Monday, September 27, 2010

Suka does not like drunks

Downtown again, on a Saturday night (cue Sniff 'n' the Tears) with the girls. Kids over at my mother's, and my wife and I are out for a pleasant evening stroll. Now, for some reason, the college students were out in unusual numbers... And is was very drunk out that evening. I've rarely seen so many free-range drunks. Oh, I've seen plenty enough inside bars, even those bars which remove their streetside windows to let the heat and noise flow out. And some of the bars have fenced areas adjacent to the sidewalks where patrons can eat and get drunk and get rained on all at once, if they so choose, but those still qualify as caged. And some bars have both. No... I'm not talking about those drunks. I'm talking about drunks free and unfettered, wandering loose without brand, tag, or collar. Fortunately, they were happy drunks... (Large number of angry drunk students would not be my idea of a good time)

So we park in the usual off-street lot, and walk through the alleyway, and are confronted with large herds of happy, boisterous, loud students. Calling back and forth across and up and down the street, hooting, squealing, and generally sounding off, the 'herd' description is more appropriate than you may think. I've seen cattle drives less noisy. Oddly, the police, normally so evident, were nowhere to be seen. But it's OK - As noted, the crowds were in a good mood.

Now, Suka and Dakota are a highly noticable pair - And noticed they were. Almost immediately, a male voice bellows from across the street "that's a HUGE @#^#$& dog!" My head swivels, and I find the source - A group of kids hanging out on a second level balcony of an apartment - But why's he bellowing? Clearly, he's not talking to me - He's talking to his companions, though he's pointing more or less accurately at Dakota. Why is he bellowing at the folks right next to him? Ah - right. It's a 'loss of volume control' accident - One of the more common 'drunk casualties.'

OK, this is fine enough, I suppose... But then some well-basted (as in 'cooked to a fine turn') girl comes blundering across the street (God protects fools and drunks) and makes a beeline for Suka.
Suka detonates.
Drunk Girl barely seems to notice.
I'm desperately reeling Suka in and getting her behind me.
Drunk Girl pulls up to a swaying halt in front of me and blinks owlishly at me... "SHE'S SO PRETTY!"
Bacardi. I'm sure of it. BAC probably .06+ and she's maybe 19.

Meanwhile, Suka is in full-on "Kill the zombie" mode - I've only once or twice seen her lips roll like that, and her entire coat is standing on end, making her look about three times normal size. Dakota looks mildly perplexed, as does my wife. This is why when on Main Street, I handle Suka - Dakota is FAR less likely to confront than Suka is, and Suka needs a confident hand when she's out of her depth. Like now.

After a few minutes of running through the 'calm down and demonstrate control' routine, Suka stands down, and consents to retun to her job of sniffing everything in sight - Including Drunk Girl (Able to ignore threats near and far - It's like she's got a super power!), whom is still standing there gushing over how cute Suka is - With the volume cranked to 11. Yeah, another 'loss of volume control' casualty. My poor ears. Suka's poor ears! Well, and Dakota's, too. Then Suka high-marks this girl's leg, and loses interest in her. The girl utterly fails to notice, and wanders off, shouting at a passing herd of Hooting Boys.

That pretty much set the tenor of the evening. Suka regarding drunks with towering suspicion, Drunks randomly blundering across our paths, Dakota content to walk with my wife and look perplexed at the Silly Human Tricks, and me with my head on a swivel, watching that no one snuck up on us (not likely, considering, but still...). I know - Someone's going to ask why I didn't turn around and get the heck out of there. Well, I considered it a teachable experience. Suka, once she 'got' that I know how to handle the alcohol zombies, was gaining confidence and I was making sure she learned to cope with sodden humans. IOW, socialization.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

They're Baaa-aack!

College students, that is.

Weather broke this past weekend* - MUCH nicer. Took the Girls downtown for their walks, instead of having to sneak them in the early AM and late evening before or after the heat of the day. The college students are seriously BACK. They're everywhere, like so many (thousands of) clueless happy puppies - Making messes, bouncing all over, eager to play and be welcomed (and love the daylights out of the Girls!), but not quite sure how to go about things.

Ah, well. Just like with puppies, can't quite work up enough 'crotchety old man' to whack 'em with a rolled up paper (which is what many need, I 'spect), but just kinda shake my head in rueful amusement, and mosey along... As long as they're not clinging all over the Girls. Again.

Unfortunately, the predators have clued-in early already this year. A couple kids - Freshmen, too wet behind the ears to know what's what - got assaulted the other day. The girls were maced and robbed on a residential street that leans heavily to student rentals. They were fortunate to escape without any worse than that, and they clearly hadn't learned their safety measures yet.
They'll learn - Hopefully the word gets 'round fast on this one, and the freshmen get wise. The sooner they do, the sooner everyone will be more safe - once the easy pickings are gone, the predators go eleswhere.

* IRT the weather: I caused it, I'm quite sure. :-p Bear with me a minute...

Earlier, I took the dogs to get their bordadella booster - No problems, and the tech simply took each back into the procedure area one at a time instead of dirtying up a treatment room. Suka was her usual stress-puppy self, and Dakota was quite adorable trying to get back into the back areas to go find her. You could see her thinking her way through the situation, looking at each possible route she could take, trying to determine where her best path lay. She'd look at a door, cock her head and consider it, then shift, and check the next door, and repeat. No slamming into doors or tugging at the lead - just tense and ready to go, and consideration.

When one of the doors opened to let Suka back to us, Dakota was already moving towards the door before it even opened. I daresay if Suka hadn't come through, then Dakota might well have tried to drag me through going the other way. Dakota, OTOH, was much more calm about the whole business - In and out in about two minutes.

Anyway - the dogs are now legal and safe if I wish to board them to get them a respite from the heat - Say, if our A/C should fail - at the local doggie daycare center. And that, like washing a car brings rain, brought the cooler weather.
I'm quite sure of it. :-p