Saturday, September 24, 2011

Motomachi Dog

I was writing about canine good citizenship yesterday and decided to see how Claire does with crowds, so it being a public holiday we went to tourist spot Motomachi which was guaranteed to be overflowing with people. Claire behaved with great decorum, walking close to me and weaving in and out of the crowds beside me, with never a tug on the leash or moment of hesitation.

Quite a few people wander round there parading their darling dogs, and as we walked up the main shopping street we met a cute one-year-old sheepdog. Claire was not too keen on sitting down with all the crowds milling around, but finally agreed to sit and pose for the camera. After stopping to chat, we continued on our way to Slow Cafe, where you can eat lunch with your dog on the terrace.

In spite of the rather unexciting decor on the terrace, the food there was actually surprisingly good, simple, healthy fare: brown rice, hijiki, tofu hamburger, green salad and a carrot salad with almonds strewn on top. The coffee came with real heated milk, which always makes the difference to my coffee experience, and they were even so kind as to provide a refill ( I like a lot of cream).
We met the cutest kids with their Japanese Mum and Granma, and they reminded me so much of my own boys at a similar age, totally adorable. They were really into Claire so I gave them some dogfood, and they took turns to feed her, giggling and laughing and having fun.

 The older boy started to try and get her to do tricks, offering the food and then pulling his hand away, placing the food on her nose, and so on, which could have annoyed her, but she took it with fortitude. When I noticed I said it was unfair on her, and perhaps to just use "Wait" for a moment before giving her the treat, she could do that.  A tiny greyhound also came by, and as always it is such a pleasure talking to doggie people, the energy flows and everyone is having a good time.
From Slow Cafe we made our way through Motomachi Park and up the hill to the bluff, and the Gaijin Bochi cemetary was open to visitors. Although I've been past there many times, I've never been inside, so we took advantage of the rare opportunity and walked round the graveyard taking pictures here and there. We hadn't bargained with the cats who normally hang out in the secluded cemetary: Claire immediately discovered one taking an afternoon nap, and after she fled in terror there was no stopping Claire sniffing here and there and pulling on the leash to hurry up mummy and let's go find more cats, this place smells tantalizing... 

After a fun walk through the Umi ga Mieru Oka Park and the Rose Garden enjoying the views of the Bay Bridge and the sea, (the roses were out of season, so only a minimal amount blooming), we got tired and decided to walk back down the hill... check out our last venue of the day, a small doggie pub situated between the Motomachi main shopping street, and Chinatown across the river.
Question had a fun sign saying "If you don't like dogs, don't bother coming in", and each table had a doggie chair for the dog to sit on. It was a little small for Claire, but she was so delighted with the opportunity to get her nose level at the table with us she made do with the limited space on the chair, and feasted on the plate of doggie treats the owner brought for her. We ordered a couple of drinks, me taking over the role of driver home, so only a grapefruit juice, but it was a really neat place...somewhere to go for an evening out getting sloshed with the pooch.  

Check out this happy dog smile!

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