“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 8: Search-and-Rescue Beagle?

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

The dog who pulled me out of the water is the same dog who made me fall in the water to begin with?!

I bashfully look at the stairs I could have used to get out of the pool; I’d been so afraid of the water that I couldn’t stop and think for a second. Maybe beagles aren’t good swimmers because we overthink things…

“Thank you for getting me out of there,” I mumble, my nose pointing to the ground so I don’t have to see the amused expression on her face.

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“If I’d known you would sink like a dumbbell I never would’ve teased you. The truth is I was trying to get you to play with me,” she says, nudging at my shoulder.

“Y-You could have just asked,” I bark, pawing at my snout. “My friends aren’t here today so I was kind of lonely…”

The strange golden sniffs at me from paw to tail, as if she’s inspecting me for any injuries. She’s treating me like her puppy!

 

“Maia’s my name! What’s yours?” she says, running a circle around me.

“Bing!” I exclaim before running towards her.

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“Short for Bingo?”

“I don’t think so…”

“Well Bing,” Maia says, nipping at my side, “Today was your lucky day. There’s not always a search-and-rescue dog around when you need help!”

Search-and-rescue…what?

“What’s a ‘search-and-rescue’ dog? I thought you were a golden retriever!”

She stops and stares at me like I’ve sprouted two heads. “It’s not a dog breed, Bing. It’s my job.”

A job?! I’ve never met a dog with a job! I didn’t even know we could work! Suddenly my whole life seems like a lie…

“If that’s your job, then why are you here playing at the Lodge? Shouldn’t you be at…work?” I ask with a touch of reverence in my bark.
“It’s not an all day thing, and besides, I’m still technically in training. I take classes where they teach us to make a certain bark when we find things that the humans are looking for! It’s really fun, but I have to take it seriously, too.”

“Wow…do you think that’s something any dog could learn to do? Like, oh I don’t know…let’s say…for instance…if…by chance…a beagle wanted to learn…”

Maia lets out a playful bark and rushes towards the pool. “Bing, you won’t even jump in the water!”

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Watching her move around in the glittering water, mocking my cowardice with the flick of her tail, my pride hurts. After what happened earlier I can’t just back down from her challenge…I don’t want her to think I’m a scared little puppy!

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Though my mind is screaming for me to stop, my legs carry me to the water faster than I can heed those warning thoughts.

SPLASH!

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I’ve hopped into the water and, to my amazement, I’m able to paddle around! It isn’t as deep as I’d thought when I believed I was drowning… I chase after Maia as best I can, but she’s still more confident in the water than I am. I’m starting to think there’s more gold fish than golden retriever in her!

“How about now? Now do you believe I can be a search-and-rescue dog?” I ask with my nose in the air.

“Beagles have excellent noses so they typically just do search work, not rescue. But at least you can swim now!” she says, climbing the ledge of the pool. “Hey, want to see something fun?”

I approach the edge of the pool and follow her to where one of the humans who plays with us is standing.

Maia stealthily sneaks up behind her and then, with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, shakes rapidly. The gallons of water that were weighing down her golden coat now rain down on the poor woman.

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Well, if she’s already wet anyway…

I join Maia in drying my fur, though I try not to make that big a mess!

Luckily the poor human is very understanding. At first she speaks to us in a stern voice, but then she plays with us!

Hmm…maybe I’ll have to try this at home!

…to be continued…