Thursday, July 1, 2010

Not in the FAQ

After three years, it's pretty routine, the questions we get when we take the dog out.  So routine, in fact, that we've thought of getting T-shirts made:

Bernese Mountain Dog.
Yes, he is big.
About 110 lbs.
He does eat a lot.
A bear...good one!
Put a saddle on him...good one!
3 1/2.
He's a boy.
He would love it if you pet him.

Then, there's generally a happy period of the inquirer lavishing the dog with generous patting and behind-the-ear rubs, and him in turn prostrating himself shamelessly at their feet and gazing at them adoringly with a huge goofy grin of appreciation.   Love fest over, we then continue on our way.

But this most recent encounter was a new one on me.  

To set the stage, a friend and I are out on one of LA's most popular hikes for dog owners.  It's a gorgeous walk down from Mullholland Drive to Hollywood.  The dogs get to be off-leash, the views are great, and there's a killer set of stairs to climb in the middle that literally kicks your butt.   There's even a real horse and a goat to see along the way.  In addition to the canine enthusiasts, it's a well known locale* for fit hipsters of the single variety, along with a wide assortment of colorful "only in LA" folks, so the people watching adds a lot to the fun of the walk.

 At the top of the stairs.  He's not even winded, but then he is a Bernese "MOUNTAIN" Dog.

We've had our requisite minor celebrity sighting.   We've run through the doggie FAQ's a couple times.   Admired and inquired about the other pups out enjoying their day.   All of a sudden, an older woman with dyed blond hair in a track suit walks past us, then turns back after seeing Blackjack.   She speaks in a very deep voice, with a thick Russian accent:

Her:  Vot kind, your dog?
Me:  A Bernese Mountain Dog.
Her:  Is big!
Me:  Yes, he is very big.
Her:  Is how old?
Me:  3 1/2.
Her:  Is boy or gull?
Me:  He's a boy.
Her:  Is real boy or...

She holds up a hand and makes a scissoring motion with two fingers.  Snip! Snip!

Me: Um...he's neutered.  Yep.
Her:  Too bad.  I have gull for him.  Make puppies.
Me:  Um, yeah.  Well.  That is too bad.

She turns without another word and heads up the hill.   Bizzaro doggie yenta fest over, we then continue on our way.

Mr. "Snip, Snip!" himself

* as in really really crowded, especially on weekends.  But definitely worth doing, at least once!

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