“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 32: Lucy in Trouble?!

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

“Bing…something terrible has happened!”

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As soon as I enter the yard this morning, Lucy races towards me with an unusually panicked look in her eyes. My heart pounds faster as I rush to meet her, and a thousand fears spring to life in my imagination.

What’s wrong? Could a dog have gotten hurt? Or is Lucy in trouble?!

“Lucy, I-I’ll save you!” I exclaim, trying in vain to give her a reassuring bark.

“Oh, you can’t, Bing!” Lucy wails, walking in quick circles around me.

She doesn’t think I can help her?

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“D-Don’t be so sure about that. I’m willing to do…whatever…it…takes…to…to…” I lose track of my thoughts as I struggle to follow her circling face.

I’m starting to get dizzy…

Before I know it, I’ve followed her face-first into the turf!

“Bing! Are you okay? I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Lucy cries, frantically sniffing at the top of my head.

“Never mind me, Lucy! What’s wrong with you?” I ask, quickly rising to my paws.

She shakes her head slowly and sorrowfully. Can I really do nothing to help her? For the first time, I feel completely powerless. I hold my breath as I wait for her to answer my question…

Suddenly Lucy points her nose at the fence separating us from the small dogs’ yard. What is she trying to say…?

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“Did something happen to one of the Happy Littles…?!” I ask, panic coursing through my body.

“Yes…and…no…” Lucy says, heaving a weary sigh. “It’s…Scarlett…”

Scarlett? What could she have done to make Lucy this upset?

“Did she say something mean to you? I’m sure she’s just having a rough day…” I say gently, taking a step closer to Lucy.

“I don’t care if she insults me…” Lucy says, glaring at the fence.

I’ve never seen Lucy so angry before! Whatever Scarlett said, it must have been terrible for her to awaken this rage…

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“Her mom and my dad went…went on a…a…” Lucy’s words trail off into a string of incomprehensible mumbles, and not even my keen beagle hearing can catch the end of her sentence.

“A…what?” I ask with a gulp.

“A date! They actually went on a date! And they brought us along! I love the dog park, but I’ve never wanted to leave there as early as I did yesterday afternoon!” Lucy says, shutting her eyes as she relives the painful memory.

Lucy’s dad went on a date with Scarlett’s mom? That’s hard to imagine…

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“You mean a date-date? How do they know each other?” I ask, sitting beside her.

“They always drop us off around the same time, and they usually wave or say hi to each other, but I never knew…” she says, turning her gaze to the window our parents sometimes use to watch us play.

Lucy’s pained expression hits me strong as a blow, and though I can feel the depth of her suffering, there is nothing I can say to ease her fears. I can only listen.

“I thought we were going to the dog park, like we always do on the weekends. When I saw Scarlett and her mom, I felt so betrayed…like everyone had been keeping this big secret from me. And then, on top of that…she had to say…”

Her silence is filled with an unbearable tension.

I timidly break it.

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“What did she say?”

Lucy’s body quivers with anger. “She said that I shouldn’t worry about our parents spending time together. That my dad…isn’t good enough for her mom, anyway!”

I understand how she feels. If another dog said something mean about my parents, I would probably act the same way… But I thought Scarlett was warming up to us! Why would she say something like that now, after all this time…?

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“Scarlett can say whatever she wants about me. My dad…he’s really nice. He’ll always play with me, no matter how tired he is when he brings me home. He knows my favorite place to be scratched is behind my ears, and he never skimps on belly rubs. Scarlett’s mom is lucky to spend time with him!”

Lucy’s mouth tightens into a grimace, and she runs away from me, all the way to the other side of the yard.

She’s hurting even more than I realized. I shouldn’t have pushed her to say anything…

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My eyes are caught by a sudden flash of gold on the other side of the fence. Scarlett stands there, her brows furrowed and her dark gaze turned towards the ground.

Could it be…?

…to be continued…