Dogs go wild

My adventurous dog Chico, the big black one with the red collar, has a new hobby: touring the neighbors’ house to see what he can find to eat. This can be a real surprise to the neighbors, who tend to leave their door open on warm days. I hear tell Paula was taking a nap the other day when she suddenly became aware of someone staring at her. No, it wasn’t her husband Pat. She awoke to find Chico’s big brown eyes fixed on her. Surprise!

I was down the road apiece with his leash and a pocket full of Milkbones while she got up and hauled Mr. Chico back home, locking him in the dog enclosure with his sister Annie. Hearing the gate clang shut, I hurried home. Pat, watering his new lawn, explained what had happened. Thank God he laughed.

Okay, once is okay, but then yesterday, Chico escaped twice. The first time, I found him near the mailboxes eating a slice of wheat bread. Uh-oh. The second time, I went straight across the street and knocked on the siding by the open door. Who greeted me? Right, Chico. He had just cleaned out the cat’s food and was slurping up his water. I don’t know where Pat and Paula were or if they ever discovered they had a visitor again.

What a dog. I took him on a walk through Mike Miller Park here in South Beach the other day. I’m trying to expose both dogs to new places. This may have been a mistake. I can’t believe I got back to the car with no broken bones or sprained ankles. The narrow loop trail through trees and over bridges was almost all up and down, fretted with tree roots, slick with mud. Chico was like a runaway train. The ups weren’t so bad. He pulled me up. But the downs had me screeching as he pulled me down just as quickly. My two big feet could not keep up with his four massive paws and I knew I was gonna die.

By the end of the walk, he had begun to figure out that he had a big clumsy human on the other end of the leash. We rested together on damp wooden benches along the trail. Somehow we made it back to the car, and Chico didn’t eat the people on the bridge who backed away in fear as we roared past while I hollered “Heel!”

Meanwhile, back at home, Annie, the tan one with the dirty blue collar, was digging more holes. She can get her whole head and shoulders in them now, but it looks like she’s having so much fun I don’t have the heart to stop her. I let her dig, I rake the dirt back into the hole, and then she digs again.

Then Chico comes home and they beat each other up, like all brothers and sisters do.

Dogs sure know how to have fun.

Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, Childless by Marriage, and Up Beaver Creek. Most recently, I have published two poetry chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Confessions of a Distracted Catholic. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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