I don’t know if uneventful trips to Walmart exist, but I have never been blessed with such an experience if they do. Two nights ago I made a quick run to Walmart to grab a few last minute items as I was scheduled to adopt a puppy yesterday (adoption successful! Pictures will follow shortly).
I made my way through the aisles gathering the items from my list: puppy chow, a leash, a collar, shampoo, and a baby gate. Roland had tagged along for the trip and we were standing in front of the chew toy section when we were approached by our first visitor. She was wearing a camo jacket and carrying no items that seemed to come from our surrounding aisles, but she seemed to have been eavesdropping quite successfully.
“What kind of dog are you getting? Oh you’re adopting? Thank you so much for adopting! We have a 6 month old puppy that chews on such and such.” On and on the conversation went. I didn’t actually have to participate too much. It ended with her suggesting that I buy no toys for my puppy, but instead collect 2-liter soda bottles to crush down and give her. “My puppy puts his front paws on the bottle and slides the around the whole house like he’s skate boarding.” Adorable image, but it was getting late and I was hoping for a quick trip. She thanked me for adopting again and walked away.
Just as we were walking away from the aisle, the passionate Dog Rescuer reappeared with, “A dog bone that you just have to buy! Only $5.87 in Walmart instead of $15 in PetSmart. It will last forever!” (I bought the thing, but I’ll have to take her word for it on how long it will last as my dog has yet to touch).
We make our escape, with a few polite thank yous. Her suggestions were good, but presented a bit enthusiastically for the hour of the night.
We headed for the register, approaching what appeared to be an average Walmart cashier. As the cashier noticed my plethora of dog related items, he began asking questions and I began to regret not using the self-checkout line.
He asked what breed of dog I’m adopting and I responded saying she is a lab mix. “Mixed with what?” he inquires. “I don’t know”, I reply. “Well you need to have her tested!” “Oh really…” I respond with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. This unfortunately does not deter him. He proceeds to launch into a lecture regarding the importance of knowing. He has a St Bernard, Rottweiler, and Shepherd mix and, “He pulled my girlfriend off the back of a moving 4-wheeler!”
“Well that sounds painful,” I responded dryly while marveling at the fact that this person had a girlfriend. “NO, she was protecting her!” This unfortunately sparked a resurgence in his lecture. I was done trying to be polite and silently waited for my receipt as he continued his monologue. Apparently at some point the social cues set in because he apologized if he had been rude. I just nodded and smiled as I pushed my cart away. Free at last. Until next time, Walmart.