“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 41: No Country for Old Dogs

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

We’re already approaching the dog days of summer!

Chief & Friends

You’d think that with a name like that, these would be the days we dogs would most look forward to during the year. The cruel joke is that, despite the attractive name, the dog days of summer leave canines everywhere hot, tired, and angry.

Even now, the sun is beating down on our furry backs, making most of us cranky and lethargic. Max and I lounge by the pool, wasting away in the August heat.

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“We really…should…do something…” I say, staring vacantly ahead.

“Yeah…yeah, sure…I just need to rest my paws for…a few more…minutes,” Max says, squinting back at me.

A fly lands on my ear, but I’m too tired to shake it off, let alone snap at it. What’s become of me? How can a little heat leave me a pathetic shell of my lively beagle self? Youthful exuberance and energy are no match for summer weather!

“I feel…old…” I say, heaving a bored sigh. The fly grows tired of my ear and perches atop Max’s large nose instead.

“Ha,” Max lets out a joyless bark, swiping his tongue slowly over his nose. “If you were really old you wouldn’t even…have the energy to…speak. On second thought…most of the geezers I know always…have the energy for a lecture…so maybe…you are…old.”

He does have a point.

“Don’t let them…hear you say that…”

Shepherd 13

“Why? What’ll…they do? Give me…a lecture?” Max asks, closing his eyes with a dismissive snort.

I stick my tongue out at him. The chirping of crickets lingers, rising in volume at random intervals like a wave of sound. A light breeze tousles the fresh, green leaves before ghosting over my face.

Max has the right idea…I’ll just close my eyes for a minute…

“GO!!!”

The sound of a shockingly loud bark is immediately followed by an enormous splash from behind us. Before I can mourn my fleeting moment of serenity, I realize that my fur is completely soaked!

What in the world…?

Max is up before me, turning to face the pool with a fierce glare. Whoever did this messed with the wrong dog!

To my surprise, the culprit is actually a group of five puppies, of all shapes and sizes! They stand at the edge of the pool, eyes gleaming with pride as they survey their handiwork.

Samwise

“Oh! Somebody’s mad!” says a huge puppy, shaking off his wet fur. “Let’s split!”

“Later, old man!” says another, grinning at Max.

All five of the puppies tear off to the other end of the yard, laughing and sneaking glances at us as they run. Another breeze moves over my fur, but this time the sensation is far from pleasant. I look and feel like something the cat dragged in!

“‘Old man?’ I’m neither of those things, thank you very much!” Max announces, huffing in annoyance. “Who do they think they are?”

“Hmph! And here I thought you were a connoisseur of practical jokes!”

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Scarlett flashes a satisfied smile from the other side of the fence.

“Exactly, and I appreciate you pointing that out, Your Highness. As a matter of fact, I can tell you that what you just witnessed was a prime example of what separates the pros from the amateurs,” Max says, approaching the fence.

“What a pity! If only that gang of juvenile delinquents had consulted a professional such as yourself before devising their plot,” Scarlett says with a smug bark, tossing her head.

Max’s eyes suddenly widen. What is he thinking about now…?

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“First you shower me with compliments, and then you give me such a brilliant idea. Scarlett, I could kiss you!” Max says, his mouth cracking into a wide smile.

Scarlett’s jaw drops as she falls back, utterly flabbergasted.

“As if I would allow you to do such a thing!” she shrieks, taking several steps away from the fence.

She seems kind of flustered…

But Max has already moved on without another word. He stares in the direction of the mischievous puppies, laughing to himself. I’m nervous to ask him what this brilliant idea of his is, but my curiosity triumphs in the end.

“So…what, uh…are you planning to do, Max?”

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He turns to look at me, his eyes twinkling with pure excitement.

“Bing, my friend, I think you’re right. We are getting old. Why not return to our younger days, huh?”

He can’t mean what I think he means…

As if reading my mind, he leans closer to whisper in my ear.

“Oh, yes. Since we can’t beat them, we’re going to join them!”

I was afraid of this…

…to be continued…