“Anjo, the dogs are out of food! Can you run to the store and get some more and maybe take them with you?”
Mommy’s voice startled me awake. I heard my name and the word ‘store’ in the same sentence. I stretched out my neck to grab one of the big push pillows from in front of me and covered my head with it.
Usually, I love to go to the store, especially with Daddy because he is a real sucker. I have him twisted around my little paw so good that I can convince him to buy me a cookie with a simple bat of my eyelashes. Like I said, sucker.
This morning feels a little different though. It’s nearly noon and I am too invested in snuggling up in the comfy new sofa. This couch, it is fantastic. If feels like it is hugging me when I curl up on it. Who in their right mind would want to abandon that?
With my head safely hidden under the pillow I began to fade away into a warm slumber. The delicious feeling of dreams had begun to tickle my brain and I was all set to enjoy the show.
The joyous screech of my name pulled me back to my body, just like people who have near death experiences describe. My eyes popped open. Darkness. Panic began to set in right away. I was surrounded by total blackness.
“I am blind!” I barked out.
The sound of Mylo’s voice cried out again, this time even more coated in excitement. A palpable booming began to rattle in my chest and thunder in my ears. The sound of galloping paws was drawing neared with each passing second. In my minds eye I could picture the not so small white puppy bounding across the living room. I sucked in a deep breath and steeled myself for what was about to come.
Friends, no matter how ready you think you are, you are never truly ready enough!
The sound of paws pounding against the floor stopped. My heart stopped with it.
A split second later, forty pounds of puppy flesh came crashing down on me, sending all the air in my body fleeing. The impact sent the pillow that I had burrowed beneath flying and just like that I could see. I couldn’t breath, but at least I wasn’t blind!
The puppy started to gnaw on my cheeks and floppy ears, taking a break long enough to shout, “we are going to the store!” between nibbles.
In that instant, all hope for long naps on the lush comfy sofa vanished. That point was further driven home by Daddy who was standing at the front door holding my pink leash in his hand.
“Let’s go Cindee,” he chirped and danced like a killdeer leading prey away from its nest. What can I say, he is no Fred Astair.
Surrendering, I rose to my feet and flung Mylo off me like an old rag doll before heading to the door and my appointment with that cookie.
The door slid open automatically, greeting us as if we were royalty. Mylo raced out ahead of us, then without warning, skidded to a stop.
“Look at that,” he said, nodding in the direction of an embankment of glass windows, where a freshly trimmed black and white shih tzu sat perched on a table staring back at him.
“What’s going on back there?”
The white puppy stared at the shih tzu, a look of wonderment danced across his face.
“It’s a spa. She is getting a mani and pedi,” I explained with a shake of my head.
“A whaty and a whoty,” he asked, his expression transformed into puzzlement.
Frustrated, I blew out a long breath.
“She is getting her nails trimmed,” I blurted out.
Just like that, he lost all interest. With his mind free to wander, he turned and trotted down the aisle, leaving Daddy and I with no choice but to follow him.
We passed the fish tanks with a variety of fish, some gorgeous colors and some plain, swimming around in their tiny homes. I wanted to stop and talk to them, but Mylo just kept on tugging us forward. The scenery changed to hamster wheels, colorful tubing and logs.
By now my mind was totally focused on the cookies, which were on the other side of the store. I could almost taste their deliciously crumbly texture, the yumminess of the carab chips and the delectable frosting. We were closing in and any minute now I would have one in my clutches.
Then Mylo did the unthinkable.
He stopped directly in front of a glass container and stared at the contents inside as if he had been put into a deep trance.
“What is that?”
The question came out in an otherworldly throaty sounding voice. The tone when combined with the zombie face made me feel very uncomfortable.
“Those are guinea pigs, Mylo.”
A glance down the aisle revealed the case that held the cookies in it. Satisfied that I had answered the little guys question, I began to trot towards the stand of confections. I could feel my cheeks swollen from the big smile I was wearing.
Closer and closer I drew to my true loves, until I ran out of leash.
