Social media was full of dog pictures, cute little fluffy doggies doing tricks, and big slobbery mongrels asleep in playpens with babies. It was National Dog Day, Aug. 26, a time to celebrate and make goo-goo eyes over man?s best friend, a time for normally rational adults to act totally ridiculous. What can I say? People love their dogs. And dogs love people. Everyone thinks their dog is the number-one best dog in the world.
How did our Buddy start National Dog Day? Well, I hate to say it, and I know I?m going to get a lot of angry mail for this, but Ginnie and I goofed and left Buddy out all night. In the rain.
I looked outside at 7 a.m., to see how much rain was in the rain gauge, and there was a little black ball of fur curled tightly in the corner of Buddy?s pen. My heart sunk to my knee caps. I looked a second time just to make sure it wasn?t a skunk or something there in Buddy?s pen. Nope. Our faithful Buddy Boy had endured a night of thunder, lightening, and gully-whomping rain, without digging himself out, because he just knew we would come and let him in. After all, we always had. Why wouldn?t we this time?
I rushed to the door, full of, ?Oh, Buddy, I?m sorries,? and opened the gate to let him in. He looked up from his little ball of fur, a perpetual smile on his face, and bounded for the kitchen like it was an everyday, ordinary, letting-Buddy-in occasion. His only act of retribution, if you can call it that, was to shake himself thoroughly, splattering doggie water all over the kitchen wall, island counter, and my bare legs, an act for which I forgave him immediately.
He then waited patiently for his coming-in-doors treat, like he always does, then made a bee line straight for the master-bedroom closet, dog biscuit in mouth, where he likes to hide under Ginnie?s hanging clothes. I?ve always said he likes it there because it smells like Ginnie.
Ginnie found me a few minutes later and asked, ?Why does the closet smell like wet dog??
I had to confess that I had left Buddy outside all night in the rain. Ginnie just about cried. ?Oh, poor Buddy!?
What happened was that I let Buddy outside around 8 p.m., for his evening jaunt, left the door open so that I would know he was out, then sat down in my recliner. I knew I would fall asleep, but I had left the door open, so when I awoke, I would know Buddy was out. I didn?t figure on Ginnie coming along and shutting the door, our universal signal of an outdoors dog.
Ginnie tried to assume the guilt for coming along and shutting the door. In my younger days, I would have let her take the rap, but I?m beginning to adopt the, ?If the shoe fits, wear it,? philosophy. Like I told her, the driver of the car is responsible. Even if the shotgun rider says, ?Clear on the right,? it?s still the driver?s responsibility to look both ways. I had put Buddy out, I was responsible for letting him in. But, hey, it didn?t get below 70 degrees that night, and ole Buddy Boy does have a good coat of fur. And a dog doesn?t hold grudges. Now, a cat on the other hand, would have been in a funk for a week. ?You left me outside in the rain??
That night, Ginnie went to sit in her recliner, but Buddy was there and wouldn?t move. Seeing how we had abused him so badly on National Dog Day, she let him stay, and moved to the couch. Buddy promptly jumped down and hopped up beside her for some snuggling.
Buddy is the best dog in the world.
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or friend him on Facebook. Curt?s stories are also read at 106.3 FM in Farmington.