The Case of the Red-Faced Dog
At the deep resonant bark of a rottweiler, I perked my ears, fearing someone was in imminent danger. We golden retrievers have excellent hearing and a near perfect sense of when something scary is happening.
“Hurry,” Chippy, my stuffed chipmunk friend, said. His two brothers were cowering behind him, shaking wildly. I could sense the terror rolling off them but I didn’t need the furball’s help to know that I needed to move quickly. I rushed to the back door, scratching at it, desperate for my mom to let me out.
“Mom,” I barked out, my floofy tail wagging frantically behind me. “Mom, I need to go out!”
“Okay, okay. Don’t get your fur in a knot.” My mom smiled warmly and wiped her hands on a dish towel. She had been busy making me a roasted chimkin dinner. I didn’t mind sharing my food with my parents, as long as I got some, too. “Stay close,” she said as she opened the door.
I bolted past her, racing down the stairs to my backyard. I ran so fast my long golden hair flowed out behind me like a weeping willow in a windstorm. My mom yelled at me, but I didn’t hear what she said. I was too busy trying to swallow down my racing heart. Right across the small expanse of open grassland, my tiny backyard, was the most beautiful golden retriever I had ever seen. Despite looking terrified and dragging her belly on the ground, she took my breath away. She was golden red, with long wispy feathers of silky soft fur, and the widest, most beautiful brown eyes I’d ever seen.
Standing no more than two tail-lengths away from this golden goddess was my backdoor neighbor, Echo, the rottweiler. She was barking ferociously, flashing her huge canines at the woman of my dreams. Great gobs of foaming saliva flew from her floppy lips as she snapped wildly at my new love.
“Hey, back off!” I growled, racing to throw myself between the ferocious rottweiler and the poor, defenseless goddess.
“Oh, hi Gizmo! Hi Gizmo,” Echo yipped. “I was just saying hi to Lexi, hi to Lexi.”
“Don’t you dare hurt her,” I snarled. Although, the way friendly, playful Echo was behaving when I got there made me think I might have overreacted to the situation. Just a bit.
“Hurt her? Hurt her? Why would I do that? Why would I do that?”
I should have known Echo would never hurt anyone. She might be a big, scary looking dog, but she had a heart of solid gold, even if she barked at anything or anyone she saw.
“Are you okay?” I asked the golden beauty, my heart still thrumming in my chest. “Did Echo hurt you?”
“Hurt me? Oh, my dog, no. She frightened me a little because she’s got such a big voice. I’m only seven, so I have a lot to learn about how to make new friends. I kind of charged at Echo. My name’s Lexi.”
I didn’t understand. I was also seven, and I learned a long time ago how to approach strange dogs – you bark softly and wag your tail. A lot. So, if she was seven… Oh. My. Dog. “You’re seven months old? You’re still a puppy?”
Lexi nodded furiously. I was so heckin’ embarrassed. She was so pretty… and she looked so grown up. My face burned brighter and brighter with each passing second. I’ve never been so happy to see my mom coming. She had my favorite leather leash in her hands. Thank dog. She was taking me home, rescuing me from this predicament I got myself into. I stuck my nose up to her, and smiled, waiting to be leashed up, but she walked right past me. I gave her a questioning look when she slipped it around Lexi’s neck.
“And where do you live?” my mom asked. “You’re too little to be running around by yourself.” A moment later, my mom was taking Lexi home. I’m sure my face was still red from being heckin’ mortified.
“You sure made a fool of yourself this time,” Echo said. “You sure did. A total fool of yourself.”
“I’m going home now, Echo. Bye.” Before that black and tan rotty even had a chance to say, “Bye, bye,” I was bolting up the stairs to my house. Thankfully, my dad was there to let me in. I didn’t glance back.
My face reddened further at the sight of the three heckin’ chipmunks, rolling around the floor, laughing their stripes off at me.
Heckin’ chipmunks. They’ll get theirs.