My heart races and my tail nervously wags as I trot along the thing my humans call a dock. This always happens when it’s sunny, there is a nice breeze, and Mom is finished sitting in her office. She gathers a water bottle, hat, sunscreen, her Yeti waterproof pouch for her phone, and walks to the place where she keeps the sail and life vests. She slowly fastens everything to the mesh trampoline deck of the Hobie Wave, raises the colorful sail, unties the lines, and floats farther and farther away. There is only one thing I can do—pace and whine until she returns.
What is it? What is across that huge body of water that takes her away from her best friend—me?
But today is like no other day. She is set to go, and I have swum out to the boat three times as she pulls the sail up the mast. This time, she hops off the floating contraption she calls a sailboat and pulls it close to the steps. I look around for her friend who doesn’t like getting wet, knowing she isn’t here. Then why? Why is she holding the boat to the dock?
“Lilly! Lilly, do you want to go with me?” Mom says.
I leap from the water, race up the steps, shake off, and prance over to her. My heart is thumping, and my tail is simply out of control. Today the choice seems to be all mine!
Do I jump on the boat and travel across this huge lake, or stay behind with Dad and whine and pace only to dream of the place’s Mom goes?
My heart pounds harder and my legs quiver, but in a flash, not thinking of any consequences, I jump off the dock like Santa’s reindeer flying off our roof at Christmas.
I’m going sailing!
Mom is holding onto the hull and pushing the little sailboat out deeper, farther away from the shoreline, as a very worrisome thought crosses my mind. Am I going out alone?! As my paws are placed firmly—okay, frozen—to the deck of this small boat, quickly I decide to get closer to Mom and whine. Then she jumps aboard, but now I am in the way so that there is a little bobble in her plan. As she inches on, I inch back, and then she grabs the sail line and the rudder thing. Now we are moving as Dad stands on the dock and waves goodbye to us.
What have I done?!
Well, I’m going to the great unknown with Mom, and there is no turning back now. The wind blows harder, which feels like driving in the car with the window down and I love that feeling. However, I feel the cold lake water splash under my body. Unbeknownst to me, this boat deck is not a solid deck at all! Does Mom know it feels like we are skimming on top of the water? Does she not think we will fall through these tiny holes and be lost in the middle of the lake?
I look at her to get an answer, but she says, “Lilly, are you having fun?” Before I can answer, she says, “Good girl!” and rubs my head and neck.
Oh, she knows how I love it when she pets me like that!
Realizing I am not panting nor shaking or quivering, I begin to enjoy skimming on top of the water. I listen to the water splash and the soft wind blow over my face, thinking, I am sailing! I am with Mom, exploring the lake! It’s a good day, and I’m a good dog! Now I don’t have to just dream of sailing. Mom will actually take me with her!
When I wrote the If Pets Could Talk series, I had stories like this in mind. However, they became simple “one-liner” thoughts that have been enjoyed by all ages. What do you think of a story told by a pet? When you look at your pet, can you tell what they are thinking?