Today I was in a rush at lunchtime. I needed to get some camping stuff for this weekend so I ran into Walmart. Lucky for me, this was an advanced Walmart, completed with a Subway inside, so I was able to shop and get food in one swipe. Guided by my stomach, I grabbed a wrap to-go in advance of my upcoming Walmart adventure.
I hadn’t been to a Subway in a long time. I used to go to Subway all of the time, which is evident of me having a whole category on this site. I was excited during the veggie phase of sandwich design and I blurted out the usual – ‘lettuce, tomatoes, and all 3 peppers’. “Whoa whoa whoa! YOU went too fast for me. What did you want on it again? I missed that!” the Sandwich Artist scolded me. I had failed in my subway ordering. Lucky for me, that wouldn’t be the highlight of this trip.
Now, normally I wouldn’t carry hot food with me as I shopped inside of a store, but I was in a hurry. Being in a hurry gives you license to do unreasonable things. I would soon find that nothing that was about to happen was normal.
With Subway wrap in tow, I happened to followed a man and his son around the store to the sports section of Walmart and wondered if they were going camping too.
As we rounded the area with all of the medicines and housewares (you know where I am), a dog suddenly lunged at the little boy! “Gemma! Hold that leash like I showed ya!” The mother yelled from behind the display in the center aisle while she loaded some ceramic candle holders into the cart. Her daughter who was not doing well at controlling her Labrador. The man and the boy were startled, but they laughed nervously as they went the long way around the aisle. They didn’t seem too concerned about a dog being at Walmart.
I was concerned about the attack dog being at Walmart. I steered clear of the snarling white Lab as it continued to erratically jerk the 70 lb girl around. “Give that leash here Gemma!” mom yelled.
I assumed the dog was a service animal and didn’t think anything of it at first, but this dog was not wearing a thunder jacket with “SERVICE ANIMAL DO NOT TOUCH” written on the side. Instead this dog had big teeth with “WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING HERE?” written in his eyes. I watched the mongrel shake the girl like a rag doll while her able-bodied mom continued to yell at her. My last assumption was that this was some sort of court ordered comfort animal that helped shelter the girl and her mom from retail social anxiety. I sure did a good job of keeping people from talking to them at Walmart.
The gears in my mind continued to try to make sense of what was happening. Nothing about that dog was comforting or serviceable. It was out of control. Was it bring your pet to the store day? Or was Walmart starting to allow pets into stores? These are probably mystery answers you would only know if you sign up for the Walmart email list.
I’m a dog person, so I wasn’t that scared of a dog in the store. People say they are a ‘dog person’ when they secretly hate cats. Did you know if you died in your house a cat will waste no time eating your corpse? If you die in your house with a dog, the dog will call 911 and then open the safe with his mouth and pull out your last will and testament and hand it to the probate judge. A cat will have sneak into your safe before authorities arrive and change the will, ensuring they end up with everything.
As I thought about all of these things I had reached the camping section without incident. I reached out to check the citronella candles and left a smear of southwest chipotle sauce all over the candle. I found in my other hand a quarter of a Subway wrap, dripping sauce on the floor, absentmindedly finding its way from the wrapper to my mouth. “Oh well.” I thought in true dog owner fashion, “The dog can lick it up.”
Had things devolved that quickly? One minute you’re a fine, upstanding Walmart Citizen, but the moment you see a dog, you’re flipping steak and cheese all over the floor like it’s Lord of the Flies? When had I started eating my Subway Sodium Wrap?
I didn’t have time to evaluate this thought because came sniffing down the camping aisle dragging Gemma behind him. He was after my food!
I pulled down a hotdog cooking stick and yelled “Get back dog!” But the dog kept coming. Deftly, I climbed one-handed on top of the shelf, sprinkling shredded cheese on the floor, which the dog lapped up immediately. The dog started howling, barking, and scratching at the shelves, knocking down some waterproof lighters.
“Jiss throw him the sammich!” Gemma yelled up to me. “He does this all the time. You’re acting strange and he doesn’t like that!”
“No way!” I said. “These jalapenos have been soaking in salt water for the last 12 hours! What if your dog has a heart condition?”
Just then Gemma’s mom came over and scolded her over proper leash usage again. Her mom saw me on the shelves next to the paddle boards and started yelling at me for teasing her dog with food. “Give him the sammich and get down!”
Some Walmart employees overheard what was going on scolded me over teasing the dog. “Hey! You can’t eat in here! This is a place of business! Did you even think about the dogs?” He looked at the mom, “Man, people just ain’t like they used to be.”
I was trapped with no place to go. There was only one option. I bent one of the hotdog poker stick to make a loop and then I hooked it over the sprinkler system. I pulled down hard and water started spraying throughout the store.
The Walmart employee said, “Come on man! You gotta know that dogs don’t like baths, dude! What are you a cat person?”
Once the floor was sufficiently wet, I grabbed the top of a paddle board, flipped it down, and slid out of the store through the lawn and garden outdoor section (you know where I am), eating the last bites of my wrap. “See you next time Walmart!”
The Walmart employee yelled back, “Hey you gotta pay for that sammich!”