The Wrong Dog: A Cautionary Tale

Domino and George on the back porch.

We weren’t looking for him. We went down to the Cleveland Animal Protective League shelter because my aunt thought she wanted a dog. But there he was, right up front in his cage begging to be noticed. We signed up for some play time with him. He really liked us. That night, my dad gave us a serious lecture on the responsibilities of having a dog. The next day we brought him to his new home in Rocky River.

His name is Domino. He’s big, black, very furry and probably 98% Labrador Retriever.  Domino was kept in the garage at his old home. He has taken over every room of our house, except the upstairs. Domino doesn’t go upstairs unless he’s invited. Somehow, he overheard my dad when he said, “The first time I wake up with a big black dog in the bed, he goes.”

It was the time of year when everything gets cleaned and polished for the holidays. My dad dropped Domino off at the groomer’s shop. My sister, who is studying to be a veterinarian, and I picked him up. He looked good. His coat was shiny and smooth.

He was glad to see us and hopped right into the back seat of the car. Into the house he came - and immediately went down to the basement. This was odd…Domino never goes down there. He seems to have a thing about the narrow steps and the darkness. He came back up and helped himself to his water bowl. Not a drop of water spotted the floor after he finished. This was odd…Domino is not a neat drinker; the mop is always out. My sister and I looked at each other and then we looked at him. This was more than odd…this dog was a female! 

“Where is Domino?” was all my dad repeatedly asked - and I do mean repeatedly - when we called to tell him that we got the wrong dog. We went back to the groomer’s. Thankfully, the real Domino was still there.

If your dog is a popular breed and gets groomed for the holidays, remember that he - or she - is not the only dog in the shop. Check carefully!

George Hildebrandt

George Hildebrandt is a freshman at St. Edward High School.

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 5:08 PM, 10.30.2013