Dale, the big blind Labrador, had been a naughty boy. Very naughty. The Dog Mom needed a break from Dale. So, Dale went to Jail. It wasn’t actually Jail. It was more like a three-week playdate with his dog-cousin Ivy, at our daughter Sarah’s house. “Dale goes to Jail” was a bit of a family joke, as Sarah’s husband is a cop. Dale hopped in Sarah’s car, happily riding three hours south. Maggie, our “mini-Lab,” gave Sarah the look that says “I was your dog first and You are MY Girl!” but Maggie quickly acclimated to being an only dog again, although she seemed to miss Dale after about a week.
For the most part, Dale was a good boy. He visits Sarah’s house with us a few times a year, so he knows the backyard well enough to explore it on his own. (He remembered to avoid the fire pit this time, and didn’t fall in it.) He bumped into a few cabinets, managed to latch himself into the laundry room (a good place for a nap!), and I heard he ran smack-dab into the water bowl, spilling it all over the kitchen floor. He loved snuggling up to Sarah, especially when she cooking—Dale knows when something smells yummy! Going for walks with Ivy was fun—she’s almost as tall as Dale, so when he bumped into her, she didn’t mind and even bumped him back sometimes.
I think it was smelling all that good cooking that brought out Dale’s artistic side. He followed his nose to the basket of potholders, and found a really good one, which means it smelled really yummy! He took off with it to the dining room, did a little scratchy-scratch etching, and some white fluff poofed out onto the air. “What was that?” Dale grabbed his potholder and hid in the living room, where there weren’t any fuzzy bits. More rips, a little tear, one yummy bite, and lots of doggy fun! “Gruff! Noises in the kitchen…better hide my new toy!”
Sarah needed a potholder, so she reached in the basket, looking for her old favorite that she’d had since college, the one she really should throw away, but it’s so convenient to use with a messy pot. Where was it? And what was this white stuff near the door? Dale and Ivy were snoozing on their beds, zoned out. After Dinner, Sarah found white fluff under the dining room table and the next few days, bits of white cotton scattered here and there. Finally, Sarah caught him red-handed, err, toothed. There was Dale, under the dining table, working so intently … Dale’s so Artistic! (Sarah’s Dad says Dale’s a real Renaissance Dog!)