“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 43: Bingo Was His Name-o

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

Pearl stares me straight in the eye, her mouth twisted into a scowl as she struggles to come up with my new name. It only took two seconds for her to rename Max, so maybe there’s something wrong with me…

“Bing, I’ve put a lot of thought into this. I had to do a lot of searching, because unlike Cat, I can tell that you’re a complicated dog. There’s more to you than meets the eye. Drum roll please…” Pearl orders in a strangely serious bark.

Shaka, Villain, and Samwise stomp their paws on the ground, tails wagging excitedly. Even Max – I mean, “Cat” – is joining in!

“…your name is now…Bingo!”

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Bingo…? Bingo… Hmm…somehow…it’s not the life-altering change I was expecting.

“That’s the best you could do?” Villain asks, a teasing smile on his face.

“Can you think of something better? Go ahead,” Pearl says, racing around me in tight circles.

“Well…I guess not,” Villain mumbles, turning away from us.

“Then that settles it! Cat and Bingo, you are now official honorary members of ‘We All Ate-a Pi’, Lodge chapter!” Samwise declares, approaching us with a satisfied expression.

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I sneak a glance at Max. His mouth is curved up into a mischievous smile, but his eyes betray no hint of his thoughts.

What is he planning…?

“Don’t get too excited though,” Villain warns us, his tail lashing the air as he moves closer. “You have a lot to learn from us. Especially you, Cat.”

Max agrees with a strong nod. “Bring it on!”

“Then for your first lesson, we’re going to show you how to prank a sleeping dog. Do you see that group over there?” Shaka asks, pointing with her snout to the other end of the yard.

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I have a bad feeling about this!

As we carefully step around the napping dogs, my heart pounds violently in my chest. I just don’t think I’m cut out for this stuff…I look over at Max, but he seems to be just as enthusiastic as the puppies!

“Watch and learn,” Shaka whispers, lowering the tip of her tail to one of the sleeping dogs’ noses.

The other puppies follow suit, and finally even Max is brushing his fluffy tail across some poor dog’s snout. Takara and I stand back, the conscientious objectors.

That, and there just aren’t enough victims for all of us…

The sleeping dogs’ noses twitch as the puppy tails tickle their snouts. Then, at a frantic nod from Shaka, we all scatter. As we run away, I can hear sneeze after sneeze after sneeze, each following the last in rapid succession.

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“Success! And they’ll never know it was us!” Pearl shouts before speeding ahead.

I’m not so sure about that…

Next, Samwise shows us how to switch toys. When one dog is distracted by a chase game, we exchange one tennis ball for another before sneakily running away. Then, once the dog turns his attention back towards the toy, we watch as he tilts his head in confusion. He seems to suspect that the ball is different, but with no proof, he hesitantly returns to playing.

“Works every time!” Samwise says with a laugh. “And we’re the only ones who know.”

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For puppies who love playing tricks on other dogs, this group seems to have an especially strong aversion to facing the consequences of their actions!

Our final prank before lunch involves whipping up a dirt cloud around some poor, unsuspecting dog.

“Now, who should we pick?” Villain asks, scanning the yard with narrowed eyes.

“She’s alone, let’s go!” Max shouts, staring at a dog with curly white fur.

Villain and Pearl lead us in running around our target. I shut my eyes as we run, apologizing over and over to this helpless dog in my head.

“YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!! THANK YOU!!”

I feel a wave of relief wash over me. Standing there, half-concealed in a glorious brown fog, is the one dog I know who would be pleased with such a prank.

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Daisy!

The puppies look baffled, but before they can question what transpired our human helpers bring us our meals. As we all stand in front of our bowls, I notice a strange expression on Max’s face.

He must be planning something…but what…?

All of a sudden something small and hard hits the side of my face…!

…to be continued…