A monster storm was coming. The cool and calm weather outside the mall was misleading. I knew I could be walking into a maelstrom.
Rabbi Lazar chose Arbor Park Town Center for our meeting. She thought the outdoor mall would be less intimidating than an austere office setting. Previous sessions had been horribly unproductive, verging on hostile.
Darcy and I waited in the food court. She fidgeted anxiously in her seat, while I worrying with a paper clip I had twisted into a butterfly, and recklessly sipped on an Orange Julius until I got brain freeze.
Initially, I was reluctant to bring Darcy to a religious counselor, being that we were far from devout churchgoers, and even further from being Jewish. After my first solo session, I felt completely at ease with the grandmotherly Rina Lazar, and hoped Darcy would be as accepting.
My expectations apparently were too high, and Darcy refused to interact with Lazar. She just curled up in one of the Rabbi’s big, leather office chairs, and sulked. This mall meeting was our last chance to get the two of them on friendly terms.
I saw Lazar across the shopping center’s main boulevard and waved her over. She was carrying a plain brown paper shopping bag from a popular bakery. Nodding my acquiescence to her obvious bribery ploy, I invited her to join Darcy and me.
The Rabbi took the seat between us, slowly taking a cookie out of her paper bag. Darcy slid down in her chair, narrowing her eyes at Lazar, suspicious of her peace offering. The aroma of a freshly baked peanut butter cookie was too much of a temptation, and Darcy took the bribe.
While Darcy nibbled at the cookie, Lazar and I talked about some of her behavior issues. I hated talking about her like she wasn’t there. Then it happened…
Darcy nudged Rabbi Lazar’s elbow, then licked her hand. Picking out another cookie, Lazar broke it into smaller pieces, giving them to Darcy one at a time as the dog stood up in her seat, wagging her tail with enthusiasm. A pat on the head, and a scratch behind each ear, and Lazar finally won over my girl.