In frozen horror, I watch the car door open and an annoyed looking man slowly gets out. It takes him only a few long strides, propelled by delicious looking legs in suit trousers – I’m not too horrified to notice – to reach the back of my car. The near death experience has subdued Blossom’s usual bouncy nature and he’s now sitting half-next to and half-behind me, peering at the angry man from behind my bum.
“What on god’s green earth is that?” His glare at Blossom, so close to my backside, makes me remember my rigorous training on negotiations, posture, and first impressions. I subtly lift my chest and pull in my stomach. The ‘confident posture’, Bart, my image coach, called it. It can’t hurt to make a good first impression.
“His name is Blossom and he is a Newfoundland.” This was all Blossom needed to strengthen his first impression. His fart blows up a dust cloud that I want to go and hide behind.
A moment of painful silence ensues. Blossom has the good grace to hang his head, the stranger looks like he swallowed his lips, and I want to dissolve into a million tiny little molecules.
“He does know how to introduce himself.” His statement seems to declare some sort of truce and we laugh the laughter of two slightly uncomfortable strangers. Blossom must have realised that his faux pas is being forgiven and walks over to Mr Wall Street. He looks curiously at the stranger and destroys the fragile truce by committing the mother of all faux pas.
I warned Erin, I warned Janey, but neither wanted to listen to me. After I met Blossom for the first time, I knew that this animal should never be in human company. Now I’m looking at the proof of it. I wish Erin were here so I could say ‘I told you so’. The animal behaviourist explained Blossom’s habit as only wanting to make friends, but I’m sure that right now the man facing me is not thinking that.
Blossom has his nose in the well-tailored crotch of Mr Wall Street. I watch as the man in front of me takes a deep breath, blinks rapidly a few times, and drags his eyes away from the pending elimination of his immortality to look me straight in the eyes.
“Please get this animal away from me.” His soft-spoken request has a bit of a strangled quality to it which pops my bubble of fascinated horror, and I move towards them.
“Blossom! Bad dog!” Blossoms responds to my chastising by forcing his nose between the now hyperventilating man’s legs, as if searching for clues as to his quarry’s origin. By now, I’ve reached them and start pulling Blossom away.
All three of us are grunting. I, because Blossoms weighs a whopping seventy kilos and making this animal do anything is a physical challenge. Blossom’s grunting because he wants to continue his sniff-search, and Mr Wall Street is grunting because… well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Then I remember the one thing that Blossom is terrified of and the only word I’ve actually got him to respond to.
“Cat! Here kitty-kitty, here.” I try to keep my voice realistically inviting, but it still manages to come out as a shriek. To my, and Mr Wall Street’s, delight it has the desired effect. Blossom jumps away from Mr Wall Street with a loud fart and cowers behind me, looking around nervously.