When I entered the kitchen around 7 a.m., my husband glared at me with bleary eyes marked with half-moon circles. I poured my coffee and said, “What’s wrong?”
“I was hoping to get a full night’s sleep last night because I have a busy day. Didn’t you hear the dog whine at 4:30 this morning?”
“No, I didn’t hear him or I would’ve gotten up.”
” He whimpered, whined, then he yelped and barked. He needed to go out.”
“So you’re angry that I didn’t hear him.”
“No, I threw on my white terry cloth robe and I couldn’t find my slippers so I put on my flip-flops. The dog tore down the steps to the front door and I followed him and grabbed his leash from the closet. When my flip flops hit the tile foyer, I slid on something slimy and my feet flew up; I landed on my back.
“Are you ok?”
“I’m bruised and tired.”
“What was on the tile?”
“Yellow dog vomit, a big puddle. Don’t worry about cleaning the floor. I had lain there a minute and my robe absorbed it. I rose, and when I opened the wooden entry door the dog pushed the storm door open and ran.”
“He slipped out? We never let that happen. Thank goodness no one was out driving.”
” I walked the neighborhood with nothing on except my robe, underwear, and flip-flops. Clouds had blocked the moon, and I navigated using our floodlights and street lights. I couldn’t find our Labrador retriever, and when I returned home he was standing on the front lawn panting and wagging his tail so hard that his back shimmied. He had stolen six neighbors’ newspapers and scattered them across our front lawn.”
“So, training him to get the newspaper was a success. He must have felt euphoric when he had retrieved the first paper and didn’t know when to stop,” I said.
“I had walked our court with barf streaked down my back and I pitched papers to the homes without them. Some neighbors may be surprised to find a journal on their lawn that they hadn’t ordered.”
” At least the dog seems ok, so we don’t have to take him to the vet. Since we never let him out alone, he shouldn’t be able to nab any more papers. I’m sorry that your day started at 4:30. On the bright side, the dog helped you relive your youth as a paperboy. But, next time wake me. ”