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A Dog Called Patch
Taken from a true story.
Our Patch was a unique breed of dog. I’m not entirely sure which of about fourteen species he best fitted, so I think I’d best describe him as a little of each.
Our Patch was genial, gregarious, outgoing, and highly sociable. As his name implied, he also had Joseph’s coat of many colors. He was short-haired and of medium height, with one ear raised up and the other flopped down.
We had found Patch at an animal rescue center, and our boys fell in love with him. (I felt it was because of how he cocked his head when they spoke to him.)
Patch had unlimited energy, and my husband and I felt that our quarter-acre property would give him enough space. Our garden was surrounded on three sides by a six-foot wall and a solid hedge in front.
We had not bargained that Patch had a very naughty side to his nature, which came as a surprise. My husband and I were at work each day and our teenage sons were off to school, this resulted in Patch having a fair time on his own.
A day or two after joining our family, we heard Patch barking and someone screaming. We all left the breakfast table, rushing outside to see what was causing the raucous. Well, if it weren’t for the severity of the situation, I would have laughed until my sides ached at what I saw. There was our Milkman on the roof of his cart screaming for help! Patch was not in the least bit concerned as he was busy lapping up milk from broken milk bottles that crashed to the ground as the Milkman made a hasty retreat to his cart.
While I consoled the Milkman, our boys took Patch indoors. A neighbor casually mentioned to my husband that he saw Patch sitting on top of the wall each day. We could not believe that Patch could climb the wall. One day, the two of us watched him skirt up and sit on top of the wall. From that post, he had a birds-eye view of the goings-on in the neighborhood.
The best was yet to come. While walking out the gate, on my way to the bus stop one morning, Patch tried to follow me. I shooed him back into the yard. As my bus arrived, there was Patch, head cocked and tail wagging happily. He tried to follow me onto the bus. Once more, I chased him off and sat down, relieved. Now the bus driver began hooting furiously. I stood up to see what was happening. There was Patch, sitting in front of the bus, refusing to move. “Lady, you will have to get off the bus and take your dog home, please,” the driver was furious.
For about a week, all was calm with Patch, and I was hoping he had turned over a new leaf. No more chasing the Milkman, no more lying down in front of the bus.
But wait, better is yet to come. One Friday evening, as I returned home from work, I noticed a piece of clothing on the front lawn. Picking it up, I was shocked; it was a pair of black lace nickers! I was horrified, suspecting the worst of my sons.
I spoke to my husband about my find, and we agreed to have a stern talking to our two boys after supper.
We called them in and pointed to the pair of nickers on the coffee table. “What’s this all about then?” My husband asked, pointing to the underwear. My eldest stated, “Nothing to do with me, Dad.” The younger made a similar response.
“Right then, lads, since you have nothing better to say, you are gated until I get the truth.” The boys, with shoulders hung, were followed by Patch, tail between legs, left the room.
The next day, as I was cleaning the lounge, something caught my eye. It was Patch jumping down the wall from our neighbor’s side. He strutted across the lawn, proud as punch, with a pair of nickers in his mouth. I ran out front shouting at him. He darted around the back, like lightning, through the kitchen, upstairs to the bedrooms, and made his way under our eldest’s bed.
We all stood around the bed as the boys tried to persuade Patch to come out. We moved the bed finally. “Look at this, Mum,” our younger exclaimed.
Under the bed, was a collection of nickers and bra’s, with Patch standing protectively over them.
“Looks like we’ve found the culprit,” my husband offered sheepishly.
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