One of Life’s Little Lessons
As usual, George didn’t bother with the buzzer at the main entrance but walked around the corner or the building to knock at the window of his grandson’s ground-floor apartment. When he arrived he saw a huge dog staring at him through the sliding glass door. The great-whatever-it-was immediately announced his presence with resounding woofs.
Kyle rushed to the door and slid it open. “Hey, Grandpa! Good to see you. Quiet Caesar. This is a friend.”
“I sure wouldn’t want to be a burglar and be doing this,” George said as he stepped through the window. “So this is your new hound?”
“Yeah, this is Caesar.” Kyle ruffled the fur on the dog’s head and patted his back. “ Had him two weeks now and so far we’re getting along great. Really, his bark is worse than his bite.”
George chuckled. “I wouldn’t want to put that to the test. I won’t try entering when you’re not here.” He cautiously held out his hand to the dog and let Caesar sniff it. “Who sold you this monster?”
“A breeder south of town. His Great Dane had a litter, but some of the pups weren’t the purebreds he was expecting. Some other genetics got added to the mix somehow. So he gave me a deal.”
“I can see that. Fellow would be hard put to guess his breeding.”
“But, hey, I don’t mind. He’s going to be a faithful friend.”
Kyle walked into the kitchen and came back with a plate overflowing with a humongous submarine sandwich. “I was feeling hungry after our run through the park, so I was just fixing myself a sub. Do you want me to fix you one, too?”
“Sure,” George replied. “But make mine half that size. I don’t run through the park anymore like you do.”
Kyle laughed as he set his plate on the table. “Yeah, I guess this would be pretty big for a lot of people.”
He went back to the kitchen. “Ham, turkey, or both?”
“Just turkey,” George answered as he watched Caesar come and sit beside the table, his eyes focused on the sub. “You’d better hurry up there, Kyle, or you won’t have a sandwich to come back to.”
Kyle looked around and saw Caesar beside his chair, eying the sandwich hungrily. “Don’t worry. He’s well trained. We’ve been going to obedience classes.” Kyle opened the fridge door. “Do you want a drink with this, Grandpa? Cola or ginger ale, or iced tea?”
“Ginger ale would be fine. Obedience classes?”
“Yeah, we’ve had four lessons already.” Kyle pulled a can of pop from the fridge and shut the door. “He’s learned that he must not touch any food I set down until I say, ‘Eat it, Caesar.’ Then he knows he can have it.”
“Oh.” Suddenly George looked back at Caesar. He could hardly believe how fast the dog, hearing those magic words, grabbed the sub off the plate and devoured it.
“Uh, Kyle…I hope you still have enough fixings for another sandwich?”
Kyle whirled around and saw his empty plate. He smacked his head with his hand.
Caesar was looking up at him with eyes full of love and gratitude, his tail thump, thumping against the chair leg.
Kyle sighed. “Guess I can hardly blame him. I did say the magic words.”
George laughed. “It looks like he learned his lesson well. And now you have, too.”
“Yeah, I’ll remember this one,” Kyle said ruefully as he reached for another sub bun.