“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 25: A Thankful Beagle!

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

Today is my last day at the Lodge before Thanksgiving, and all my friends want to do is talk about eating turkey!

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“I think it tastes best covered in gravy,” Lucy says, swiping her tongue over her nose. “My dad’s parents always give me some after they eat!”

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“Where’s the excitement in that? The best kind of turkey is dropped on the floor by accident, or stolen from the dirty plates while everyone’s passed out!” Max insists, his tail swishing wildly across the ground.

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“Hmph! Such behavior is tantamount to begging! How pathetic…” Scarlett says, turning her tiny nose up at his declaration.

“Oh yeah?! And how do you go about getting turkey? Please, share your royal wisdom with us,” Max says with a snort.

Scarlett shakes as she struggles to rebuke him with the grace of a Lodge Princess, but her efforts are not entirely successful…

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“A PRINCESS NEED NOT EVEN ASK FOR TURKEY. I AM GIVEN ONE OF MY OWN EACH YEAR. MY FAMILY ASKS ME TO SHARE WITH THEM!” Scarlett says in a fiery bark, her dark eyes blazing with fervor.

Max’s mouth hangs open as she stares him down, though Lucy and I share a look of disbelief.

“Turkey…isn’t anything special, after all,” he says, his brows furrowing as he changes course.

“Oh?” Scarlett says, her snout tilting higher up. “Just now you said you would do anything to obtain it! Even if it meant licking the floor like a commoner!”

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“That’s a good memory you have there! But you seem to have forgotten who won the Lodge Princess Contest…”

“Why you–!”

This argument is going nowhere, but Max and Scarlett are pressed against their respective sides of the fence, glaring at each other. I have to do something…

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“Thanksgiving isn’t about turkey! It’s about celebrating the things you’re grateful for with the people you love!”

Lucy’s bark rings clear through the yard, diffusing the tension between our friends. Max’s head hangs low as he backs away from the fence, and even Scarlett seems embarrassed.

“Let’s try talking about the things we’re thankful for instead of arguing…” Lucy says, sniffing at Max to make sure he’s not upset.

“Well…I suppose I was behaving in an uncouth manner. I shall be the first to share what I am thankful for,” Scarlett says with a delicate sniff.

“What if I want to go first?” Max asks quietly, approaching the fence. “But I wasn’t very nice earlier, so I’ll let you start.”

Scarlett blinks in surprise. “That is…noble of you…”

“What was that? I’m noble? I thought I was common,” Max says, grinning at her honesty.

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“You misheard! I said you were incorrigible. Now, I would like to say that I am thankful for my mother, who always takes me on morning promenades, and showers me with affection and treats. I am also thankful for you, my loyal subjects. Well, some of you more than others. This year you welcomed me into your discussions, and as petty and simple as they are, I truly appreciate your desire to have me in your lives.”

Lucy shakes her head in mild irritation, but we can’t expect Scarlett to change so quickly. Puppy steps!

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“I’m glad you’re more thankful for me than any other dog at the Lodge, Scarlett,” Max says with a wink. “As for me…I’m thankful for squirrels to chase, pools to jump in, leaves to roll in, and bones to chew! It’s a great life!”

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“I’m grateful for all of those things too, Max,” Lucy says, sitting next to me. “I’m thankful that we get to spend time together at the Lodge every day! And I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to know all of you…”

She smiles down at me, and for a moment I’m struck speechless. I wish I could tell her that I’m really thankful for her…

“Your turn, Bing!” Max says, dropping into a play bow beside me.

Unable to tell the truth, I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind…

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“TURKEY!”

“Not again!!!”

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As we play together in the crisp, autumn air, I’m aware of a thousand things I have to be thankful for!

…to be continued…