I snuck Sadie in to the "liberry" to meet the staff. They'd heard enough about her, it was time to get some one on one time.
I'd been careful when I arrived to do a quick visual check for Mr. B-Natural's car in the parking lot, but we had a lot of cars there at the time, so I couldn't be sure. After the understandable fuss he made over various dogs that had been allowed in the building when his flea-ridden pooch Bubba had been banned, I knew he wouldn't like Sadie getting special treatment.
Sadie stayed in the staff workroom as each of the staff came in to love on her and pet the new baby dog. She was on her best behavior, didn't piddle in the floor, didn't bite anyone, and was loved and adored by one and all who saw her, including several patrons who happened to spy her through the open staff-workroom door. Eventually Sadie, with no one holding her leash, became curious enough to venture beyond the staff workroom door, then through the opening by the circ-desk and started out into the library itself.
"Oh! Oh! Better not," Ms. M whispered to me. She pointed out toward the long desk of internet stations where Mr. B-Natural sat, computing away, his back to us. I pulled Sadie back into the workroom and closed the door.
After Sadie had said hello to everyone and had even gone "big bathroom" outside, with Mrs. A there to hold her leash, it was time to leave and I hauled her out the loading area door.
As I came around the corner of the building and was headed across the grass toward my car, I happened to look over toward the front entrance of the building and saw Mr. B-Natural exit from it. He, in turn, looked over and saw us. From his perspective, I clearly had a dog on a leash and was clearly exiting the interior of the building with said dog. I waited for the inevitable grunting and growling, but instead Mr. B-Natural grinned at me and came walking over. So I turned and pulled Sadie toward him, meeting mid-way toward the front door.
Mr. B-Natural squatted down and petted Sadie.
"What sorta dog is it?" he asked.
"St. Bernard mix," I said.
"Oh, gonna be a big one," he said. Then, looking up at me with deep seriousness in his face, he said, "One thing you'll have to get used to though..."
"Oh, yeah," I said. I explained that my wife had had a saint before and despite the fact that she'd died nearly nine years and four moves ago, we could probably still come up with some of her hair.
He gave Sadie a final pat on the head and walked away, as happy as the grumpiest old man in all the world can be.