After a few practice runs, the next time I visited Caroline’s house, she wasn’t even there when I arrived. Mike and Heather seemed very harried when they left, but their departure never bothered me. I just relaxed and hung out with her beau David until Caroline got home. I already knew where the toys were, so I just helped myself, laid down and chilled. When Caroline walked in the door, I gave her an energetic, wiggling greeting, and she was happy to see me, too. The next morning she gave me a Frozen PBB right on schedule, and I relaxed even further, realizing she had been adequately briefed on all essential procedures.
I quickly settled into a different routine. Every morning I got to play Dawn Patrol in Caroline’s back yard, which is fully fenced-in and has a lawn as well as garden beds. Caroline just opened the back door, let me out and watched me as I wandered the perimeter, checking for intruders. Luckily I didn’t find any, or else I might have tried to test the fencing with my superior tunneling skills. Something to think about next time!
Caroline and I took short walks to the small parks in her neighborhood, and on the weekend, when the weather improved, we went to Discovery Park. But I always stayed on a leash, and we did no throwing whatsoever. The most exciting thing we did was a field trip into Magnolia Village, where Caroline works. Now, I’ve been there many, many times before, but always with Mike and Heather, and usually we’re hurrying to get someplace (like to get my nails clipped or visiting the store with cheese hearts), or I’m trying to avoid greeting other dogs at the Farmers’ Market.
Walking through the village with Caroline was different. Few people here know Heather or Mike (who’s apparently only a celebrity in one place in the whole universe), but everybody in Magnolia knows Caroline. They stopped to chat her up, ask what breed of dog I am and, of course, tell her how cute I am. If Mike had been thinking in my best interest, he would have given Caroline some of my business cards to pass out to these new admirers. It must have slipped his mind. Anyway, Caroline and I paused in front of the Petit Pierre French bakery so I could peruse crumbs on the sidewalk, and then we spent a little girl-time shopping at Vixen Day Spa and Boutique. Looking around the store for tchotchkes was fun, even if I didn’t buy anything — and maybe because I didn’t break anything.
We had fun at Caroline’s house, too. She is considering installing artificial turf in her back yard, and a couple of men came over to measure and leave samples. I quality tested the products for comfort, but not for what the trade calls “absorb-ability,” if you catch my stream of consciousness. My verdict: Both samples looked good, but both still looked fake up close. They also felt a little prickly on my skin; even though my new friend David said my thick fur made me look like a “dachshund in a gorilla suit,” I can be very sensitive, you know.
Caroline kept texting Mike about how good I was behaving, saying I’m “a little Angel” and attaching a special emoji to illustrate, and that she and David would be lonely when I left. I got to like David as much as I liked Caroline, and I even squeezed out some longing whimpers when he spent the night on his boat. They were both easy to live with, always happy to be greeted at the front door and happy to have me around. I did my part by sparing them any loud and prolonged barking, and I didn’t even do much whining, except when food was not on the table fast enough. I’m told this is a common problem in these resort settings, not to mention what I have to deal with at home. I’ll continue to save my most obnoxious whining for Mike’s ears only.
When Caroline stayed home to work one morning and slid my travel crate back into its case, I figured it was about time to go home. But when Caroline opened the door and Heather and Mike were there, I just went nuts. I tackled Mike multiple times, squealed in delight and even emitted some primal whimpers of delight that Heather maintained she had never heard from me before. She thought I was so happy to see Mike because I had missed him so much, but that was silly. What made me so happy was knowing Mike brought back the birthday presents I had been promised by aunts Susie and Debby. When those treats are gone, however, I would be just happy to go back to Caroline’s house, my favorite home away from home.