Mum’s a bit stressed out this week—something about finalizing the cover for her new book. So being the faithful companion that I am, I agreed to write this week’s column if she agreed not to read it. (I want to get a few secrets off this furry chest, and some might hurt her feelings.)
Oh, by the way, I’m Josie, the cockapoo, and head of the Laundrie household. Mum, Dad, and I have quite a history together. From the day they picked me up—I was just over 6 weeks old—I knew I belonged to them. Mum gets gushy-eyed when she tells the story of how, after driving for an hour, she set me down at a rest stop and I followed her, happily wagging my tail. Well, duh. Don’t tell her I said this, but, seriously, she can be dunderheaded at times. Didn’t Mum notice that when she and Dad showed up, I did my wiggle, wiggle, wag, wag happy dance? Of course, I followed her. I knew right from the start she and Dad were my pack.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Mum, and at times I’m glad she’s not the smartest of the litter. It’s very easy to fool her. She keeps trying to trick me into swallowing those foul-tasting allergy pills by sticking them in cheese, liver sausage, or burgers. Mum still hasn’t found the corner near the fridge where I secretly spit them out.
Mum also doesn’t get why I love to cuddle with her more than Dad. She thinks that because Dad is the one who fixes my kibbles, I should like to cuddle with him over her. But Mum forgets she’s the one who saved my life more than once.
There was that time when a big dog came charging toward me and she scooped me up. And the other time when the snow got so deep, I thought I’d sink down and never be able to surface. That winter day she pulled me out of the snowbank, and I rode home in her backpack.
I tried to save Mum’s life once, but ended up in deep trouble. I was lazing around on shore when I heard Dad rev up the ski boat. Brother rode along, too. When Mum lowered herself into the lake and lay on her back, the tips of two boards stuck out of the water. My brother threw her a rope. The other end was attached to the boat. When the boat roared off, it took Mum with it!
I jumped in to save her, but the boat was too fast. I’m not a good swimmer, and I was far from shore when I knew I was in trouble.
My strength was giving out, and when the boat zipped by me again, I hoped they’d seen me. I wouldn’t be able to keep my head above the surface much longer. A wave washed over me, and I took in more water. This was it.
My life flashed before my eyes. No more long walks in the woods with Mum. No more retrieving the sticks Dad tossed in the Wisconsin River. No more jerky treats or belly rubs. I gulped in more water.
The boat motor stopped. “Josie!” Dad called.
Mum freed her feet from the boards and paddled toward me.
“What are you doing out here?” Mum asked me.
Seriously, Mum. Can’t you see I’m drowning?
Dad had steered toward me, and my brother swooped me up. I coughed and sputtered. Within heartbeats, Mum had climbed in the boat. She wrapped me in a towel. “Were you trying to rescue me?” she asked. “I was skiing for fun.”
Being pulled out into deep water for fun? My guard hairs stood up and I wanted to shake her. That’s crazy! And you should have let me know! Snort, sigh.
Later, when she sat on the couch to decide on the new book’s cover, she invited me up to cuddle. She gave me those cute puppy-eyes, and I decided to forgive her. After all, she included several stories about me in the new book.
Hey, you should come to the book party! It’s at the Wisconsin Dells’ Kilbourn library on April 29th at 1:00. It’s sure to be a snorting good time. Mum will share stories from Laugh, Cry, Reflect: More Stories from a Joyful Heart. She’s letting me pick out the prize winners. We’ve been practicing a new trick. I’d tell you what it is, but Mum and me, we’re keeping it our little secret.
(Photo credit: Casey Butler)