Let’s all go to the PetSmart . . .

Dharma has been with us for a few weeks now. It’s time to start letting her socialize with other people. What should we do on a gray, rainy day? I know! Let’s take her to PetSmart and let her pick out a new chew toy so she’ll quit eating shoes. When you want a pet reptile, look for reptiles for sale here.We don’t want to hurt Molly’s feelings, so we’ll take her, too. Of course, Amy and Evan are too young to stay home, so they’ll come along too. It’ll be fun. Let’s start with Evan climbing all over the van and refusing to get in his seat. Then, let’s have the dogs chase each other through the mud instead of going directly to the car. That one will make Dad grit his teeth and yell. When everyone is finally in the van, we’ll head off for a fun outing. Except, Dharma hasn’t been in a car since her trip here from Ohio, so she cries the entire trip there. Pitiful, sad wailing that breaks my heart. Amy tries to console the puppy and almost breaks down in sympathy tears. Even Evan joins in, “Don’t cry baby dog.” We make it to PetSmart and the sky opens up. I grab Molly and Evan and run inside. I can hear Dad at the van complaining.

Everyone finally gathers in the store entrance and the two dogs are so relieved to have survived the exhausting ten minute journey that they immediately get their leashes tangled. Amy and Evan squabble over who gets to walk which dog. Evan holds Dharma’s leash for 30 seconds, sees the bird display, drops the leash and runs off to give the pastel colored birds heart attacks. Amy gets dragged around by an over-excited Molly while an employee gushes over Dharma. Amy hands Molly to me and goes to claim Dharma. Evan is still torturing the birds. I grab some peanut butter filled hooves and head to where Doug and the employee are still discussing German Shepherds. Amy starts doing her bizarre pee-pee dance and repeating my name. “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom” I hand Molly to Doug, scoop Amy up and race to the bathroom.

In the bathroom, Amy suddenly shifts into slow speed. I felt like Fry after 100 cups of coffee trying to get Amy to hurry so that we could get back to Dad, the two dogs and the feral toddler. Eventually I dragged her out of the bathroom and rushed back to find Molly pulling Dad’s arm out of its’ socket to get to Amy. I reached to get Molly as Evan took off for the fish tanks. I gave Molly back and raced off to get Evan with Amy in hot pursuit of the beloved fish tanks. Evan and Amy immediately began jockeying for position in front of the tank with the crabs. “He’s taking too much space.” “Ameee, mooove.” I tried walking Evan back to see the hamsters, but just as two women paused to admire Molly, Evan dropped to the ground and giggled as I dragged him across the animal dander and I don’t want to know what else covered floor. I stopped and scooped up Evan and he transformed from jello to a flailing octopus. I plopped him down in front of the rats and they hypnotized him with their evil rat eyes. He stood catatonic while Amy shopped the dog toys.

Doug finally broke free from the employee and came toward us with the “can we please leave” look on his face. Amy declared that we were buying a squeaky toy with a tongue that stuck out when you squeezed it. I tried explaining that Dharma would just chew it up and it was quite obvious that Amy wanted the toy for herself. I said no and took Dharma and Evan to the checkout while Doug tried to prevent the impending tantrum. A few minutes later, Doug and Molly joined us at the checkout. Evan immediately spotted the automatic doors and took off for the exit. Doug tossed Molly’s leash down and ran to save Evan as a tear streak cheeked Amy appeared to glare at me. Doug returned and tried to pay with cash while Evan yelled at Doug to let him put the credit card in the machine. I tried talking to Amy while she continued with her evil eye silent treatment as Doug and the cashier joked about counterfeit money. I scooped up Amy and put her in the cart. Doug grabbed Evan and the cart while I held the two leashes. We left without looking back in case the other customers and employees were shooting daggers with their eyes. We loaded the car and headed home. Dharma sat quietly and I thought she was happy until she barfed all over the car.

I don’t think we’ll go out tomorrow.

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