The kids and I joined the folks promenading the parking lot and started to make our rounds of the booths. As is typical whenever the kids and I go in public, we were soon surrounded by a group of people asking questions about life with greyhounds.
We’re very used to this happening and mumma has even perfected the art of answering multiple questions simultaneously. Sometimes being the center of a constant scrum can be an exercise in patience. Especially when one interrogator insists on butting in, even when you are clearly speaking to someone else. Still, we’re the face of greyhounds at that moment so mumma bites her tongue at those times. (And those readers, who know mumma well, know what a Herculean task that can be!)
As the questions flew at us fast and furious, I noticed that something was amiss. Blue and Bettina generally take these opportunities to ingratiate themselves with the dog loving public and throw themselves at the first willing participant they can reach. Blue picks a likely pair of legs and backs into his lean. Bettina tries to insert herself between Blue and his leanee. Most often the crowd finds this super-charming. But Blue was not part of the circle this time. In fact, he was behind me and I was noticing an insistent tug from his leash. When I turned to see what he was on about, I saw a greyhound across the parking lot.
The hounds tugged and heaved towards each other as though they were triplets separated at birth. There was much sniffing and tail wagging while I chatted with my fellow greyhound mum. We talked of bug bites on hounds, dog beds and greyhound calendars for a bit while the dogs formed a white, black and brindle pretzel.
Soon my cohort motioned to a booth that was cooking and selling food. She mentioned she had ordered a veggie burger and would I like to split it with her? Being an inveterate carnivore, I declined the kind offer as she went off to collect her sustenance. We turned our attention to the ever changing throng of greyhound fans that circled about us.
Shortly my friend was back tapping me on the shoulder. She said they also had homemade cookies and she handed me half of an oatmeal, or maybe peanut butter cookie. I thanked her but my attention was soon diverted back to the group around us asking all things greyhound.
As I answered the questions and talked about life with my heathens, I took a bite of the cookie. I’m not sure about the expression on my face but that was, without a doubt, the WORST cookie I had ever tasted. It had no flavor whatsoever and a consistency somewhere in the sawdust range. I grimly chewed and swallowed what was already in my mouth then slipped the rest of the horrendous cookie into my pocket.
Eventually we worked our way around the parking lot to where our friend stood in the center of her own ring of greyhound moths all fluttering about asking questions. Motioning to the partially eaten veggie burger on her plate, she asked me if Blue or Bettina wanted the rest as her hound did not seem to care for it. Then she added that he had loved his cookie and inquired as to whether my kids enjoyed their half of the dog treat. Sheepishly I pulled the partially eaten half cookie out of my pocket and fed it to Blue. “They loved it,” I said.