Frustrated, I swung around to see what the hold up was, only to discover it was the vanilla-colored puppy. He had smooshed his nose up against the glass and had grown transfixed watching the furry rats scurry about in their pen.
I plunked down on my butt and face palmed myself with my paw. At this rate I will never get that cookie.
He paid no attention to my desperate attempt to gain his attention.
“Mylo! Let’s go,” I tried again, also with no success.
It wasn’t until the guinea pigs grew tired of frolicking and darted back inside their little house that the spell was broken. Waves of relief washed over me when he turned and began to lope in my direction.
“Let’s get that cookie, Mylo” I barked enthusiastically.
At last, the white puppy was sharing my sentiment about cookies and picked up the pace. I turned and we began towards the display. My heart began to pitter patter with joy.
I recognized the sound. Doing an about face, both Mylo and I watched Daddy dig his cell phone out of his pocket and stare at the screen. At first his face was a little intense, but as he read on, a grin began to form.
“That was Mommy, she said that I shouldn’t forget to get your joint medicine Cindee.”
He spoke the words as if he thought that I really cared.
“Daddy,” I gently barked his name.
His gaze met mine.
I batted my lashes at him, then threw the puppy dog eyes at him on top of that.
“How can I resist you,” he cooed, patting me on the head at the same time.
Satisfied that I had hooked him I turned to lead him to the back of the store and my prize. Two steps later I ran out of leash again.
“What the heck,” I grumbled.
He was leading us in the other direction towards the food and the medicines. I really wanted to protest, but he will remember after he gets the stuff we need. He always remembers.
It didn’t take long to get the food or the container of medicinal chews. We would go to the end of the aisle then turn and get the …
“Wrong way Daddy,” I barked at him when he turned towards the registers.
“C’mon, we gotta get home,” Daddy said, still wearing that stupid grin he wears all the time.
“But my cookie,” I reminded him more vocally this time. I even began to pull towards the back of the store.
“Cinnamon Moore, you behave.”
He used my full name and that voice. That is not a good sign. I tried the eyes again, but still we marched on towards the front of the store.
“My cookie,” I glanced over my shoulder and whined.
The ride home had been quiet. I ignored Daddy and Mylo, opting instead to stare out the window at the snow-covered ground and the trees with their naked branched reaching towards the grey sky.
Each time I exhaled a patch of window would fog up. Once enough window had been covered, I leaned forward and with my nose carefully drew a picture of the cookie that I didn’t get.
Having completed my masterpiece, I stared at it until we slowed down and pulled into our driveway.
Mylo was the first one out the car and he dashed to the house and scratched at the door until Mommy let him in.
Daddy opened the door on my side, but wouldn’t let me out right away. Instead, he knelt down so we were face to face.
“We didn’t get your cookie did we girl,” he said in a gentle voice, his hands rubbing my ears just the way that I love it.
“No, we didn’t Einstein,”
I wasn’t having any of it.
“Hmmmm, I guess I will just have to make it up to you. Let’s go inside before Mommy starts to wonder what happened to us.”
I gave him the stink eye, then pushed past him. We ambled to the door like two old cowboys, then came to a stop in front of the door.
“I love you Cindee,” he said with a smile before opening the door for me.
I lumbered in and was greeted with a wall of sound.
I looked around the room. I was surrounded by my cousins, and all my friends from the neighborhood. Emerging from the middle of the crowd was a tall, handsome golden retriever. The sight of him took my breath away. It was my doggy Adonis, my boyfriend, the love of my life.
“Happy Birthday Cindee,” he said stepping forward to nuzzled me.
“Lucas? You rode seven hours just for my birthday?”
“I did and I would ride seven more for you Cindee,” he added with a warm smile.
I turned to look over my shoulder at Daddy, who stood watching everything with that stupid grin.
“I told you I would make it up to you. Happy Birthday girlie!”
“Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Cindee …” well you know how the song goes.
I may have lost a cookie, but I gained a day I would never forget. A girl only turns ten once you know, and to celebrate with all of your friends howling and screeching the birthday song out of key, well, what could possibly be better than that?