When I say I’m ready, I’m ready. I hate closed doors. Especially when I’m ready. Like now.
Doesn’t Shaggy hear me? Everyone calls the master’s son Jake, but I think Shaggy fits him.
Finally, after a few of my highest pitch yelps, he pushes the screen door open and I charge out—straight at the tweet tweets. Stop. Sniff the fresh air, honeysuckles and the neighbor’s cat, Fifi. A breeze tickles my tail and…ooh…that feels good; I’ve been holding that in for hours. Don’t want a flick on the behind, you know.
“Good boy,” says Shaggy. So I thank him with a friendly lick on his paw. (I like his paws; they’re always salty.) And we walk again. Pitter pat, pitter pat. Squeak squeak. I don’t know why he covers his two paws with squeakers—they drown the robins’ music.
Then, I stop. Defend my position. Eyes narrow; ears back; nose wrinkled. Ready.
Our eyes meet. He locks too. I haven’t seen him around this neck of the block. Must be new. And part pug. Uh oh. Here he comes, pulling a large lady in red, like a giant tomato. Hmm…he’s not barking, ears down. I just need a good sniff…okay…he’s friendly. I can add his scent to my sniffbook page. Mama taught me well in my puppy days: “Use your senses and separate the friendly from the head-biters. You’ll save some fur.”
We nose kiss and off I go. Around the oak tree, I smell something. Squirrel! Come on…let me at him! He’s too high, but I’ll get him, next time. Oh, here comes Chester Chihuahua.
“Yip, yip, yip,” he says with a smile.
You said it. We spin in circles and rub fur. We bat each other, nibble a few times and sniff goodbye until tomorrow.
That was fun. Pitter pat, pitter pat, down the sidewalk. Stop to smell Spike’s scent hiding in the dandelions. When I look up, I freeze. Oh no, not him.
Headed our way, Rocky gallops toward us towing Freddy on wheels. His massive paws could squash me. But if I stand on my hind legs like this, I look tough. Don’t mess with this Yorkie. See how big I am. Bark bark bark bark bark bark. And bark.
Shaggy yanks me back and says, “Sorry, I don’t think Simba likes Rottweilers. He goes crazy whenever he sees you.”
Bark bark. I can’t help myself… I must…must nip Freddy’s leg.
“Hey, I’m bleeding! Your stupid dog bit me!” He swats my nose with his human paw.
That hurt. Ooh ooh. Of course Rocky has to protect him and turns on me. Gives me “the stare” with killer eyes. I shudder.
RRRwoooof! RRRRwoooof! He bats me with his paw, but it doesn’t hurt. We have a mutual understanding—Freddy deserves a nip. Rocky winks at me, so I crouch down and sneeze.
Shaggy pulls me home. “Why did you do that, Simba? Freddy’s my friend.”
Bark. Good thing I’m in charge of guarding him; he doesn’t know Freddy like I do.
Knock knock. I race to the door. Bark bark. No one passes without my okay. Freddy doesn’t wait for an answer; he stumbles in and slams the door. “Move it, you mutt.” He stomps on my paw. “Ooh. So sorry. Now beat it!”
Bark bark bark.
Freddy prowls around the living room carrying a sac while waiting for Jake to come out of the bathroom. He’s looking at something—I can’t see from down here. Sometimes I wish I were part Great Dane.
Bark bark. He throws a book at me. Bark bark bark. I saw that.
“Hey, Freddie. Wanta shoot hoops out back?”
“Nah…look what I snuck out of Dad’s fridge. I thought…since your parents are out—”
He pulls some silver cans out and—now’s my chance…I leap over his shoulder and grab something shiny out of Freddy’s sac. Then I dash over to Jake and drop it on his lap (without too much drool.)
Shaggy picks it up. “Hey, this is my dad’s watch. I left it on the hutch…I’m fixing it for his birthday.”
Freddy is as red as raw steak. “How did that get in there?”
Jake stares at Freddy, a “Rocky” stare. “Get out of our house.”
The door slams and I curl up on Jake’s lap. “You were right, Simba. I should trust your judge of character.”
I lick his paw and tell him I know. Bark bark.
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