The Wag: Mattie’s midnight escapades are driving Mom mad

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Puppy Stout, Columnist

Puppy Stout brings his column, The Wag, to the Williamson Herald from The Tennessean where it has appeared for well over a decade. We are delighted to welcome Pup. He will regale you with his adventures in his own voice. His mom, Vicki Stout, helps him paw the keyboard at times, but it IS Puppy Stout doing the talking, aka barking.

OMD (oh, my dog), it may be August, but at my house, all too often Mom is crying Mayday! Actually, it’s Mattie Day. My doggie colleague (I refuse to call her my sister) creates havoc on a regular basis.

Where do I begin?

We’ll start with one night last week in the middle of the night. Mattie woke us up to bark she needed to go potty. I sleepily whined to Mom that it was a ruse.  “Don’t fall for it,” I told her.

Always the softie, Mom struggled to get up and take Mattie to the door. We live in a strict leash-law neighborhood. It’s nearly punishable by death if one of us is out leashless. But we’re on a dead-end street and our neighbors are either old, like Mom and me, or younger with young children. Either way, no one is out after midnight.

I digress.

At the door, Mom gave Mattie her marching orders: “You be back at this door in 30 minutes,” she said very firmly.

And Mattie raced into the night.

Thirty minutes passed and no Mattie. Then an hour.

“Oh, Pup, (expletive deleted), I’m going to have to go look for her,”

“You should have listened to me,” I mumbled as I rolled over into slumberland.

Once out, Mom saw no sign of Mattie. She called her in her sweetest voice.  Then more firmly. And then in a Gen. George Patton voice. She meant business.

But Mattie wasn’t buying.

So, Mom storms in, gets the car keys and storms back out. She started the car and, like magic, here came Mattie in an all-out run; were she a receiver for the Titans, she would have crossed the goal line in seconds.

Mom opened the door, Mattie leapt over her and settled into the passenger seat.

Rewarding bad behavior, Mom took Mattie for a quick, and I mean quick, ride around the neighborhood. When they got back, Mom opened the door, and once again Mattie leapt over her, back into the night.

Mom trudged in, grabbed Mattie’s leash, went back out and took her into custody. Once out of the car, Mattie did her worst move, a quick turn of the head, grab leash in mouth and run.

It was a rinse and repeat. Once out of the car this time, Mom had a death grip on the leash and ushered that dog into the kitchen with a lecture that should have burned her ears. Mattie wagged her tail, went to the pantry and asked for a treat.

“Really?” said Mom. “Absolutely not.”

As Mom stumbled back to bed, I couldn’t resist.

“I barked you so. Mattie plays you like a fiddle.”

“It’s anything but beautiful music,” mumbled Mom.

And to Mattie, one last shot: “Your late-night freedom privileges are revoked.  Forever!”

Wags and woofs,


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