Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wacky Women of Walmart

Piper is finally old enough to go into Walmart. Not that I make a point of frequenting the store, but if I have a list of odds and ends, like a watchband, hair conditioner and a birthday card, Walmart is the one-stop place to go. However, from my experience as a puppy raiser in southside Virginia, one cannot venture into the Danville Walmart anonymously. The Wacky Women of Walmart make sure of that.

First there is the Walmart Town Crier. I think the actual term for this lady's job is a Walmart greeter. The one who welcomes you to the store, maybe gets you a cart, etc. However at my Walmart, this greeter has added to her duties the public announcing, to all Walmart shoppers within earshot, that here comes a service dog.

Although this is not Walmart, it is a town crier.
"Well, look at this!" she announces. "Here comes a service dog doing his job. You are such a sweet little thing! I'm sorry, I wish I could rub you" (raising her voice to a falsetto), "but I know I can't. Yes, I bet you wish I could rub you, you poor baby, but no, I sure can't. Look at how good you're being, you are doin' a job...." and on and on and on. I hustle my puppy past her, making little eye contact. If I was a turtle my head would sink in. Deep into the store I can still hear her announcement, sometimes she even follows us a ways. The town crier effectively blows any attempt to keep a low PR profile, opening us up to further Walmart encounters. Although I have tried to nicely tell the Town Crier she needn't be so enthusiastic, she feels strongly she is doing a service.
She is indeed a bonafide Wacky Woman of Walmart.

One particular Wacky Woman of Walmart encounter will always stand out in my memory. It happened last summer, when my previous guide puppy, Dorian, was about 5 months old. Dorian, like all young puppies with service capes on, looked extremely cute and appealing. But...appealing was not the word for the wacky woman attack that ensued. After innocently inspecting the summer squash in the produce area, I turned around to find myself surrounded - front, back and sides by women with shopping carts.

Dorian and I were trapped. One woman had me distracted, locked in the age-old discussion of how could I ever give the puppy back because she certainly couldn't. That's when I looked down to check on Dorian. To my dismay I saw one of the ladies LYING ON HER STOMACH ON THE FLOOR, her face outstretched to Dorian's. I think she was doing a sort of Dog Whisperer move, explaining to the rest of the group how much dogs related to her.

Young Dorian at 5 months.
Maybe they do because Dorian could so easily have nipped her outstretched nose with his sharp little puppy teeth. Instead he was a young gentleman and watched her calmly but with great fascination. Seriously outnumbered, Dorian and I managed to break the puppy love fest off and graciously extricate ourselves from the circle of shopping carts. Shaken, I decided against summer squash, called it a PR day, and headed for the exit.

But wait, the nearest exit was the station of the Walmart Town Crier! No, we certainly did not need our exit from the store proclaimed, so Dorian and I headed for the yard and garden exit and made a clean getaway. Ha-ha, you Wacky Women of Walmart, we have dodged you once again!


  1. This made me laugh so hard!!! We always have interesting trips to Walmart as well. One time it was an adolescent boy yelling "no dogs allowed!" five or six times as he passed us and turned a corner - while his parents did nothing. On our most recent trip, it was a man who waved me down from a few aisles over to show me the puppy hidden in his cart. His reply to my inquiring if it was a service dog, and telling him it was illegal? "Oh, I know that, but I like having her with me anyways."

    1. Ha ha. There is something about Walmart for sure! Sounds like your Walmart has cornered the market on wacky men/boys. Glad you liked the post.

  2. Oh my!! This is why I never go to Walmart. They are seriously nuts there. Everyone!! I stick with Target. Only slightly nuts. haha. Wow. What an experience. too funny!!