“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 4: Bing the Beagle…Reunited?
On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…
I close my eyes and brace myself for a bite, or worse, but to my amazement, all I feel is a large, wet nose poking at my head.
And a tongue swiping across my ear?
What in the world…?
“Bing! It really is you!”
Why is this huge dog wagging his tail and acting like he knows me? I think I’d remember meeting someone as big as him! Lucy looks back and forth between us excitedly.
“Bing, I had no idea you knew Max!”
Max? No…it can’t be that Max…
“Sit!” Max orders in a strong bark. That word never fails to make my backside go down, and this time is no exception. It was one of the commands we learned together in puppy obedience class…
“Max?!” I cry, leaping to my paws. He nods and drops into a play bow, his mouth open in a mischievous grin.
“Took you long enough! How could you forget about your partner in crime?”
Max and I met in puppy obedience class when we were small – we bonded over our refusal to cooperate with the teacher. We would play when she said “sit” and run when she said “stay.” We barely graduated! But I never saw him after that…
“But you’re huge! The Max I knew didn’t look like he could eat me,” I say, leaping toward him.
Nipping at each other’s necks I feel like we really are puppies again, and even Lucy tries to join in. We all roll around on the ground, our legs kicking and tongues lolling as we catch up on the fun we’ve missed these last few years.
“How long have you been coming to The Green Beagle?” I ask when we’ve finally tired ourselves out.
“Longer than Lucy,” Max says, turning his head to look at her. For a second I think he’s fallen asleep because he keeps staring.
“Longer than Scarlett too?” I ask, enjoying his surprised face as I break his concentration.
“Oh, no one’s been coming to The Green Beagle longer than Her Majesty! I saw you talking to her – you always were a brave dog,” Max says, trying to nip at me from a foot away.
“She’s not so bad…” I say, looking at the fence that separates me from Scarlett.
“Unlike this one!” Max says, pawing at Lucy’s hind-leg. She springs to her feet and turns in a tight circle, snapping at the air.
“Hey! I think I’m pretty nice!” she says in a short bark, running away from us. We watch her tear across the yard in mock-annoyance, barking at her a few times to show we didn’t mean it.
“Isn’t Lucy something?” Max asks, getting to his paws.
“Something? What kind of something?”
His eyes follow her as she loops around a small cluster of dogs near us. But he doesn’t answer my question.
Is Max okay? Did we play a little too rough?
I suddenly notice a human woman walking toward me, my leash in her hand. She’s the one who brought me into the yard this morning!
“Goodbye Bing,” Lucy says, running up to me with a frantically wagging tail. “I hope I get to see you tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, and – !”
“I think he gets the idea,” Max assures her, nudging my side with his snout. “I hope so too – I totally beat you today, so you need a chance to redeem yourself!”
Mom is waiting for me in the big room inside, and as happy as I am to see her again, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness when I think of Lucy and Max playing without me.
What if I never come back to The Green Beagle…?
…to be continued…