I like dog shows. There are dogs everywhere. There are really good cookies in Mom’s lunch box. There are friends everywhere, too.
Mom says I have never met Stranger. Who is Stranger? I will look for him next dog show. Then I will meet him and Mom can’t say that anymore. But today Mom didn’t let me say anything to anyone.
I didn’t get to see if her friends had cookies in their pockets. I didn’t get to sniff all the other dogs. I didn’t get to say, “Hi, I am Jib. What did you have for breakfast?” Instead Mom said, “Leave It!” and I had to. Over and over. But she said, “Good dog!” when I left it, and sometimes she gave me little crunchy liver cookies. So Leaving It wasn’t so bad.
Besides that, this dog show was different in other ways, too. It wasn’t outside. There was no grass. No grass made it Stranger. Maybe that is what Mom means. Stranger means No Grass. Today I didn’t meet Stranger. I met Mats.
And today Mom heeled very well. She made it easy for me to keep up. Mr. Ready-Forward said, “Good job!” when we left the ring.
But Mom started to smell Worried on the Goops. I think she was worried because there was no grass. She was worried I wouldn’t have a good time sniffing. Instead, there were mats. Mats are boring.
But I Sat and didn’t sniff. I didn’t heckle my neighbor even though I tried. My neighbor looked the other way. So instead I watched Mom. Then I Downed and only sniffed once, but there wasn’t anything worth sniffing. So I didn’t move. Much.
Mom grinned. We ran out of the ring and I got really good cookies in my crate. She said I finally did the Goops! Aunt Judy was there and smelled as happy as Mom.
When Mom and I were done, we did something Stranger again. We went back in the ring. Mr. Ready-Forward gave Mom a bit of ribbon. Mom says that I now have a leg.
She confuzled me. I have more than a leg. I think I have four. Mom says I got one today and it is my first. Huh?
Sailor says that he is confuzled about his legs, too. He knows he has four regular Trot-Along legs. He’s had them since he was a puppy. He says he also has six or eight more Obedience legs. He says that his extra legs ARE very obedient. They don’t bother him at all. He says that he also has a Compact Disc because of all those legs.
Where are his Compact Disc legs? Sailor thinks his CD is what dangles and jangles from his collar. He says Mom put his Obedience legs inside the Compact Disc and hung them around his neck.
Sailor says that if I keep heeling with Mom and don’t blow it in Goops, I will have a jingle jangle leg container, too. Full of extra legs.
Mom took Zoe for a walk all by herself. We didn’t get to go. Mom came back with tears in her eyes.
Zoe got in Erik’s car and they drove off.
Mom says Zoe is going back to live in Maine. She will romp in the snow and play with the grandgirls and go to work with her Dad.
Mom is sad.
We are all missing Zoe. We miss her being the Fun Police and shouldering Sailor away when he wants to grab Jib by the ruff and roll him in the mud. We miss her yelling for supper when Mom comes home from work. We miss Zoe sleeping on the lawn but always waking up to play. We miss her pointing out squirrels to hunt. We miss her leading the way when we all go on walks.