PREVIOUSLY: Welcome By Linda Helterline

Word Count 433
By Linda Helterline

“Previously, on last week’s program,” said the TV announcer. I settled in with my popcorn, my glass of soda, and the remote control. I heard several footsteps racing from the other end of the house and soon Roman, my Corgi not-so-gracefully appeared between the TV and my bowl of popcorn with his oversized ears blocking my view. His longing eyes never strayed from the bowl of popcorn, and the butter I had added to the treat merely engaged his nose too. Anyone would swear he hadn’t been fed in weeks, but I knew better.
This was the beginning of my favorite television program, and I was ready for an evening of entertainment. And suddenly my buddy was gone! Knowing how popular the bowl of popcorn was, suspicion came over me like a wave. There he sat staring at the kitchen door from the dining room, and emitting a very low growl. I hit the mute button on the remote and walked toward him, expecting to see a chipmunk sitting inside the garage with his cheeks stuffed with stolen sunflower seeds or a neighbor ready to knock on my back door. But no barking…just his growl. He looked over his shoulder at me and back at the door. If he could have pointed with his stubby little legs, he would have.
However, he should have been pointing behind me! Someone was coming in the front door. I reached in my jeans pocket and felt my pocket knife. Whoever was coming in the front door forgot to knock, so I would be greeting this person with my knife. The “growling machine’s” nose was between my ankles. I’m sure he knew it was easier to keep my balance that way.
Meeting the unknown fellow at the front door, he first looked at the knife, and then to my face, and then at the growling maniac at my feet. I tried to do my best Study Hall voice, even though “nervous” didn’t even start to describe how I was feeling.
“What are you doing in here?” He mumbled an answer I didn’t understand, but the important part was that he was backing up.
“I need a jump for my car,” but there was no car in sight. By this time he had backed himself across the front lawn, to his imaginary car.
“I don’t have any of the right equipment,” I said and was busy closing the door. Roman finally worked out a bark, which was his “SO THERE!”
The next month I bought a Goldendoodle, who seems to help Roman find his voice.


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