OCTOBER 30, 2005
Sadie and I are writing this column on the front porch of an old beach house on a small barrier island off the coast of North Carolina. The bright mid-October sun still brings the day into the low 80’s and the beach is the perfect place for a needed rest after our first foray into “show business.”
We started out in Charlotte, North Carolina performing our “DOGERCISE” act at the Southern Women’s Show. We soon discovered that the city of Charlotte is one dog-friendly place. Sadie was welcome everywhere. We ate at outdoor restaurants together where Sadie was offered everything from fresh water to scrambled eggs and boiled chicken.
The Southern Women’s Shows are a huge cavalcade of vendors and service providers for today’s woman. There are hundreds of tables offering delicious food samples and any thoughts of dieting were soon cast aside. We were almost embarrassed by the huge poster of us greeting the women coming to the show. There we were…next to Richard Simmons…almost enough for us to get big heads, but we were too busy for that. We did presentations on the Spotlight Stage for three days and Sadie surprised me becoming an instant showgirl prancing around in her crystal-studded royal blue collar.
We moved on to Greensboro, North Carolina the next weekend to do it all again. At our very pet-friendly hotel, Sadie was even welcome to go through the breakfast line with me. We learned quickly that “show business” is more work than glamour, and on the last night, after meeting hundreds of nice people and performing daily, we were worn out. I only wanted to relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi and Sadie just wanted to nap. I tethered Sadie to the fence next to the Jacuzzi where she watched in utter confusion as I lowered myself into the whirling hot water. All was well until a pilot for some Canadian airline decided he needed my attention and in order to get it, felt buttering up Sadie was his best bet. He’s the type of guy who imposes all sorts of unwanted attention upon women wherever they go. You ladies know they type…the ones who send us drinks in bars that we don’t want, that talk to us incessantly on airplanes, and follow us to our cars from grocery stores offering to make us dinner.
Sadie recognized the breed and wouldn’t go for it. Barking loudly and growling low, she challenged the Canadian pilot on his every move. Despite my entreaties for him to leave her alone, he pressed on even speaking to her in French which brought out great wails and howls and forced us to leave the Jacuzzi.
That should have been the end of it, but even dogs resent such actions it seems and remember them. A model of perfect behavior the entire trip, Sadie was restless the next morning as we approached the breakfast bar. Formerly content to remain docile at my side while I selected food to share with her, she nervously scanned the room and there he was…Mr. Fly Boy sitting next to the bread table with a stack of biscuits in front of him.
Holding Sadie tightly I approached the table for a bagel when it happened. Sadie leaped on the pilot’s table and grabbed a biscuit. With a huff and shake of the head, she dropped it on the floor and just looked at the stunned pilot. I held back my laughter until uttering the only French I know, which was something about my uncle’s pen, and we hastily left. And somewhere flying over Canada there’s a pilot who will think again before forcing unwanted attention on women…or dogs. But then again…maybe not.
Dear Patti and Sadie: Do you think it is extravagant to buy my dog a Halloween costume? I’ve received a lot of criticism at work about this with all the needy charities from the hurricanes and all. Reluctant Trick or Treater
Dear Reluctant: Sadie had a darling ballerina costume last year which we purchased from the Dollar Store for $5.00 Instead of asking for treats, she took treats to all her neighbor dogs. Why not dress your dog and collect money to give a worthy charity that is helping homeless dogs from the many natural disasters our country has weathered? Having your dog show up in a silly costume is sure to make your neighbors smile. With all the tragedy we’ve been immersed in from television and in person, what could be better and we know dogs are the experts in this department.