“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 22: Deputy Bing!
On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…
I can’t believe I’m walking with the Lodge Ranger!
It’s true that I want to be a hero like Biscuit, but what if I just don’t have what it takes? After all, I’m not exactly the leader type…
We’ve nearly crossed the yard when Biscuit suddenly stops, sniffing at the air.
“Your name is Bing, right?”
I must be infamous at the Lodge, if a dog like him knows who I am!
“Yes…but I’m not a bad dog, I promise,” I say with a nervous bark, trying to read his expression.
His eyes travel across the yard, resting here and there on groups of playing dogs. At first I think he’s forgotten I’m here, but after a minute or two he turns towards me.
“I never said you were bad. From what I’ve seen you’re doing great things here at the Lodge.”
My heart stops in my chest. He thinks I’m doing great things?
“Oh, well, uh, I’m not that special! Actually, I felt pretty powerless when those two dogs got in a fight…all I could do was watch,” I say, lowering my head in shame.
Biscuit’s eyes narrow as his mouth opens to taste the air.
“That’s understandable. But your desire to maintain peace at the Lodge is something you should take pride in. You must have an ideal before you can take action.”
As he stares out over the expansive yard, a strong breeze rustles through his curly coat; he seems to be in a world beyond ours, like he understands the mysteries of life and is searching for more complex problems to solve.
He really is a hero…
“I’ve been coming to the Lodge for a very long time. It’s like a second home, and I want to make sure that every dog who comes here has good, safe fun. I can’t keep fights from starting, but I do my best to resolve the conflicts that do arise. Luckily they don’t happen too often, but it makes me happy to know there’s another dog at the Lodge who wants the same things I do.”
I think Biscuit is talking about me!
“The younger dogs sometimes get a little carried away, and if you notice the warning signs, it’s best to intervene before the situation becomes serious. Of course our human helpers won’t let the dogs hurt each other, but it’s best to neutralize the problem before they have to get involved. Just make sure you have confidence – other dogs will respect you and listen to you if you’re self-assured.”
Would I be able to rush in and break up a fight like Biscuit? He has a lot more faith in me than I do…
I’m startled by the sight of the two dogs from before facing each other, bodies rigid and fur rising on their backs. They’re going to try to continue their fight!
I have to stop them!
“Back away, back away! Settle down!” I say in my loudest, most commanding bark as I rush between them.
The younger dogs back away from me, and each other, heads lowered and tails tucked between their legs. Even though I’m nervous, I try to stay cool and calm. Channeling my inner Lodge Ranger, I stand firm!
“Now, do you promise to play nice?”
The two dogs give embarrassed nods, tails wagging a little as they hesitantly begin a chase game.
As I watch them go, Biscuit comes to my side, his mouth hanging open in a proud grin.
“I knew you would be able to do it,” he says, pressing his nose to my side. “I’m sorry I left you to handle it alone, but I was sure you’d succeed.”
I never thought I had it in me to break up a fight; I’m not the bravest beagle, but today I really surprised myself. And it’s all thanks to Biscuit…
“Bing, from now on, you’re my deputy. Think you’re up for the responsibility?”
“Really?! Of course I am! You can count on me!” I say, puffing my chest out.
“I have to go lead the changing of yards now. I’m counting on you!”
As the Lodge Ranger bounds off into the sunset, he leaves me with a feeling of hope. Fights can be scary, but now I have the power to help keep my fellow Lodge dogs safe and happy!
“Bing! That was amazing!”
Lucy comes running to meet me, her tail wagging excitedly and her eyes wide with awe. She was watching me…
“You did well, Bing,” Max says, dropping into a play bow. “I guess I’d better be on my best behavior from now on, seeing that you’re the deputy!”
“That’s right! I’m a fast runner too, so I’ll be able to catch you if you try to escape!”
“Let’s find out,” Max says, bolting off to the other side of the yard.
As Lucy and I race after him, I can hear the noble bark of the Lodge Ranger in the distance…
…to be continued…