The Doggie With a Stogie

When you’re a workman entering the home of a family that owns a Labrador retriever, you’re taking an awful risk. Not that you will get bitten, or anything like that. Noooo. YOUR RISK IS THAT EVERY ITEM YOU OWN WILL BE SNATCHED AWAY AND CARRIED OFF IN A BIG, JOLLY GAME!!!

The latest go-round for us was the fate of the poor carpenter who fixed our stairway. He set up his table saw on the driveway outside the front door, and carried finished sections of wood into the house from there. Naturally, he placed his supplies and everything he would need for the job around that saw.

I kept apologizing as I would come upon Sunny, our playful Lab, in the front yard with one of his workgloves, or a piece of wood, or his empty pop cup, or a tool. She never chewed up and ruined anything. It was just that her favorite game was retrieving things and hanging on to them. For her, it was high humor.

But one day, she went too far. See, the carpenter smoked cigars after lunch. To be courteous, he smoked them outside. While he was working at the table saw, he would hold a cigar in his mouth. But if he had to come inside for a moment, he would lay it down on the pavement.

Well, the lure was too powerful for Sunny. Sure enough, the carpenter came back outside, and she was cavorting around in the front yard . . . WITH THE LIGHTED CIGAR BETWEEN HER TEETH!

She romped. She frolicked. She even placed the cigar on the grass just a few feet away from the carpenter, tail wagging like mad, and dared him to try to pick it up. When he went for it, she snatched it away again and galloped through the yard, taunting him with it.

No, she didn’t take a puff. But my ears were smoking over her disobedience. The carpenter, though, thought it was a howl. And since it wasn’t one of his costly Cubans, he didn’t mind sharing his stogie with a doggie.

By Susan Darst Williams • • © 2019