Sunday, July 9, 2017

How To Bribe A Dog

I took my dog, Brody, on a date to Starbucks this morning. He knew what was coming the second he stuck his head out the car window at the drive through.

“I’ll have an iced venti decaf four pump peppermint whole milk no whip mocha,” I told the invisible barista who frantically searched her register for the tweaks I was ordering on my overpriced addiction.

For the record, most addictions are overpriced. That’s the first way you can tell you’re addicted, you know. And if you didn’t know, now you do.

This one was free, though. I earned it by spending too much money and too many calories on a lot of earlier mochas. To be perfectly honest, that’s also proof of my Starbucks addiction—I’ve bought so many personalized, iced indulgences there the cups now come with my photo on them.

This could be the reason our fixed income needs to be fixed. Talk about a budget bender.

But this morning, instead of focusing on guilt and condemnation, I chose to be delighted in the “make it as big as you want” option on my free beverage. “Venti!” I declared in my best Italian.  Brody wagged his tail enthusiastically.

I don’t know what Rob is going to say when he finds out what I’ve done to his dog.

Brody was my Christmas present last December, you may remember, but he’s definitely playing favorites with my husband. Sell out. Just because Rob takes him outside to throw a ball to him in 110 degree afternoons while I prefer to stay inside where the thermostat registers a sensible 76.

I think Rob’s dog is an opportunist.

This morning, though, my husband put on his celtic kilt (great knees, that guy has) to go play his drums with his bagpipe band at a Diamondbacks game where they don’t allow giant white dogs on the field. So Brody had to stay home with me—the woman allergic to summer in Arizona.

“Want to go for a ride?” I asked my turncoat Christmas present.

His tail went into ballistic mode and he jumped three feet into the air with rapture. Twirling in jubilation, he bounced with joy beneath the hook where we keep his leash. He doesn’t know where we’re going or how we’re getting there, but if I use the word, “ride” and reach for the leash, suddenly I am his new best friend.


We jumped into the truck, I rolled down the windows, cranked up the air, and down the road we went—a giant, white dog with his ears flapping in the breeze and a fake redhead at the wheel with the a/c freezing her face off.

It was heaven.

Finally, it was our turn to pull forward in the line of drivers too lazy to get out of their cars to go inside for fancy drinks, rolled down my window, and reached for my order. The barista glanced at Brody’s beaming smile in the back seat of our Tahoe as she handed the cup to me.

“Would you like a Pupaccino, too?” she asked with a twinkle in her eye.
A “pupaccino!” Oh, my gosh. That’s either going to make you want to gag at the indulgence of our culture or grin at the cleverly generous gimmick they’ve come up with at my favorite coffee shop. I thought it was hilarious!

So the date was a total success. Brody went after his tiny cup of whipped cream and demolished it before we got out of the drive through. The barista enjoyed our delight, I enjoyed my peppermint mocha, and—just like that—Brody became my dog again.

For a minute.

I don’t care. He knows who’s tough enough to exercise him in the heat with a tennis ball. And he knows who’s cool enough to take him on a Starbucks date. If you ask me, this dog has it made.

Who’s the genius now?