Ever since the Petco incident I’ve been wary of the bug-eyed creatures. Oh sure when I spotted the little black and white puppy traipsing through the store at the end of his leash my heart melted a little. His paws couldn’t find purchase on the linoleum so he was doing this adorable puppy ice-skating thing, trying his best to make his way to those bins of doggie treats smack dab in the middle of the store. Awwww, I thought, Such a sweet wittle puppy! In search of a heating lamp for a peaky-looking gecko, I turned the corner. And slid about six inches through a steaming pile of…Boston Terrier shtuff. In my wicked awesome new straw wedge shoes. Open-toe. Thank you very much.
I hate those little shifty eyed heathens! Not to be trusted! Bah!
Fortunately there was a shoe store right next door (coincidence? Methinks I sense an evil marketing plan) where I picked up a pair of hot pink leather strappy wedges to ease my pain. Don’t think that I didn’t notice none of the employees even raised an eyebrow over my shopping barefoot. I strongly suspect they’ve seen it before. Bet the Petco/Shoe barons gleefully checked the box under ‘Gollum-Faced Dog Plot Scores Again’. Bet they rewarded their little Bostonian with another high-fiber treat.
Time passed, enough that wedge sandals went out of fashion and returned. Gotta luv ‘em. My Good Friend and I were both running dangerously low on stuff, and decided to stock up at Target. We hopped into the time travel jeep and hit the road. Zipping down a busy roadway, the kind with dangerous curves and no posted speed limit – which triggers the inner autobahn German in all of us – I spotted a minion. A helpless little Boston Terrier darted back and forth in the middle of the road, giving his all to being run down. Oh no! Sweet puppy in road! No no! Save him! The cars didn’t even slow down! I couldn’t bear it! I mean he couldn’t help it he was a Boston Terrier, right?
Skidding to a stop while my Good Friend – who has her own reasons not to trust minions – exclaimed, “Don’t! No! What are you doing?” Right in the middle of the highway I swung my door open (it was a very Mission Impossible/Bourne Identity maneuver as I recall) and called, “Here Puppy, Puppy, Puppy!” Now this call works like magic. I once employed it successfully on a stray coyote in the Sonoran Desert much to Dear Hubby’s astonishment. Spoken properly I’m fairly sure this would work on Godzilla. (Call me if you ever wanna try that.) Boston Terrier responded with enthusiasm, racing across a lane and leaping into the air he landed right in my lap, wriggling with joy.
Then, because dogs can sense when people are not Dog People and it is their mission in life to convert you, he launched himself across the Jeep – all enthusiasm and tongue - to win my Good Friend. She protested, and he increased his efforts, which apparently required him to adhere to her face with his entire body. I couldn’t hear much of what she said because she insisted on trying to dodge the dog’s tongue lapping at her mouth, but I caught something like, “GAH! GAAAH! MUDDDDD! GAH!”
Oh. Dear. There was mud, now that I looked. In fact the inside of the Jeep now looked like we’d hosted an event from The Dirty Girl Mud Run. Goodness, but the dog wasn’t muddy, in fact he was shiny black and white well taken care of puppy. Awwwww. “GAH! Get him oorrrffff!” My Good Friend managed to dislodge him and he darted back to my lap, wagging his entire body, and leaving a trail of perfect muddy paw prints in his wake. I pulled off the road, and shoved the back seat down, lifted the muddy miscreant, and sat him firmly in the backseat. Paws flailing, he shot back into the front, again leaving a trail of footprints like some sort of canine self-inking stamp.
|Photo Credit: S. R. Karfelt
“What are you going to do with HIM?” Good Friend inquired, trying to block him from her lap and failing miserably. I didn’t know, hadn’t got that far in my excellent rescue plan. “I guess I’ll take him to the dog shelter,” I said unconvincingly. Boston Terrier looked at me with his best, “Oh no you won’t. You want me. In fact, you love me.” Oh nooo! I can’t fall in love right now! I’m focusing on my writing career!
“He probably belongs to someone,” Good Friend pointed out. You, Casanova, I thought, I’ll bet you already have people who keep you all handsome and shiny, except for the paw thing. Seriously? How much mud can possibly be wedged up in his feet? Answer: One Jeep’s worth, because he continued to traipse around mucking up the place joyfully.
I spotted a guy weed-whacking alongside the road, the only human being in sight, and drove over. Boston Terrier grinned at him out the window while I asked if he looked familiar. The man nodded and pointed to a house, “He goes there. They’re out driving around looking for him.” Bingo! I jotted my cell number onto a postcard about my book – Warrior of the Ages – which is officially released this week – and foisted it onto the man – requesting that he have them call me – and hoping that this counted in some small measure as that marketing thing I’m supposed to be doing – and certain that once Mud Puppy was reunited with his family that they’d be pleased to have their long lost doggie rescued by an author. Good dog karma would certainly be good for marketing, right? Worth the trashed Jeep, don’t you think?
Um, wrong. The dog people called within about fifteen minutes, sounding strained. Apparently I’d nabbed said puppy off the highway right under their noses and drove off…sorta dognapper fashion. I returned him immediately and he leapt into their arms sobbing and whining about his ordeal, while I stood there muddy from head to foot and not even daring to mention my book. I mean really, I could see the accusation in their glaring eyes. Not to mention my Good Friend’s polite, “I need to go change now.” Yeah, well, I think I need to go trade my car in now.
When I’m not sliding around Petco, or dognapping, I’m writing. It’s what I do. The other stuff is really just