The dog puzzle, Rye, and the hardware store

Momma and I are back in Florida, and have already covered a lot of (snow-free) ground. I thought you might enjoy a little update from the Sunshine State, now that all the holiday festivities are over.

Let’s start with the dog puzzle — mainly because I’m pretty proud of my prowess in the puzzle department. The puzzle, a surprise from Momma, is called Dog Block, and I love it because it involves treats. The dog must pull off bones to uncover treats and flip open or slide blocks for treats in more hidden compartments! Here I am with a photo of my new puzzle. The string was for Momma to show me how to remove a block. Puh-lease.

And here I am on my first try to get to the treats. You should note that Momma mistakenly got me an intermediate rather than a beginner version, but not to worry. (Okay, I did have a little prodding from Momma, but still.) I just wonder if the Dog Block company might need a spokesdog.

My next surprise of the season was when Momma and I walked into Ruffgers for agility training last week. To our amazement, my half bro, Rye was there. You may remember that I’ve mentioned him before — he’s the one who is on a lot of Ruffgers’ promo materials, much to Momma’s annoyance because she thinks it should be me, of course. Rye was born at the same breeders’ in the same month and year, but on a different date. So he is apparently my brother from another mother. Here we are with Rye’s momma, Mary. Can you believe we are seven already!

But perhaps the biggest shocker of all is that Momma has become quite the Ace Hardware customer here on the Island. (“Don’t forget to mention that I am even a member of the Ace Reward’s Club, Lina.”) Eye roll. Anyway, the other day she visited her favorite store to buy a box cutter for her Amazon deliveries.

Before she even shopped though (they have clothing, too, she’s discovered), she used the restroom. Then the most puzzling thing happened. When Momma walked back into the main store, a woman stopped Momma and asked her if she knew where the mailboxes were. Mailboxes? thought Momma. Did the lady want to mail a letter? After further explanation, Momma realized the lady wanted to buy a mailbox and thought Momma would know where to find them. Now in your wildest dreams, could you ever mistake Momma for an Ace Hardware employee? Where she would actually tell you where to find a crescent wrench for example? When she was wearing a purple blouse and white shorts? No, I didn’t think so. Anyway, I guess she fits in even better that I thought she would.

So back to the box cutter. Momma bought what looked like a good sturdy one and easy to operate. However, upon opening the package, Momma found that the thing was not even loaded with a blade. She knew installing one was way over her head, and luckily brought it back before she hurt herself. There she got a young (real) employee to help her, but Momma had him so flustered with her explanations that he couldn’t get the blades loaded either. So to “cut” to the chase here, a more seasoned employee finally came along, and sold Momma one that was foolproof.

But the story doesn’t end there. When checking out, Momma noticed that there were all kinds of dog photos tacked to the protective plexiglass enclosure between her and the cashier. Upon inquiry, she learned that she, too, could have her dog’s picture displayed if she just brought her dog in for a photo op. Now Momma was even more sold on Ace. It really had become her go-to place.

So early this morning Momma loaded me in the car all excited about getting my picture taken at Ace Hardware. I was leery at first, but calmed down when Momma told me it was not a full blown photo shoot, my least favorite thing in the world. We had to do some pretend shopping first, of course, and get the lay of the land. In other words, find an employee willing to drop what she was doing and take my picture. After finding some envelopes for $2.99, Momma approached a friendly looking lady who, mercifully, agreed to take my picture so we could be on our way. Here I am being photographed by Cheryl. I am nominating her for Employee of the Month!

And here is the wall where my picture will eventually be posted. I can just about bet you Momma will be back there on Monday to check it out.

Lina, Rovering Reporter


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