Tuesday, September 09, 2003

What a nice weekend! On Saturday, Mark and I went to see the Phillies play the Mets. Outside the stadium, to my surprise, were the Budweiser Clydesdales, hitched to a wagon and complete with two drivers and a Dalmation. I had known that the Clydesdales were slated to appear at a new cafe at 15th and Packer on Sunday afternoon... Mark and I (and Hat Trick, of course) were planning to see them. But seeing them on Saturday night was an unexpected bonus.

I took a few photos of them, including one with Hat Trick in the foreground. I also tried to sneak in a moment of doting on the nearest horse, the one on the right-hand side of the front pair. I offered him my hand to sniff, and felt a big warm PUFFFF of breath across my outstretched hand as he took a whiff to see if I had any treats for him. I was satisfied that he was OK with my being that close, since he just stood there without moving after finding that my hand held no snacks. So I briefly stroked his big velvety nose and told him what a good boy he was. Unfortunately, that
was when one of the horses' caretakers asked me to step back. Darn... but I *did* get to dote on the nice horsie for a second. :o)

Now, as far as the Phillies game... you know, I really do try to be non-superstitious about Hat Trick's role as a good luck charm. I do. But more than once, if I set him up to "watch" a game, be it on TV or live, the team I am rooting for comes back from behind and takes a lead. Saturday was no different. There were some kids with a Flat Stanley sitting in front of me, early in the game, so I let them pose Hat Trick with Flat Stanley as part of their project. The Phillies took a lead. Then after the picture, I put Hat Trick away in my tote bag. The Mets took the lead from the Phillies. After a few innings of watching the Phillies trail, I brought Hat Trick back OUT of the bag and sat him on an empty chair next to me, atop my handbag, as though he was one of the spectators. The Phillies regained the lead with a HUGE inning, and this time they maintained the lead for the rest of the game. (Hat Trick remained sitting next to me for the rest of the game, too... coincidence? YOU be the judge. ;o) )

Sunday, as I said, was Round Two of our encounter with Clydesdales. This time, I was able to get one of the horses' caretakers... the one woman in the bunch... to pose standing in front of the lead horses while holding Hat Trick. The same horse whose nose I petted the night before glanced over and gave Hat Trick an inquisitive sniff. I told the horse, "That's not a snack, that's a toy." Fortunately, Hat Trick bore no scent of anything that would be appetizing to a Clydesdale, and I got to take the pic without incident. :o)

At the end of the day, when I was watching them unhitch each horse in turn and stow all the equipment in a trailer, the dalmation (Louie) started wandering through the remaining crowd and soaking up lots of doting. :o) To my surprise, I saw that Louie has BLUE eyes. I've never seen a blue-eyed dalmation before. That was pretty interesting. I asked one of the guys who works with the horses about this, and he said it's not an uncommon trait. I know that in cats, there are cases of the blue-eyed gene (in white cats) being linked to hereditary deafness, and I also understand that there is a deafness trait that crops up sometimes in the dalmation breed. I asked if the two were connected, and was told there is no link. The man added, "He's not deaf; he has selective hearing". LOL!

All in all, it was a nice weekend. A nice two days of pretty weather, watching the Phillies win, patting Clydesdales and Dalmations, and no harridans. Can you beat that?

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