When I was young, I got to travel all over the state of Florida with my mom. I loved telling tales of my travels to my friends Little Bear and Rusty – their mom took them to the park and our house, but they never got to go on vacations Most of my friends never leave their neighborhoods. They love hearing about running in the salty waters of the surf, how it chases me up the beach and if I don’t run fast enough it catches me and I have to swim, sometimes with fish and clams… I have lots of stories to tell.
One summer we got to drive all around Florida in a little truck that had beds and kitchen, sleeping in parks where we saw deer and alligators and kinds of other dogs. I loved it, and thought we’d always get to live on the road. When we wound up back at our old house in Sunrise, Mom could tell I was bummed when she found me laying on the bed, chin tucked between my paws. The fun was over.
It turned out that I still got to go on some trips after that – like to visit Grammy and on boat rides in the Everglades and to Cayo Costa, where my pal Christie had the nerve to chase wild boar in the bush. One summer we rented a cottage on the beach in Sanibel… that was cool. Dolphins swam along the shore and we had fun running in the surf and barking at them as they jumped and danced just a bit too far off for us to chase them.
But in the past few years, Mom usually leaves me with my sister Rachel and she goes off to parts unknown alone. She goes to New York City a few times a year, but she still has never taken me there. She’s been to California a few times, the Grand Canyon, Seattle, Chicago, Washington DC, even Paris, Italy and Malta, and I’ve had to stay home with Stella, my cat. Mom taught me to count the days she’s gone, so I always know how long before she comes home.
To top it off, the past few years I hardly ever get beyond our own yard, since Mom works at home. Once a week she’ll take me downtown for the farmer’s market, which is totally fun. I always know it’s Wednesday, and I know when she skips going to the market.
Sometimes on Friday nights we’d go to free concerts downtown. That’s where I met Lover, a cute little chihuahua. We played while our parents listened to the music. But Lover didn’t show up the last few times we went there. I don’t know what happened to him, but I miss him. We haven’t gone to a concert for a long time.
One day when we were driving we passed a guy who looked a lot like me. Mom pulled over and we got to talk to him – his name was Arnie – and his dad for a few minutes. She gave her number to his dad and they said they’d get together to let us play, but he never called. I miss Arnie, too. When it was time to say goodbye, I didn’t want to get back in the car, but Mom made me. Wish his dad would call so we could play.