“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 9: Bing Gives Romantic Advice?

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

Well, Mom and Dad did not appreciate me shaking water all over them after my weekly bath! Maia makes it look easy…

This morning when I arrive at the Lodge, I’m happy to find all of my friends playing in the yard. Max runs straight towards me and attempts to knock me to the ground, but I slip behind him at the last second.

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“Being small has its perks!” I declare, nipping at his swishing tail.

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“Yeah, yeah,” he mumbles with a huffy bark, moving his tail so fast that I can’t reach it. “I heard about your little tumble in the pool the other day!”

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I’ll never be able to live that down, will I?

“I bet I’m a better swimmer than you, Max!”

“In a pool maybe,” he says, leaping away from me, “but I bet you wouldn’t last in a lake. Or the ocean!”

I drop into a play bow. “You admit it then! I could out swim you in the pool!”

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Max falls to the ground and rolls around on the turf, snapping at stray insects that buzz past his mouth. Is he that afraid I’ll win? I tumble around beside him, pawing at nothing in particular and enjoying the cool breeze that ruffles our fur.

Suddenly he stops twisting and turning. Sitting up, he sniffs at one of his front legs and licks it, as though he’s been hurt.

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“Are you okay? Was it a bee?” I ask, sitting up a little to make sure that he isn’t in pain.

“I’m not hurt…at least, my leg doesn’t hurt.”

The tone of his bark is wistful and when I take a closer look I see a deep worry hidden in his dark eyes. What’s bothering him all of a sudden?

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“Do you want to talk about it?”

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He looks taken aback. “I don’t wanna get all mushy. Not with you, Bing.”

I tilt my head to the side. I’m his best friend! Doesn’t he trust me with his feelings? I don’t like seeing him so down…

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“Max, how long have we known each other? This isn’t the time to be a big, tough, alpha dog. Whatever is bothering you, you can share with me and I won’t laugh. I promise.”

He smiles a little at my words but doesn’t look me in the eye.

“You’ll probably think it’s really stupid…”

“I won’t! Cross my bones and hope to die!”

Max’s tail wags a little across the ground, but he still won’t look at me. This problem must be really serious…

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“There’s this dog I like, but I don’t know how she feels about me…”

“Every dog likes you!” I reassure him with a cheerful bark.

His mouth opens in a wide, toothy grin. “Not that kind of like, Bing. I mean…you know how you feel about that spoiled princess?”

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Does he mean Scarlett? Oh! That kind of like…

“That is serious!” I stammer, hoping he doesn’t think I’m too clueless.

“Yeah. At first I thought of her as just a friend, but lately I can’t help but think about her all the time. Whenever something exciting happens at home, she’s the first dog I want to tell. Seeing her tail wag makes my tail wag. She makes me really happy…”

Max seems completely lovesick! But how am I supposed to help him? I don’t know the first thing about lady dogs…

“I’m not sure what to tell you, Max. I think you should just try asking her to a play-date and see if you like spending time together away from other dogs. Then maybe you can tell her your feelings, just like you told them to me!”

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His expression brightens and he jumps to his feet with his usual energy. “Bing, you’re a genius! This way she’ll have time to get to know me better!”

Seeing him this excited reminds me of when we took puppy obedience classes together, and my heart swells with joy to think I helped him regain that exuberance.

“I think I’m going to go ask her right now,” he says with a confident bark. He nips at my ear a little to thank me, and then runs to join a small group of dogs across the yard.

Hmm…I wonder which of those dogs he likes…

What?! Could it be…?!

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As I watch him talk to Lucy, I become aware of a knot tightening in the pit of my stomach.

But why would their relationship bother me?

Isn’t Scarlett the dog I like…?

…to be continued…