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Sniffing Out a Neighborhood Cookie
I named my dog Cookie because she has a white stripe running up the center of her black forehead. When I first saw her, it reminded me of an Oreo cookie.
As dog names go, I’d call it a good one, although it has confused some people who haven’t met Cookie. More than once I’ve been told they were expecting a little yappy dog of some sort, instead of the 80-pound Canine Love Machine who greeted them. But I like it, almost all the time.
This morning was not one of those times.
Cookie has what we might call a wandering spirit. That’s the nice way to say she has been known to run off from home upon occasion. She’s not the escape artist she was when she was a peripatetic pup and inclined to take off at least twice a day, but she’ll still follow her nose out the door and down the street from time to time.
This morning was one of those times.
She was out in the garage. The door was open for the ceremonial Retrieval Of The Garbage Can, which I’m sure is as much a pageant at your house as it is at mine. As the can, amid cheers and fanfare, was being wheeled back into its proper location, Cookie decided to go visit the neighbors.
I’m not sure how long she was gone before I noticed - not that it would make much difference. Gone is gone, and when Cookie gets to running, she’s not really good about noticing where she is or even where she’s going.
I’m recalling the time she took off, going flat-out, heading for one of Indianapolis’ busier downtown streets, me behind her, yelling and whistling and waving the leash and collar she had slipped. She ignored me, went out into the traffic and ran headlong into the passenger door of a red SUV.
The woman behind the wheel was apoplectic. "Oh my God," she cried. "I hit your dog! I hit your dog!"
I caught up, put the collar back on Cookie and addressed the woman.
"No, ma’am," I said. "My dog hit your truck." Sure enough, right there on the door was a dent the size of Cookie’s head. And Cookie? She was standing there, wagging her tail and panting, making new friends of the passers-by, and having a high old time.
But back to this morning. I did the dog owner thing: Jumped in the truck and drove around the neighborhood, looking for my dog and calling her name. And this is when I kind of wished I had called her Spike or Tippy or Mildred or some other good dog name, because I got more than a few funny looks from people who saw me hanging out the window yelling "Cookie! Cookie!"
And while I was busy embarrassing myself, Cookie came home with the jogger she had decided to accompany on his route.
Oh well. I’ve known worse embarrassment. I once was given a dog that was even more of a flight risk than Cookie, and people did more than give me looks when I drove around calling his name one morning.
The dog’s name was Saturday, that’s what I yelled, over and over.
I suppose this is a good time to mention it was a Thursday.
They called the cops on me.
© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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