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Dog Diaries

The Case of the Skeptical Cohort

by Ron Powell

~~My name is Prince Frecklebum, Greyhound Detective. I wasn't always a detective. I was a racer once, before I retired. My track name was Occam's Razor of Lightspeed Doom. You can call me Prince. Most of the humans around these parts do.

The house has been really busy and noisy the last few days. I know what's going on, but my partner, Lady, is new to this gig. It was up to me to show her the ropes. It all started a few days ago...

"Prince, what's with all the sacks of groceries Mom and Dad are bringing in? Why are they cleaning the house so much? What's with all the phone calls? This is really weird!"

"Lady," I said, "you are in for one of the best Greyhound Detective days ever!"


She had that look in her eye she gets when I explain things to her. I think it's her brain growy look. She calls it "doubt" as in "there's no doubt my brain gets bigger when you teach me things." She's so lucky to have me.

"Oh, yes, Lady. There are only 3 days more important than this one. You got Christmas, Gotcha Day, "Go for a Ride Day" and this one.

"What's this one called, then? Hold on, 'Go for a Ride Day'?"

"Of course. I love going on rides. Who doesn't?"

"That happens, like, 3 times a week!" The brain growy look was getting very intense, telling me I'm doing a great job in teaching her stuffs.

"Just because it happens a lot doesn't mean it's not a special day! Anyway, this one here is called 'Super Awesome Leftover Day' and it's great! First, Mom cleans the house all up. Then she invites lots of people over. Then they cook up all kinds of Super Awesome Leftovers. Then they sit around the table with big plates of Leftovers and thank each other for all sorts of things like being able to share their foods with Greyhounds. Then we eat so much our tummies blow up and Dad sits on the couch to watch the glowy box with his pants open. Then Mom yells at him for having his pants open and we all get naps!"

"Prince. You're SURE it happens like that?? Sounds a little fishy to me."

"Oh, no, no fish. They make special Leftover Chicken. It's much bigger than your regular chicken and they only make it on Super Awesome Leftover Day!"

"Sure. Right. Leftover Chicken. Ok, why all the house cleaning, then?"

"Cuz when they invite the people over they're really coming over to admire how good we look and a clean house makes us look that much better. It provides the perfect setting for looking at us and it makes Mom and Dad so proud to show us off."

"So they sit around the table and thank each other?"

"Oh yes! They say lots of words, but mostly they're just thankful to share their Leftovers with us!"

"why do you keep calling them leftovers? I mean, if they just cooked it, it can't be leftover yet..."

"Oh, no, those are REGULAR leftovers. We're talking about Super Awesome Leftovers. Pretty much, they share all their food and whatever we don't want to eat is left over for them to finish."

"No. No. No. No. We're NOT allowed to eat table food. How do you know they want to share?? That seems like something that'd get us in trouble..."

"It's kind of complicated. First, you have to pick out the best sharers in the crowd. The best sharers pretend to be distracted with their conversation so we can take a bite here and there or maybe they'll pretend to be messy and drop stuff for us on the floor or sometimes Mom puts the food in one room while they eat in another so they won't get jealous over how much Leftover Chicken we'll eat. Dad is an especially good sharer. And the little kids, too. And Gramma. Sometimes she pretends to doze off while she shares."

"Prince, that doesn't sound right to me."

"If it's wrong, I don't wanna be right! I forgot to tell you about how mom stacks all the dishes in the sink after dinner. Sometimes you get to help clean them! You gotta wait till she's gone and then stand up on your tippy-paws and really stretch your nose out to do the best job, but it's worth it. It's really worth it! Sometimes your tummy gets so full you have to sleep for hours. And Dad doesn't even try to blame you when he makes smelly sounds, either!"

"I think you're just trying to get me in trouble!"

"Just wait, Lady, just wait."

The bags of groceries came in, the phone calls kept happening and time went by, until The Day.

We came in from our mid-morning potty break. I was super excited but Lady still didn't believe me. "Prince," she started, "I really don't think..." She stopped mid sentence as the Leftover Chicken smell hit her nose. She started drooling immediately. "Prince. What is that smell? Tell me. NOW!"

"Relax, Lady, that's the Leftover Chicken and it'll be in the oven for hours!"

"Oh my. OH MY. We get to eat that?"

"Oh yes. Yes, we do. And it just smells better the longer it's in there!"

A few hours later, people showed up at the house. We greeted them at the door. We made sure Dad held on to us so he wouldn't get scared with the door open. They admired us. I must say that I looked great and Lady really wowed 'em, too! With everyone arriving, it wouldn't be too long before it was Super Awesome Leftover Sharing time. I gotta admit, Leftovers are best when they're fresh from the oven. Then Mom spent lots of time in the kitchen banging pots around and stirring things and saying bad words when something went wrong. Eventually, everyone shuffled in to the big table room. I had long since sized up the Best Sharers and took up my position. Everyone was very thankful they were getting to share Leftovers with Greyhounds. They used lots of different words, but I'm sure they all meant the same thing. First, the kids shared lots of Leftover Chicken by "accidently" dropping it on the floor beside them. Then, Gramma dozed off with a fork full of Leftover Chicken in her lap. A lot! She was REALLY hungry. She took 3 helpings! She said she didn't see how she could be so hungry, but that's just part of the game. Dad got into the act, too, by pretending to talk to Mom while we put our noses under his arm to snatch a bite.

Sharing Time eventually wound down and folks started to leave the table. Once the table was cleared and we helped Mom clean some dishes, Lady and I found a comfy spot on the floor for a celebratory nap.

"Prince? It was pretty much exactly how you described it. I doubted you, but..." she paused for a burp "you really came through this time."

"I wouldn't lie to you about Super Awesome Leftover Day!"

"All the humans were saying how Thankful they were for stuff. I just wanted you to know that I'm grateful for second chances, this Family and having you for a cousin."

From the other room, we heard the official end of Super Awesome Leftover Day. "Button your pants, you great ox! Disgusting! But, hey, thanks for helping with the dishes!"

There sure is a lot to be thankful for on Super Awesome Leftover Day!

Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!