I’ve been taking care of Zinny, my friend Margaret’s yellow lab, for the weekend. Picture this: three large brown-eyed yellow labs (Zinny and my own two labs),staring at me with a steadfast gaze, great concern in their eyes about their next meal. (If you are familiar with labs, dinnertime is OFTEN on their minds. Like, as soon as they finish breakfast.) So, because the staring kind of got to me, I piled them in the car and off we went on an errand. I stopped at a small shopping center to browse through a stationery store for wedding invitations for my daughter.

As I shut the car door, I must have hit the power door button. Out bolted Zinny, not unlike that scene in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” when the cavalry flew out of the railcar to bring Butch and Sundance to justice. I ran to stop my other two pups from dashing off–but they weren’t budging. They just sat there, stunned by Zinny’s getaway. I grabbed a leash and ran after her, shouting in my most Alpha voice. She blew me off.

For Zinny was on a mission. She charged right up to a shoestore, galloped right in, blasted past the customers (of which there were many, quite startled by her appearance)…and SHE KEPT GOING!!! RIGHT BACK TO THE STOREROOM! It was as if she knew just which ruby-red, open-toed sandals she wanted and in just what size! As if she had seen them on-line and knew what she was after (even though everybody knows you should never buy shoes on-line. They never fit.)

Finally, I cornered her in the back of the storeroom, snapped on her leash, and marched her out, cheeks flaming (mine, not her’s).

I put her back in the car, locked the doors (!) and resumed my wedding invitation hunt. A woman passed me by and sneered, “Oh! You’re that dog lady from the shoestore!”

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