The Treat Place
Everyone knows that dogs are better than squirrels. Dogs make humans happy. Dogs live in houses. Dogs ride in cars. Squirrels do none of these things.
Squirrels go where they don’t belong. Squirrels take things that aren’t theirs. Squirrels are sneaky.
It’s a good thing humans have dogs to keep them safe from squirrels.
Right now, I’m in the car with my family—Food Lady, Fetch Man, and Hattie—and no squirrels. I snuggle against Hattie in the back seat. She is the best short human ever.
She pats my head. “Good boy, Fenway,” she coos. That’s Human for “You’re doing a great job.” What can I say? I’m a professional.
I can hardly wait to find out where we’re going.
The car pauses at the end of our street. I poke my head out the window. A sneaky squirrel is there on the sidewalk glaring up at me.
“Look at me, Rodent,” I bark at him. “I’m riding in a car!”
He turns and scampers up a tree.
As the car speeds away, I add, “You’d better stay up there where you belong!”
There’s nothing like a car ride. The breeze rushes through my fur. My nose sniffs oaks and pines and grass. My tail thumps against Hattie’s leg. This is the life!
When the car turns, I smell another scent. It’s the parking lot outside the Treat Place. That’s the giant building with lots of dogs and humans—and toys and treats. Yippee!
I paw the door handle. “Hooray! Hooray!” I bark. “Let’s get in there!”
Hattie giggles and opens the door. We hurry out of the car. I try to run straight into the Treat Place, but the leash holds me back. Of course Hattie wants me to wait for her. She loves going to the Treat Place as much as I do.
We lead Food Lady and Fetch Man inside. My tail swishes wildly. The Treat Place has rows and rows of awesome things to check out. And it smells great, like loads of other dogs. And have I mentioned the yummy treats? I’m going to show Hattie where to find them.
I stick my head into the first row. Wowee—toys! My tail wags faster. “I could use a few more balls and squeakers and plushies,” I bark to Hattie. But she doesn’t give in. We follow Fetch Man and Food Lady to the next row.
I sniff there, too. Whoopee—treats! I smack my chops. “Let’s get some snacks,” I whine. “I’m soooo hungry!”
“Fenway,” Hattie says. She leads me away. “No.”
My ears sag. Why aren’t we getting any treats? What could be more important?
Food Lady steers a cart down another row, where Fetch Man grabs two big bags of kibble. And after that, we turn toward the back of the building. We are heading farther from the treats. I begin to get a bad feeling. This cannot be good.
We meet a friendly German Shepherd, but Hattie won’t let us exchange bum sniffs. And then Fetch Man steers the cart down a row that smells like nasty cleaners. Yuck!
Food Lady stops and stares at the bottles on the shelves. She picks them up one by one. She studies them as if they’re actually interesting. Eventually, she puts one in the cart and heads toward some that smell even worse.
Ew! The odor reminds me of those horrible drops that Hattie rubs on the back of my neck. “No, Hattie,” I plead as she follows Fetch Man and Food Lady. “Let’s skip the yucky drops and go back to the treats.”
But we don’t. Food Lady tosses two boxes of yucky drops into the cart. Just when I think this trip cannot get any more terrible, we stroll past bottles that smell like shampoo. What did I do to deserve this?
I have to get back to the treat row. And then convince Hattie that I need one. Or a bunch.
Food Lady puts a bottle of flowery shampoo into the cart. Fetch Man turns the cart and heads back to the front of the Treat Place. Uh-oh. That means they’re getting ready to leave.
This is every kind of wrong. I spin around and drag Hattie to the treat row. “This way, Hattie!” I bark. “You forgot my treat!”
Hattie lets out a loud sigh.
I jump and pull. “I’ll never give up!”
“Fenway, heel!” she commands.
Oh, I know this! I can get what I want by making her happy. I stop jumping and plop onto my bum. I gaze up at my short human. I tilt my head in that cute way she likes.
“Aw, Fenway,” she sings. I can tell from her eyes that it’s working. She pats my head, and I give her hand a sweet little lick.
Hooray! Hattie reaches for a delicious-smelling bone. Wowee, a bone is an even better prize than I was hoping for! I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!
We rush back to Fetch Man and Food Lady with the bone. “Please?” Hattie asks them.
Food Lady raises an eyebrow. Fetch Man shrugs. Whoopee! That means they’re going to say yes!
I drop onto my bum again. I look up at Hattie, ready to snatch that wonderful bone from her hand. I knew if I tried hard enough, this would work!
But when Food Lady says, “Okay,” Hattie plunks the bone into the cart along with the rest of the stuff.
Wait a minute! She was supposed to give it to me.
This isn’t fair! That bone is so close. I can smell it. I can see it. But I can’t have it.
This is the worst day ever!
When we get back to the car, Fetch Man puts everything in the trunk—including the bone. On the way home, I make a decision. I’m going to get that bone, and when I do, nobody will ever take it away.