Dad came in the door of your Spring Grove home and hollered, “Family meeting. Everyone in the kitchen.”
“Uh, oh. This can’t be good, can it?” And the look on dad’s face suggested it wasn’t. He looked, well, grim.
As you, mom, your sister and brother arrived, dad pointed at the chairs and said, “Sit.” Then, he stood at the head of the table and glowered at all of you. You all held your breath as he began to speak, trying to imagine what possible transgression could have brought this on. But, as he spoke, a transformation occurred.
With a mischievous grin, dad said, “So, the boss has decided I can have the last week of March off. You know what that means?”
It took a second to sink in. Then it hit: “SPRINGBREAK.”
You, your brother and sister, even mom, were jumping around, everyone realizing the idle discussion of leaving Spring Grove behind for a week and flying down to Disney World was no longer idle. It was a reality soon to happen. And, as you all jumped, even Patches, your 11-month-old Schnocker (Cocker Spaniel and Miniature Schnauzer mix), unsure of why everyone was so happy, was joining in, jumping and barking with the rest of you.
At first, all of you laughed at how excited Patches was but then mom stopped jumping. You saw the look on her face and stopped jumping, too. You saw her looking at Patches and, as your eyes followed hers to your white-and-black dog and then it dawned on you, too. What will you do with Patches while you’re away?
Dad, who had stood back with a big, proud grin, saw your and mom’s reaction. But, dad seemed as though he was prepared for it. As mom turned to talk, dad interrupted knowingly: “I’ve already taken care of that.”
“How?” asked mom.
“You’re going to like this,” dad said, getting serious for a moment. “Not only have I arranged for Patches to stay in a really good kennel while we’re gone (at this point, your brother and sister caught on and stopped jumping – only Patches continued), Patches will get some training at the same time. They call it Board & Train, and God knows Patches can use it.”
Your brother and sister started to jump again. Mom smiled. You started to smile but then you asked, “Are you sure Patches will be okay while we’re gone?”
“Absolutely,” said dad. “I checked out a couple places on the way home. The place I chose is outstanding but, if you’re worried, you can take a ride with me tomorrow and check it out yourself. And it’s not far from Patches home here in Spring Grove.”
Now, it was time to jump again.