“Here he comes, Jenn!”
Jennifer nudged me aside, nearly knocking me off the window seat in my bedroom. Last week, when she’d stayed overnight, she’d gotten upset when I told her about Mr. Piroska’s Basset Hound, Bogey. (He looks like Humphrey Bogart, in a weird, doggy-like way.) Bogey wanders the streets at night, gobbling the scraps that people leave for him; he’s considered the neighborhood dog. Jennifer was hopping mad about that.
“No dog should be allowed to roam. He could be hit by a car, or someone could do something mean to him,” she’d lectured. I’d rolled my eyes, and Jenn had turned on me like a cat.
“Don’t you care about him, Amanda? He’s a helpless puppy!” she’d sternly declared.
“Of course I care about him, but he’s just fine. He’s fat and happy.”
“Still…” she tossed her head. She annoyed me, sometimes, with her superior attitude.
She decided we needed to capture Bogey, so she could take him home with her. I argued against her scheme, asking how she would explain Bogey to her mom? She ignored me and plotted her plan to rescue Bogey.
So, here we were, waiting for Bogey to come again. Dog-wise, Bogey wasn’t my cup of tea. His sloppy jowls dripped drool, and he always looked so depressed. He didn’t jump around like my dog, Jip; he ambled sadly everywhere.
“C’mon!” Jennifer pulled my attention back to her plan. We left the house and ran, hunch-backed, down the driveway.
We peeked carefully around the edge of a hedge. Bogey had stopped, his forlorn eyes staring right at us. I saw his nose quivering for our scent, but he seemed uncertain about our presence; were we friend or foe? He held his tail stiffly while he made up his mind. Jenn stepped out from the shrubs, calling to Bogey as she walked toward him.
“Here, Bogey, Bogey. C’mere, sweet baby,” she called.
“Jenn, do you think he’s OK? I mean, look how big he is.” I was hanging back a step, just in case Bogey didn’t want to be rescued.
Bogey snuffled loudly and took a step back as Jenn approached him, but when she put out her hand, he sniffed her fingers as delicately as a giant, slobbering dog could and decided she was harmless. He…and I know this sounds silly, but he…smiled!
Jenn sat down next to him right in the middle of the road and crooned and petted and cajoled him onto her lap. He looked ridiculous there, but he seemed happy; he was still grinning.
“Now what, Jenn? We have to take him soon. We’re standing in the middle of the street, y’know!”
“OK. C’mon, sweet puppy…come with us.” Bogey flopped onto his back and refused to move. He turned his huge head up toward us and kept smiling while he panted, but he wouldn’t move.
Jenn surveyed her rescued victim. “Well, lets carry him then,” she finally announced.
“Carry him! Are you kidding? Look at him! He must weigh a ton, Jenn.”
“There’re two of us, Amanda. Between us, we could get him to your backyard, then I could tell Mom I found him when she picks me up tomorrow.”
I shook my head, but I knew I couldn’t talk her out of it.
We carried that lazy dog all the way to my house. He drooped limply between us, grinning and drooling the whole time, and when she put him down, he ambled a few steps and then flopped over. My arms ached and my hands were slimy from his slobbery, silly doggie smile.
“Ewww. I’m going to go in and wash, Jenn. Yuck.”
Jenn gave ol’ Bogey one last caress and finally called it a night.
The next morning after breakfast, we went to the backyard. Jenn snitched a few pieces of bacon to feed Bogey. “Just enough to tide him over,” she said. Not that dog, I thought.
When we opened the gate, Bogey was gone!
“Bogey! Where’d he go, Amanda?”
I spied a huge hole under the fence and heard a funny whine behind us. I looked around and there was Bogey, ambling up the street. He was looking over his shoulder at us, grinning his dopey, slobbery grin. His toenails clicked a song of freedom as he went on his way.
“Poor Bogey,” whispered Jenn as she watched him go.
“Does he look worried, Jenn? Dumb, slobbery dog,” I yawned.
Bogey loped away, nose in the air, smelling his breakfast.
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