.
As we approached we heard quite a commotion. Well, I heard but Penny didn’t as she’s deaf. There was a lot of yappy barking from outside on the coffee shop terrace. Bugger! Someone else had a dog there.
As we entered the gate I immediately saw the culprits – to little ankle-biters sitting on their owners’ laps and a very large Boxer under another table. Yappy Dogs both saw Penny and of course lit off again. Owners tried to calm them down with some success. Then Boxer decided to investigate this newcomer and his movement of course fired up Yappy Dogs again. Boxer decided that he would examine Penny from afar and things quietened down a bit.
I might add that for the entire duration, Penny didn’t display the slightest interest in any of her fellow species. She treats all animals, whether canine or feline with total equanimity and indifference. She’s just not bothered and will completely ignore them all. The only exception to this is Boots, who is a neighbour’s cat. Boots is a cheeky little fucker and quite often will come and stare straight in the garden door to see what’s going on. Most of the time Penny is asleep and Boots just fucks off but occasionally Penny will see him whereupon she will have one of her rare barking fits. Quite right too.
Anyhows Penny and I entered the coffee shop. I ordered my coffee and the staff fawned over Penny and fed her chicken pieces. We went back to the terrace and all the other three dogs erupted again. I chose a table as far as possible from the rowdy gang.
Things calmed down a bit and my coffee arrived so I fired up the pipe and relaxed. Occasionally one of the Yappy Dogs would have a shout at Penny which would fire up the others. Penny continued to ignore them. Eventually the other customers decided that enough was enough and left. I could hear their yapping fading gradually as they vanished down the road.
As all this was going on Penny was garnering some different attention. We were sitting near the gate and so anyone leaving the shop had to pass by us. Without exception or regard to age they all wanted to pet Penny. Old folk, young folk, male or female it makes no difference; everyone wants a chat with Penny.
A woman came out with two little girls. I’d say they were around six or seven [the kids, not the mother]. They of course made a huge fuss of Penny while I chatted to the mother. The elder of the two kids suddenly took an interest in me. She sidled over and said in a very quiet voice, almost a whisper, “you look like Santa Clause”.
“Hush”, I said to her. “I’m having a little break after very busy Christmas. Don’t tell anyone.”
The wee lass was delighted with herself.