As everybody knows, the scouting motto is to be prepared.
If anyone was ever prepared, it was a dog.
You don’t even have to mention the word “walk” or even produce a lead. If there is even the remotest suggestion that you might just possibly be going out or even just the thought itself, your dog is psychically already at the front door ready to go. Your dog is so prepared, they’re even ready before you are. After all, with that inbuilt fur coat, dogs are always dressed and ready to go.
Kids on the other hand…my goodness don’t get me started but I will mention one word…shoes! When it’s time to go,there are two bare feet and the shoes are MIA. That is, unless they smell so bad that your nose acts as a radar and you can spot them a mile away. Or should I say, you locate the left shoe at 90 degrees and the right shoe at 35 degrees.
To say that kids are unprepared, is such an understatement. That’s why we take our kids to scouts and our dogs for walks. Unlike dogs, it takes more than a few quick sessions at the local park to train a child.
Anyway, it was the last night of Cub Scouts for the year so I decided to take the dogs along to say hello. I’ve had a bung foot for a few weeks and the dogs haven’t been getting out as much as they’re used to. Friends have been taking the kids to and from school so they haven’t even been getting to ride in the car as much either. So tonight was their lucky night. They not only got to go for a ride in the car, they became cub scouts for the night. Now, instead of begging for a walk, they were pleading for a rest. So many kids wanted to take them for a run!
Of course, the kids were terribly proud of the dogs who by this stage, had become instant celebs with the kids. The dogs are also part of our family and the kids don’t often get the chance to introduce them to their friends. The dogs were more than willing cub scouts. They went for walks, runs and as one kid was showing me how he could throw a marshmallow up and catch it in his mouth yet miss…Lady was more than willing to hide the evidence. I lost track of how many marshmallows she polished off and I hope she doesn’t go troppo after all that sugar!
Thankfully, Lady didn’t entertain the children by eating rabbit roadkill or smearing herself with dead stinky fish like she’d done at Palm Beach. I think she knew that you have to be on your very best behavior when you’re a cub scout or even just the cub scout’s dog. However, even a cub scout isn’t perfect and Lady just couldn’t resist giving a few passing dogs a resonating growl. Bilbo preferred to stay with the family and wasn’t sure about going off with strangers, even for a much loved walk. He’s more reserved…unless he’s defending his turf. Then the slumbering floor rug metamorphoses into quite a beast.
As much as the dogs were thrilled to go along to cubs tonight, they missed the BBQ over the weekend and who better to be dog’s best friend, than a kid too busy running around to keep track of a delectable sausage sandwich. Opportunity also knocks when little hands struggle to contain a snag hell bent on finding freedom between two lubricated slices of bread. If either of these two proven strategies fail, then there’s always the old tried and tested approach…switching on those puppy dog eyes and becoming absolutely irresistible. Even the war torn-stray who was hanging out at the scout hall on the weekend, was looking cute begging for snags.
I’ve never inquired about whether dogs can join the scouts. As much as almost everyone loves dogs, there’s always the few, that vocal minority, who commit terrible crimes against dogs such as banning them from the beach. That’s right. No dogs allowed! Bilbo has often complained to me about this gross injustice. He wants to know why kids are allowed on the beach when they fight more than he does and says that he’s also quite aware about “the other matter” as well. That’s right. That dogs aren’t the only ones relieving themselves at the beach. Bilbo adds:”At least, we dogs are upfront about it. We don’t get all self-righteous and then strut out into the surf saying: “we’re cooling off”!!
Bilbo can be quite the defender of dog rights when he isn’t sleeping on the floor!
Well, even if Bilbo and Lady can’t be signed up members of the Cub scouts, they are members where it matters…in the heart.They well and truly belonged.