"We're going to find a turtle and a frog," were the last words my wife said, closing the side porch door behind her.
Small cardboard box in one hand and plastic cookie jar in the other, she intrepidly strolled to her car, with our oldest daughter in tow.
It was Turtle and Frog Race Day at C's Campfire USA camp and my intrepid wife was determined not to let our daughter be left out of the festivities.
She drove a few miles to our local lake, and sure enough, found an 8" terrapin crawling across the road. Into the box he/she went. We'll call him "Stumpy" -- the reason being will be revealed later.
The frog was harder to come by. Later that night, C finally received one courtesy of the mother of a fellow Campfirette. We'll call him "Bluto." He was the second biggest bull frog I had ever seen.
So, C was animal'd up for her impending races the following day and happy as can be.
So, where does the dog come in?
Well, yet another stray dog (#4) ended up on our front porch the other day. He was small, black, poodle/terrier like, hungry, skinny, flea bitten, with matted hair and a friendly disposition. C named him "Shadow."
The girls immediately took to "Shadow" and try as I might to keep him moving along in his quest to find a new home, the love and attention the girls showered him with were no match for my stern threats.
The following day C came home from camp and instead of immediately announcing that "Bluto" had hopped his way to camp victory, that "Stumpy" didn't end up running his race because he/she only had 3 legs, or that her blue ribbon bull frog had died on the ride home, she frantically looked around the yard and screamed,
"Shadow is gone sweetie. "
Here came that face...
"A nice man came by with a pickup truck, whistled to Shadow, who came running to him."
Here comes the quivering lower lip.
"He jumped right into the back of the man's truck and crawled into the open cage...like he knew exactly what to do."
Of course the part I omitted was the fact that the nice man's name was Rodney, and he's our small town's animal control officer whom I had called a few hours earlier.
C did her best to rationalize that Shadow must have known the man and that the man would take better care of him this time around. But as we all know, even the best lies we tell ourselves aren't always the most convincing. She cried for a few minutes, feeling more sorry for herself than for Shadow, I suspect.
Here's a given. I fully intend to get a family dog someday.
Here's another. I live in a place where we can pretty much find a wild turtle or frog on demand.