It’s Saturday, so I thought I’d have a little fun storytelling time. As a writer and an author (The Travelers), I tell stories. That’s basically the essence of a writer. I thought it would be fun to write down some of my oft told stories (friends and family you’ve heard all of this before). When I think about this story, it feels a little like a fable in that there is a moral embedded in here somewhere. So I’m going to write it that way.

Once upon a time….

20170107_125034 (1)A man and his dog sat on a couch on a spring morning. Yellow sunbeams streaked in through the window shades. The dog curled next to him on the couch, like a fluffy white doughnut, her nose tucked under her back paw. The man scratched her behind the ear. The dog lifted her head to give him a gentle lick and then circled back around. The man’s stomach grumbled. He stretched his arms above his head and gave the dog a quick pet before standing up to make breakfast.20170107_120119

With eyes still heavy with sleep, he shook granola into a large bowl and poured a splattering cup of milk on top. The dog perked up. Her nose detecting the scent of food that could make it’s way to the floor. The man sat down at the table to eat it. The cereal sloshing loudly, at least in the dog’s ears. Her nose twitched and she hopped off the couch, sauntering over to check out what was happening in the kitchen. Her toenails and collar jingled in unison as she walked.

“Nothing is going to drop on the floor,”the man told her.

The dog stopped a few feet from the man. He thought for sure she flitted her nose in the air with a haughty annoyance. Then she turned away from him and sat down right next to the back door, signaling she needed to be taken out for her morning ablutions. (i.e., she had to pee.)

The man, with a spoon full of cereal held up to his mouth looked at her. She grumbled and bumped her hindquarters against the door. This was the first sign she gave when she needed to go out urgently. Then man dropped his spoon back in the bowl and went to retrieve the dog’s leash, grumbling as he turned the corner to the mudroom.

“This is really inconvenient timing,” he said to her as he turned back into the kitchen. When he came back to the kitchen the dog was no longer at the door. Instead, she now stood on a chair, hind legs extended and front paws on the table with her fluffy white face buried right in his cereal. She lifted her face, dripping with milk. Pieces of granola attached to her clumped hair. The man was certain she grinned.

“Hey, get off there!” he cried.

20140914_160350He ran over and shooed her away. She leapt off the chair and pranced off, clearly proud of herself. He scolded her several times. She just stood in the middle of the kitchen, her black eyes watching his every move as the man dumped the remaining cereal out in the sink.

“I’m not happy with you right now dog,” he said as he shook granola into a new bowl and poured a splattering cup of milk on top. Then, he sat down again at the table. He took two satisfying bites while he read the morning news. The dog remained in the kitchen, watching.

Then he heard her grumble. He looked over and she had returned to the backdoor. She took her paw and swatted at the door, scratching her nails across the paint.

“I’m not falling for it this time,” he said to her. She spun around and bumped her hindquarters against the door.

“No way,” he said.

She let out a low growl.

“Not happening,” he said.

Her eyes narrowed and she sprinted to the front door. She slid to a stop in front of it and scratched at it angrily, letting out two breathy growls. He craned his neck and shouted, “I am  not falling for it.”

Then she ran to the backdoor and then back to the front door. She ran back and forth, bumping up against doors, growling, scratching until she’d chipped a crack in the a paint. The man knew this was what she did when she really had to go out and was being ignored. It was one of the reasons they really needed to repaint. He sighed.

“Fine,” he said. He got up from the table and stomped over to the mudroom to retrieve the leash again. “You ready?” he called, clicking the metal clasp on the leash as he headed for the front door. She didn’t come. He went back into the kitchen to find the dog, paws on the table, face in his bowl of cereal.

“Get off of there!” he cried, rushing over and nudging her off the chair. Again she hopped off. This time, she looked right at him. He was sure she winked. “Hey, dog, so do you really need to go out or what?” he said.

Holding her head high, she strode over to the couch, jumped back up. She pawed at the blanket on the couch to get it just in the right position. Then she turned around two times, dropped back down into her doughnut-shaped ball and went to sleep.

Then man couldn’t help but laugh.

And that is how our dog outsmarted my husband. Don’t worry. They’re still buds and snuggle on the couch in the mornings and she still tries to sneak food.