Arthur went to work with me a lot. He loved the studio and although he wasn’t comfortable with strange new people, he developed an ease with the dancers and students that he got to know. They were a good source of food and belly scratches. Soon after I started bringing Arthur to the studio, I began to notice that a group of the male students were always asking me if they could take Arthur out for a walk. Never the women, – just the men. I asked one of the men, Luc what was up and he told me. Apparently Arthur was good at picking up women and not just any women – only the cute ones. The men would take Arthur out on walks and at stop lights, Arthur would walk over to a cute woman and put his cold nose on her leg. She would jump in surprise, look down to see the cute dog and then would talk to the guys who were attached to the cute dog by a leash. Luc told me that the men were having a heyday meeting good looking women all over the city. Later that year, I was meeting my family and my little brother was depressed. His girlfriend had just dumped him. We were walking down the street and I handed over Arthur’s leash. “Here,” I said, take Arthur for a walk.” “Why,” he asked. “Trust me,” I said. As my brother started walking with Arthur, I pulled back to let him continue by himself. Sure enough. With in a few blocks, Arthur did his thing and my brother found himself talking to an attractive young woman. His depression started to lift.
Both Arthur and I were not fond of the cold – not the best of situations when you live in Canada. When Arthur got cold – he would lay down in the snow to die. Our winter outings always ended up the same – he would take two steps – lie down to die – I would pick him up and warm him in my coat – he’d want down – he would take two steps – lie down to die – and on and on and on. And yet – this dog could sit on the fire escape for hours during a snow storm. Arthur did like ice. Whenever he found a piece of ice on the fire escape – he would bring it back into the comfort of our warm apartment and then happily run around the place, pushing his find along the floor and tossing it into the air – leaving cold tracks of water all over the floor. It’s hard to get angry at an animal that is having so much obvious fun.
Arthur’s sanctuary was the bathroom – specifically on top of the toilet. If he got scared – that’s where he’d be. Late one night after a performance – around midnight – standing in front of my building – I discovered that I didn’t have my apartment keys. Arthur was home alone so I really did have to find a way in. I woke up the young super to our building. Unfortunately – he didn’t have an extra key for my place – but he did have an idea – we could probably pick the lock on my kitchen door – which we could get to by the fire escape. We went outside and walked around the building. The super jumped up, grabbed the raised ladder and pulled it to the ground. We made our way to the top (third) floor. Both of us were lousy burglars – we couldn’t get the lock picked. We did however discover that my bathroom window was open. Small problem though. The window was not located over the balcony. It was located over the stairway to the balcony. The super convinced me to sit on his shoulders and then he carefully descended the stairs until we were under the window – and then pushed me up and through. As I squiggled my way through the window – all the shampoo and conditioner bottles in the window sill fell noisily into the bathtub below. I could see Arthur running around in full panic mode – on the toilet – someone coming in the window – panic – run to the living room – panic – back to the toilet – and so on. I quickly thanked the super and then caught my dog. It took almost an hour to calm him down. The postscript to this story is that I found my keys the next day. In the pocket of my coat. The coat that I was wearing when I broke into my own apartment. The new reversible coat that my mother had just sent me for my birthday – which had weird double pockets which could transfer items from one side of the coat to the other side. Sometimes you could just shoot yourself.