My Florida dog woes continue. We were at lunch with some friends in one of the city's nicest restaurants. One of the few things wrong with this very pleasant eatery is the ferocious blast of air-conditioning that greets you as you come in through the door. Even by American standards it's bad. (Keeping to the rule this side of the pond that if something's worth doing it's worth over-doing.) Accordingly we repaired to the tables outside in the alley.
While we were eating, we were startled by an ear-splitting yap. I looked over the to the next table and noticed a struggle going on between a fat white poodle and its owner. After several more very loud yaps, things quietened down. A little later I happened to glance at the table again and there was the poodle sitting up on the woman's lap with its front legs on the table. Yes, actually on the table. They can't have missed our horrified expressions but the poodle stayed put.
Our friends shared their own Florida canine stories. One volunteered at a prestigious art gallery. I would not believe, she confided, how many people tried to smuggle in their dogs - under their coats, in their bags.
After team poodle left, I suggested to the waiter that he might take some extra elbow-grease to cleaning that table, as a dog had been practically standing on it. He rolled his eyes as if to say, "Happens all the time." I'm going to think twice about eating in that alley again. I'll just have to bring extra blankets.