Hello everyone, Over the Memorial Day holiday we took a trip to a nearby Amish market. A small strip mall that includes the Amish market, a Dollar Store, bicycle shop, and tobacco store. My wife and her mother went into the market while I walked around killing time with my four-legged shadow, Waffles. I walk over toward the bike store to see if they had a bike part I needed and we passed by an older (mentally handicapped) gentleman that was sitting on the tobacco shop window ledge eating a soft pretzel. Waffles, as faithful as his appetite will allow, made me slow way down as we went past the gentleman. The man looks up and says "no Mr. Doggie you can't have my pretzel". I laugh and coax Waffles to come along. In a few minutes we doubled back and passed by the gentleman again. This time he says "come here doggie" and as Waffles sits in front of him he feeds Waffles about 1/2 of his pretzel. I tell him my dogs name and he started to pat Waffles on the head, rub his (Waffles) ears and muzzle and tell him what a good doggie he is. After a few minutes Waffles and I walked over to the bike shop and got what we needed. As we exit the old man is still at the tobacco shop next door and yells out for Waffles. "Waffles, come here boy I've got something for you". We walk over and the man goes inside the tobacco shop, reaches behind a counter and brings out a bag of dog treats. It's a good thing the bag was only 1/3 full as he sat on the window ledge feeding Waffles biscuit after biscuit until the bag was empty. I took one of the biscuits and had Waffles do a little work for his excessive treat feast by doing sit, down, crawl, and shake. His only tricks. By this time the other people in the tobacco shop had come out to see why the man was excited. Waffles actually got a little applause for his tricks. The man, who had been patting Waffles all along, got down on his knees and hugged and kissed Waffles on the head. Then he said the magic words "baby dog". Waffles and I said our goodbyes and went back to the market to wait for my wife. While waiting there, in the shade, an Amish boy of about 6 was giving Waffles the once over while he was helping customers put bags in their cars. Finally the boy walked over and asked if he could pet my dog. "Sure, go ahead" I said. He patted Waffles on the head lightly. Then rubbed an ear. Then the other ear. I asked if he had a dog and he said his had run away. He then goes back in the market and a few minutes later returns with two friends. Now there are three kids patting Waffles on the head. The first boy asked, "where does he stay?" and I said that he stayed in our house. The boy looked amazed. Then he asked, "where does he sleep? I said that Waffles sleeps in my bed. I thought the boy's chin was going to hit the ground. He then pats Waffles all over his muzzle, leans in and gives him a hug and says, "baby dog". My wife finally comes out of the market with a pretzel for me (Waffles should have had a tummy ache by this time but didn't show it yet). As I wait for my mother in-law to finish shopping the Amish boy comes out of the market with about 10 other Amish folks putting their children in a van. The boy grabs his mother by the hand and walks her over to Waffles. His two friends follow. The gentleman from the tobacco store walks over (I think he worked collecting the carts for the Amish market), and an Asian toddler and her mother stop to look at Waffles. Waffles now has a CROWD around him with everyone reaching in for a pet, a pat, and a few hugs. He just sits with his head up, ears perked, tail wagging and takes it all in. The Amish boys mother has to almost pull her son away and as he leaves "bye baby dog" he says. The gentleman reaches in for a last pat and says "bye baby dog". The little Asian girl yells "BABY DOG" and pushes her ice cream towards Waffles. I restrain Waffles while the girls mother takes control of the ice cream. "Baby Dog" is another nickname we have for Waffles along with WAFU, Waffleini, Stinkus, Finkus and Ham Butt. We never tell anyone that we call him that. I just find it funny that so many people call him that too. Back Story: Waffles is a rescue dog we got about two years ago. Just a typical run of the rural puppy mill Beagle. When we first went looking for dogs at adoption events he was the first one my wife latched on to. Well, no one else was looking at him. She said no need to look further. I told her it was best if we waited a day to see how we felt about it and not rush into anything. That evening we looked him up on the rescue organizations web site. The picture they had up made the poor little fellow look like "Droopy" from the old cartoons. I said, "Were adopting Droopy?" I mean his ears were down low, he didn't wag his tail nor was he interested in anything that wasn't edible. His adoption file had notes from his "several" foster homes - "barks constantly, chews on everything, not house broken!" We fostered Waffles for two weeks. After the two weeks were up I insisted that we take him back. We have two 11-year-old cats and if I was going to bring another animal into the house I had to be sure that they were going to be safe. Waffles tried to make a sport of chasing them. And that was a NO! So back he went. My wife cried for a week. Every day. For a week. Morning. Noon. Night. For a week. We went and got him back. And just to make me feel worse (as if that were possible) they had kept Waffles in a local kennel with bigger dogs. He had lost 7 lbs. Had an eye infection. His reverse sneezing (a common Beagle malady) had worsened and he had been bitten on the ear. When the volunteer walked Waffles in the door of the Pet Smart to bring him to us (my wife was crying the whole time) Waffles saw the two of us and started baying. He pulled with all his might on his lead and when he finally got over to us he started whining, wagging his tail, whining. He was crying. So it was possible for me to feel worse. Waffles cried. My wife cried. I cried. Two years go by quickly. Waffles has never had an accident, has never barked unless he thought there was something I needed to know about, and has never chewed anything other than his toys. He and the cats have worked out their differences and agreed that our female cat Zoë is the boss. An imperfect arrangement but it works. Waffles loves everyone. And it seems that most people love Waffles right back. Even people that dont typically like dogs like Waffles. Ive seen grown men and women wearing business suits, get on the floor of my wifes sign shop and play with Waffles. Sometimes people make special trips from Washington DC over to Arlington, VA just to visit with him. Not to buy anything. Just to pat his head and play chase through the store. People call and ask is Waffles there today? I think its time that Waffles gets a real job. Were going to see if Waffles can get certified as a therapy dog. I think hes suited for it. Nevis Waffles "The Baby Dog"