“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 36: Remorse Is a Dish Best Served Cold?

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

Just when I thought I was becoming a smarter beagle, I went and fell for another of Max’s pranks!

The “Lodge Dragon” is actually a dog, named Togo, and I’m sure there’s no legend that he brings good luck either. Instead of being scorched to death by a nightmarish monster, I’m freezing under this dog’s icy stare.

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“What are you doing in my bubble?” he asks, doing little to hide his irritation.

This is so embarrassing!

“Oh, I, uh…didn’t, uh, notice your bubble,” I explain, staring at my paws. “Actually, it’s sort of funny but…I thought you were a dragon.”

“Do you not recognize a dog when you see one?” he asks, his bark short and sharp.

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I hesitantly lift my head. Of course it seems silly now…he is a dog, no matter which way I look at him. But the Lodge already has cats, so why wouldn’t they have other scary creatures too?

“My friend over there, he…well, he tricked me. Is there some way I can apologize?” I ask, turning my head to shoot a glare at Max.

Togo closes his clear blue eyes, tight, and for a moment I can’t tell if he’s considering my offer or just begging me to go away. A slight breeze ruffles his impressive coat, and he opens his mouth to better enjoy the cool air.

“Warm weather must be tough when you have such thick fur,” I say, watching his face fall as the wind dies down.

“You’ve got that right,” he says with a weary bark. “And it only gets worse from here. Spring is just the beginning. Right now I’m too tired to even move.”

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My friends and I all have pretty short coats, but even for us, the summer heat can be grueling. Our human friends at the Lodge do everything they can to make sure we aren’t too hot, but they can’t control the temperature outside. A dip in the pool and a nap in the shade do wonders when I’m feeling weighed down by the heat…

That’s it! I know how I can repay Togo!

“Since you’re too tired to move, why don’t you let me help you cool off?” I suggest, taking a step closer.

Togo tilts his head to the side. “Well, I would appreciate it. But how do you plan to do it?”

“You’ll see – just trust me a little, okay?”

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I run back to where Max and Lucy are standing; one is grinning while the other grimaces.

“Max, since this whole thing is your fault, you’re going to help me do a favor for Togo!” I say, nipping at his side.

“Come on, Bing, lighten up! I was just having some fun on this lovely spring afternoon,” he says, playfully snapping at my ear.

“We’ll both help you, Bing,” Lucy says, smiling up at Max.

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His brows furrow and he lets out an exaggerated groan, but he follows us to the pool with few complaints.

After the three of us have gotten completely soaked, we rush over to Togo, who is patiently waiting with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. All at once we begin to quickly shake our coats dry, making sure to cover him with water. Soon, other dogs run over to join in the fun.

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“Oooh, are you helping Togo get dirty?” Daisy excitedly asks, contributing her wet fur to the cause.

But splashing him with water doesn’t seem like enough. As I wrack my brain for new ideas, I notice Daisy’s tail frantically wagging back and forth. Maybe if we all wave our tails in front of him, it’ll create cool air. Kind of like that scary machine humans love to use – the fan!

Easier said than done. When we try to cool him off using our tails, the breeze isn’t strong enough to reach him.

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“Maybe if we run around him in a circle, that’ll make a stronger breeze,” Noir suggests.

“That just might work! Okay everyone, run as fast as you can!” I announce, nodding a silent ‘thanks’ to my fastest friend.

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We run several laps around Togo, who grins as the long-awaited breeze finally wafts over his face. I can’t help but smile too, even as my paws grow tired and the sun beats down on my head. If even I feel worn out, I can only imagine how he experiences the same heat.

To my surprise, Togo suddenly leaps to his feet.

“That felt great! Almost as good as my cooling vest,” he says, running to meet me.

“Glad…to…hear…it,” I say, my words coming out in short bursts as I catch my breath.

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“I’m happy you were tricked,” he says, warming his clear blue eyes with a wide smile. “Otherwise I’d still be completely drained. Now I’m energized and ready to play! Who’s with me?”

We all collapse with a collective sigh, hot and tired, but happy. A tiny bee lazily flies right past my mouth, a single snap of the jaws away. I watch it buzz around the perimeter of the fence before it vanishes into the bright sky…

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So much for good luck!

…to be continued…