Friday, April 22, 2011

A Hard Day's Work

This is a chapter from Bud's book in progress. He's 3 years old. Everything has to be true, so the dogs have to do these things before I write the stories.

A Hard Day’s Work

Mom tells me that on the days I must work, we will play first. She knows I worry that I won’t get my fun time, because I am such a serious hard worker for her. We take old Jetta with us for a walk on the beach with Charlie. Mom walks slowly with Jetta, and I walk next to Charlie, so he can throw and kick the ball for me as we go.
Mom says, “Jetta still likes the beach and needs her kind of fun everyday, too.”
Retired service dogs get lonely sometimes, so we will take Jetta with us to the pool after we walk.
Charlie helps Jetta out of the car at the pool parking lot. We go down the ramp to the pool. Jetta finds a spot to lie down for the duration of Mom’s swim. She always looks around for robes with biscuits in the pockets; That girl is always hungry. The aquanetics people love her and miss her when she’s not here.
I walk with Mom to her lane and the lifeguard gets a kickboard for her. She starts swimming back and forth, back and forth. I walk back and forth with her on the edge of the pool because I’m her service dog and I must be ready to help her if she needs me. This is a very serious job I have. I finally get tired and sit at the end of her lane. I know when she is ready to get out, she will go to the ladder. I will wait for her there. Mom turns at the end of the pool and says, “Hi, Bud.” I lick her face to let her know Bud’s on the job.
Good. She’s getting out. I hope it’s playtime now. I stand by the ladder with the lifeguard, to help her get out if she needs me. I watch her like a hawk; this wet slippery stuff can be dangerous. I don’t want her to get hurt. It’s a big responsibility.
No. She heads to the warm pool for aquanetics. She’s a water baby. I wish I could be in there with her. I tried once, but they laughed and made me get out. Everybody says to me, “Oh Bud. I remember when you were just a baby, Jetta taught you well. Remember the time you jumped in the pool and we laughed and they made you get out?”
I watch by the warm pool next to her walker and towel, waiting for Mom to get out. Jetta gets up and walks over to the pool. She still knows exactly how long Mom will swim. She did this job for so long, that she knows when it has been exactly an hour and a half. I need recess. When I get in the car, I get time for a power nap on the way home. I just have to close my eyes.
When we arrive, we leave Jetta at home and head for an errand in town.—a double-header, two jobs in one day. I should have eaten a power bar. Mom, do you have one for me? We arrive at the dentist’s office, a place Jetta has been often, but not me.
“Oh, you have a new dog,” the receptionist says. “How’s Jetta?”
Mom says, “We have her book with us.”
“Good. We’ll take one for our waiting room. The other patients can read about her life as a service dog,” she says.
Everybody loves Jetta. I love her, too. But she thinks I’m a knucklehead sometimes when I bug her.
Mom says, “Bud is writing his own book.”
A girl comes to get Mom. We have to leave the walker in the hallway because it is so narrow. It is up to me now. I’ll keep you safe, Mom. I’m on duty.
Another girl passes by and says, “What a good looking dog!”
I look forward and down and stay focused. I’m working. I can’t respond.
Inside the exam room, Mom lies on a big chair with bright lights and big machines hanging down.
Mom says, “Come around. Go to bed.” She points to the spot where I should lie down and wait. I’m a good boy and wait and watch quietly. I stand up and whimper because I hear a high noise I don’t like.
Mom asks, “Is that hurting your ears, Honey?”
I just want out of here. I scoot up and walk around her to wait in the hallway right by the door so I don’t have to hear that noise. This is better. My ears hurt from that terrible sound. I will lie here and be a good boy. I can still see Mom in the special chair from here.
I wonder what Charlie is doing? He drove us here. I see him in the waiting room down the hall. I go to him. Can we go play with the ball? I’ve been working a long time.
“What are you doing here, Bud?” he says. “Go back to Mom.”
It seems like hours and hours to me. When is playtime?
I go back to my spot outside Mom’s door just in time to help her walk back to the car.
Mom says, “Thank you, Bud, You are such a good helper.”
I get in the backseat. I just need a power nap. That was hard work. It’s been a long day. It’s dinnertime, too. Let’s go home.

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