I peeked around the corner and spied on the old man. He was up to his old tricks again. This one in particular starts off with a towel on the floor. Nothing is mentioned at this point. The old man does it as if it were the base part of any other normal day. But I already know whatâ€™s coming.
Then comes time to open the cupboard where he keeps those stinky soaps. Smelly and itchy, they seem far more effective at taking up space under the sink than getting rid of any stink. By this point, heâ€™s already begging to keep an eye on me, as though he were ensuring his strategy had me fooled. But a clever dog like me is already putting things together as we speak.
The bathroom door closes and I hear the water begin to run and fill up the tub. He doesnâ€™t want me to see what heâ€™s doing, but he always underestimates my hearing. And at this time, I begin to apply my own strategy to the situation. The moment is right; since his next move was going to be the removal of my collar (Iâ€™d be naked) and then an involuntary dunk in the tub.
While Iâ€™m usually pretty good at handling bath time, when itâ€™s freezing outside and cold inside, wet fur is not very comfortable for a dog to be hanging around in. All wet and smelly, the only good place to be is under the covers. But the funny thing is, thatâ€™s the exact spot I wonâ€™t be allowed in.
So, my plan is to hide. And the trick is to make it seem like Iâ€™m not trying to hide. Avoid my common comfy spots and find odd but perfectly acceptable areas. Luckily, one spot that was recently introduced is the shiny tree. Lights, balls, and bits of string dangle, making it a strangely attractive site. Now, the rule here is that Iâ€™m not supposed to play with the tree or do any letter writing on it. But, no one ever said I canâ€™t get comfy under it. Plus, it is kind of warm under there.
I navigate a few of the paper-wrapped boxes and find an obscure spot to hide. Thereâ€™s just enough room for me between a pair of boxes. Now with me in the middle, we make three. And the trick is to look like Iâ€™m just chilling here for the moment. Nothing important planned, this just happens to be a nice place to hang at.
I hear him call my name once. This is the harder part to play off. I canâ€™t answer him because itâ€™ll give position away, but at the same time, Iâ€™m faced with the fact that heâ€™ll get mad eventually. So, I remain very quiet and very still. Head in paws, I peer out and search for movement out of the corners of my eyes.
Footsteps down the hall and my name is called again, but much closer this time. And it comes again. The third call sounds more distant, perhaps the spare room. Now heâ€™s in the kitchen, getting a little closer. Finally, he enters the dining room. He looks in once and scans. After a brief moment he moves on. The obviousness of my particular placement has rendered me invisible. Iâ€™m a ninja dog.
Then the ball dropped. Not metaphorically, rather it was one from high up in the tree. It made little noise as it slid down. It wasnâ€™t until it dropped on my head and I yelped in surprise that anything audible even occurred.
Back at the doorway, the old man eyed my position, which gave me only one choice. I had to play it off. Stretch out the paws and yawn like I just took a big nap. I think heâ€™s buying it. Now for a tail wag. Slow and only a few tosses from side to side, like itâ€™s a good thing he found me. Then make a play for the door, as if I happen to have an agenda that needs tending.
He stops me. â€œWhoa, canâ€™t a dog get a drink of water? I was just going to satisfy a little thirst.â€ I tell him. It didnâ€™t work though. I had put off the inevitable long enough to buy me only a few precious minutes. But, those are minutes that I wonâ€™t be a cold and wet dog struggling to dry up around the heating vents.
It was time. The collar was off and the tub awaited me. The water was hot, but the air was cold. One paw goes in the tub, then the other. I begged the old man not to do it, but he did it anyway. I faced the cup, the water, and the cold chill that it has right after it hits. Sure the water Iâ€™m standing in is warm, but for some wild reason, when it hits the fur, things get cold real fast.
I look up at the old man and give him the stare. I love you and youâ€™re my best friend, but Iâ€™m still going to sit right on your pillow when I get out of here. Oh yeah. Just like last time.
Jason DuronÂ is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.Â Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a â€œdogâ€™s eye viewâ€ and share in their thoughts.Â Please enjoy, and we hope that youâ€™ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dogâ€™s very own “rocky” adventures.