“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 34: Sisters?!

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

What am I going to do?

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Lucy and Scarlett glare at each other from their respective sides of the fence, both silently daring the other to speak. Though there are numerous dogs playing around us, their attention is so focused that they don’t seem to notice anything but the force of the anger.

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As I look back and forth, waiting for one of my friends to make the first move, my brain struggles to produce an appropriate solution. Lucy is upset that Scarlett insulted her dad, and Scarlett believes that Lucy insulted her mom. It doesn’t matter how it started – right now, they both feel hurt.

Maybe there isn’t anything I can do for them. Maybe I’m being a nosy beagle. But friends don’t walk away when the dogs they care about are in trouble!

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“Lucy! Princess Scarlett!” I shout before I have the chance to overthink things.

Two pairs of startled, dark eyes flash at mine, and as they both wait for an explanation, I realize what I have to do.

“Lucy, Scarlett is angry that you said mean things about her mother. I was kind of surprised…I didn’t think you were capable of doing something so cruel,” I say, casually staring at my paws.

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“Wait one moment! I said nothing of the sort!” Scarlett cries, shooting me a furious look.

“But you said you insulted her father because she insulted your mother,” I say, feigning confusion.

“Bing, I don’t know what she told you, but I didn’t say anything mean about her mom! I don’t have any problems with her! She’s so nice, and she really seems to care about Dad…” Lucy says, taking a step towards me.

“You…think that Mother is nice?”

A strangely soft bark halts Lucy in her tracks.

Scarlett is standing close to the fence, staring up at us with a mixture of hope and surprise in her eyes. In a matter of seconds the suffocating tension has dissipated…

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Lucy blinks down at Scarlett, her expression guarded.

“Yeah…I really do think she’s nice…” Lucy says with a hesitant bark.

Scarlett’s mouth twists into a delicate grimace as she hangs her head. Silence fills the space between us, and for a moment I’m afraid that what I did has only made her more upset than she was before.

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“Your crestfallen demeanor misled me. I assumed that you were disappointed in Mother…without first attempting to discuss the change in circumstances with you,” she says with a quiet bark, her nose still tilted towards the ground.

Lucy’s eyes widen in surprise.

“Truth be told…I was quite overwhelmed when we encountered you and your father on our weekly promenade at the dog park. When I realized that our parents had arranged a rendezvous, I…I was truly afraid. What if Mother does not wish to spend time with me anymore? What if we no longer eat our meals together, or watch the glowing box together, or do yoga together? But I was willing to sacrifice all of it, if it meant Mother could find happiness. The sight of your contempt…I was especially sensitive to it.”

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Scarlett suddenly looks up at us with an unusually gentle expression.

“I wish to apologize for my unkind words. Your father is somewhat amusing and very kind. And…he is more than worthy…” she says, touching her nose to the fence.

I can’t believe what I’m hearing! Scarlett is actually opening up to Lucy!

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“I accept your apology,” Lucy says, her tail beginning to wag. “And since you were honest with me, I’ll tell you that I felt the same way about our parents dating. I want my dad to be happy too, but I did feel like I was being kept in the dark about the whole thing. I thought I knew everything about him, but this weekend, I realized that I might not know anything at all. It was hard to face the fact that things aren’t going to be the same ever again. He might not have as much time for me, and our routine might change. But I shouldn’t have acted the way I did…”

Lucy approaches the fence and brushes her nose against it.

“I’m sorry, too. We don’t have to be friends, but let’s work together to make sure our parents are happy!”

Scarlett’s mouth curls up into a genuine smile, and Lucy’s tail wags quickly from side to side. Looking at the two of them now, you would never know that they were locked in a standoff only minutes before.

I shouldn’t intrude…

“Bing!”

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As soon as I turn around to leave, I hear them bark my name.

“You do enjoy meddling in the affairs of other dogs, do you not?” Scarlett asks, flinging her snout back.

“Such a nosy beagle!” Lucy adds, a twinkle in her eye.

I hang my head a little. They figured it out!

“I think I speak for both of us when I say…” Lucy says, touching the top of my head with her wet nose, “…thank you for helping!”

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She smiles down at me, and in an instant my heart feels lighter. When I thought there was nothing I could do to fix their problems, I was so worried and frustrated. I had no idea if my lying would get them to start talking, but I knew I had to try.

A few barks can make all the difference when we’re having a misunderstanding!

“So, I guess from now on you’ll be kind of like sisters, right?”

Scarlett and Lucy gasp in horror.

“Sisters?!”

…to be continued…