Don’t give me that look! It’s not like I’m some grade school kid trying to explain her missing homework. It’s just, some dogs really are crazed maniacs.
I have a customer named Linda Martin, and Linda Martin has a dog named Cowboy. Cowboy looks like a border collie crossed with a mutt but acts more like a two-year-old crossed with an untamed stallion.
Well, one day I was delivering Linda Martin’s prescriptions. We’d had a lot of rain recently, and Cowboy was making good use of the mud puddles in the front yard. I walked up to the front door and started to knock. Next thing I know, Cowboy is barking and plastering muddy paw prints all over my work uniform and otherwise trying to drive me from his front porch as though I were some kind of ninja squirrel come to attack his mama.
This happened a couple of times before Linda made it to the front door and saved me with a loud scolding of her dog and a stern command for him to “go watch.” There was a moment of blissful peace after Cowboy trotted off to the other side of the yard to “go watch” the passing cars.
Only a moment.
I handed Linda a paper I needed her to sign stating she’d received her delivery. She signed it and handed it back . . . or rather, she attempted to hand it back. In reality, it never made the transition from her hand to mine.
I can’t say what happened, exactly. All I know is, Cowboy was there in a flash, and then he wasn’t, and in that nanosecond of shaggy, muddy, barking chaos . . . the paper disappeared.
Well, Linda and I chased that dog all over the yard. He ran from the front porch to the chain-link fence to the bushes in back, bouncing through mud puddles and clutching that paper in his mouth like he’d dug up his favorite bone.
Twenty minutes later, I stood before my boss as he looked me up and down, taking in the muddy paw prints, the strands of hair straying from my ponytail . . . and the muddy, mangled, half-eaten signature paper.
“What on earth . . . ?”
“Well, you see,” I began, “Linda Martin has this dog. . . .”