Tina opened the velvet box and stared at the sparkly face and shiny band. “Oh, Daddy. My first real watch. Thank you.” She jumped up and hugged his neck. “Help me put it on, please Daddy.”
“I’m glad you liked it, and I’m sorry I’ve been called away on your tenth birthday.”
“It’s okay, Daddy. I understand.”
“Why don’t you go play with Cindy before she scratches a hole in the back door? I’ll say goodbye to Nanny and you can distract Cindy while I sneak out the front door.”
“Alright. Be safe Daddy.”
The birthday girl shot out the back door to find her best play mate. “CINDY. Oh, there you are. Do you wanna play hide and seek?”
Cindy barked and began chasing her tail.
“Go stand around the corner, Cindy. Go on. I’ll count to twenty while I hide. You know the rules.”
Cindy barked twice and headed for the corner of the house.
“One, two, three, four… No peeking, Cindy. Five, six… “
Tina peeked out from her hiding place and watched Cindy sniff around the garden before racing towards her.
“Oh, Cindy. You are clever. Okay, back you go and I’ll count again.”
Cindy ran back in the direction of the house and around the corner.
“One, two, three…”
Tina crept toward the garden shed, counting as she went. She waited quietly behind the opened door and watched Cindy race toward her last hiding place. Tina giggled at Cindy’s usual antics. After more sniffing, Cindy found her and began licking her face. Tina congratulated her again before beginning the routine over.
It had been an hour of fun and a lot of laughing by the time Cindy found Tina laying flat on the grass behind a low shrub.
“I give up too, Cindy. Let’s go get some water.”
Tina scrambled to her feet and brushed off her clothes. She glanced at her wrist. “Oh, no. My watch.”
Tina looked around frantically, searching the ground around the shrub.
Tina began to cry. “Cindy, you have to help me find my watch.”
Cindy stood with her head tilted to one side.
“Do you understand, Cindy?” Tina pointed to her wrist before realizing Cindy probably hadn’t even noticed the new addition.
Wiping her face with the back of her hand, Tina looked around the yard. “I have an idea, girl. It’s your turn to hide. Go on. Go and hide. I’ll come looking for you.”
Cindy trotted off to a previous hiding place where Tina had been. Tina waited then followed her searching the ground as she went. “Again, Cindy. Go hide.”
A short time later, Tina sat on the ground and hugged her knees. Big tears rolled down her red puffy cheeks. Cindy began to whimper and licked Tina’s wet face.
“What am I going to do, Cindy? I need to find my watch.”
Cindy barked and raced toward the corner of the house. I didn’t go there Cindy. That’s where you were.” But Tina followed her golden retriever around the corner of the house, anyway.
“What have you got there, Cindy?”
Tina knelt beside Cindy and looked down. There behind a flower pot was her watch. “Cindy, how did this get here?”
A wet nose nudged Tina toward the garden shed where she was found earlier.
“You mean you found it when you were looking for me here before my next hiding place? Oh, Cindy. You’re so clever.”
Tina hugged Cindy and tickled her belly just as Nanny called her to lunch.
“Come on, Cindy. You deserve a special treat” and together they raced through the garden and up the back steps.
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