The Chronicles of Little Bear, Part Four – Huge
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A couple of days ago I was sitting under the fig tree daydreaming about all the things we did to get ready for Ralph when we thought he was coming to our foster home. Remembering the fun we had getting ready for him gave me such a good feeling. It made me realize all over again how much I love my life here at home — going shopping with Mommy, and doing my jobs. Oh, my life here is just the best!
We all felt disappointed that Ralph didn’t come and stay with us for awhile, but we knew how lucky he was to go to his forever home straight away. Danny, Smoker, and I had no trouble bouncing back into our daily routine, and in our free time we played with a renewed exuberance. In the evening we would talk with great anticipation about what the next little foster dog would be like and how soon they would come. The sooner the better, we thought.
I was especially anxious for a new friend to help me with my jobs. I was so sad when Holly left, that I could barely bring myself to get any work done, and I fell a little behind. Danny was kind and didn’t say too much, but now that I’m not feeling so blue, I’m wanting to get the yard back into shape. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get caught up, so a new friend’s help wouldn’t hurt!
Also, school is back in session, and there is more trash being thrown into our back yard. That means I have to spend more time guarding the back fence during sports’ practices to keep the young people from climbing over our fence to retrieve their balls. That’s no easy job. You can’t bite them, you just have to bark loudly and look like you want to bite them. That’s hard, because I really want to give them lick-kisses and be nice and play with them, but a job is a job — no matter how hard it is!
Mommy said I have to keep the kids off the fence, because if they fall they could be hurt, and that wouldn’t be good. Not only that, but when they do manage to get over the fence, they walk on the flowers and bushes, and that’s not nice. So as you can see, I have to spend a lot more time protecting the yard from young intruders and picking up trash during the school season.
Even more important, Mommy said the kids could fall in the pool and drown. I’m not a good swimmer, so it would be hard for me to save them. I remember I had a hard time getting Girly dog out of the pool a couple years ago. We almost lost her. Thank goodness Danny helped pull her out after I got her to the side of the pool. That was one close call. Hmm, a dog’s work is never done.
We all look forward to having more help on Grandma’s watch. For me, even though that is my favorite job, I worry about what’s happening in the yard while I am inside watching Grandma. Smoker tries to help by keeping an eye on the yard for me at those times. Danny helps out too, but it’s harder for him because he has a lot more jobs than we do! He even has to check on us to make sure we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. So you can see why it would be nice to have another dog around.
As for the cats, Nicholas and Beethoven have been grumbling a little lately that they’re being overworked. I think they’re just hoping for someone new to play their tricks on. Smoke and I pretty much know their tricks, and they don’t dare pull any tricks on Danny.
I must say though, that they did get me good the other day. I was walking by the table at the end of the couch, when one of the cats jumped out at me. I didn’t know it, but they had pushed some papers laying on the table close to the edge. That cat scared me so bad I barked an “Eek!” and jumped high into the air, knocking the papers right off of the table, and they flew all over the floor! Nicholas and Beethoven ran off laughing.
Thank goodness Danny was close by and heard the ruckus and came to see what was going on. He just shook his head in annoyance. “I’ll tend to those two later. Let me help you pick these papers up.”
The cats sat at a distance watching us put the papers back, snickering at us and purring with satisfaction. Oh those cats sometimes! What can you do? I was lucky, Mommy never did say anything about the papers being a little wet and wrinkled.
Yesterday, while I was on garden watch, I heard Mommy call, “Little Bear, hurry up and come inside!” I knew it was important from the tone of her voice. I rushed right in and found Danny, Smoker, and the cats all sitting on the couch with eager expressions on their faces. I got up between Danny and Smoker and whispered to Smoker, “What’s going on? What happened?”
“We don’t know. Mommy told us to sit here, and that she would be back in a minute to talk with us,” Smoke replied.
“Boy, it must be really important. I hope it’s nothing bad,” I whispered back.
“Purrr-shh, here comes Mommy,” the cats said as Mommy came into the room.
“Boys, we have a new house guest. She isn’t quite what you’re used to, but I know you’ll treat her kindly, and show her around. I want all of you to teach her the rules of the house. Danny and Bear, you show her the yard jobs. I ‘m not sure how long she’ll be staying with us.”
As Mommy spoke, I felt a small twinge of disappointment that the new foster dog wasn’t a boy. I had kind of hoped for a boy dog. Oh well, girls are okay, too.
Looking around I wondered where she was, and I could see Danny and Smoker looking too. She wasn’t with Mommy, and she wasn’t in the crate like the new dogs usually are. That’s strange, I thought.
Mommy continued on, “She isn’t the kind of dog we are used to, but she is very sweet, and less than a year old, so she’ll need a little extra help.” I could hear Danny let out a small groan as he sat up straighter and tried to keep smiling at Mommy.
“You cats need to be careful,” Mommy went on, “Because she isn’t the kind of dog you want to play tricks on. She’s good natured, but you need to give her a wide berth. NO tricks, you hear?” I could see the cats’ faces pinch up, and they both purr-meowed, “We’ll see.”
Danny spoke up, “Where is she?” as we all glanced over at the empty crate.
“Her name is Sally, and she’s outside in the back yard” Mommy said.
Just as Mommy said her name, we heard some bustling in the back yard. We all looked over to the sliding door.
Oh, my gosh. There she was! She was huge! I mean HUGE! Unbelievable! Her tongue was hanging out, and all I could hear was this loud “Hah-Hah-Hah-Hah–Hah!” as she breathed. There was a big, happy, slobbering smile on her face. Her eyes were ablaze with excitement as she stared at us.
A quick thought went through my mind, Good gravy, we’re lunch! Her body shock with so much anticipation that I could feel the vibration on the couch all the way inside the house! She had a tail like a whip, and it was going back and forth so fast and hard that it looked like it was going to break the chair it was smacking against.
The cats departed the room with their tails big and fluffy, hissing and yowling unpleasantries as they left.
I heard Danny say, as I stared at Sally in shock, “You’ve got to be kidding!” He turned and looked at Mommy in disbelief, shaking his head. My eyes were so big that I must have looked like they would pop out of my head. Danny muttered, “Tell me this isn’t real!”
It was real all right. It was real, real. There she was, as happy as could be, wanting to come in and meet us — or eat us! That was one scary sight. One lick of her tongue, and I could be hurt. I felt Smoker sink down on the couch beside me, and with a big sigh, he bemoaned, “This can’t be happening.”
“I think it is happening!” I lamented back, and asked with a shaky voice, “What is she?”
“She looks like one of them Boxpits!” Smoker uttered, his tone ominous.
“Oh, what’s a Boxpit?” I asked, really scared now.
“Don’t ask, you really don’t want to know.” Smoker grumbled back.
“Is she supposed to look like that?
“Yep. Boy, oh boy, do we have our work cut out for us,” Smoke replied.
I felt like I was frozen there on the couch, unable to move, and truly not wanting to either. Danny barked a bit in protest, but Mommy brushed his complaints aside and said, “That’s enough, boys. Go greet Sally nicely, and make her feel welcome.”
Danny jumped down off the couch, and with one last pleading look at Mommy said, “Come on boys, it won’t be that bad. Let’s go!”
Off the couch Smoker and I hesitantly jumped and followed Danny through the doggy door. Sally was so happy to see us, and thankfully did not try to eat us. With a lot of wet slobbery licks and whacks from her tail we all sniffed each other. I thought to myself, If I dodge her tail and don’t let her sit on me, this won’t be so bad. Hmm, she’s so big and strong, that I bet she can do a lot of work.
See you next week!
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