Fred did not like being tied up outside the store. He was afraid of the noises the cars made. He tried not to pay attention to them. He turned his back on the road.
He liked to watch the people walking by. If anyone got too close, he jumped on them and slurped his tongue across their faces or hands. So many interesting tastes and smells!
‘Oh, look, there’s a little boy!’ He jumped up onto the giggling child and licked his face two or three times before he got pushed down. Mmmmmm. Tastes like bubblegum and toast and egg and milk!
‘Oh, look, there’s a man!’ The man quickly side-stepped Fred’s eager jump at the last moment.
“Ruff!” Fred huffed, in frustration.
‘Oh, no, a flea!’ Fred dropped into a scratching pose and quickly scratching the side of his neck. ‘Stop biting me, flea!’
The bell above the door on the ice cream shop jangled, and Fred turned eagerly as the door opened. A woman came out carrying an ice cream, and Fred wagged his tail, hopefully.
“Shoo, doggy!” she scolded, pushing past him.
Fred sat back down to wait. A few minutes later the bell jangled again, and Fred jumped to his feet when his owner came out, carrying a large ice cream and talking to another little girl. Fred hopped up and down, panting and yipping to get her attention.
“Not now, Fred,” she said, holding the ice cream higher as she bent down to unhook his leash. “I’ll give you some in a few minutes.”
Fred bounced along happily beside her as they turned to start up the sidewalk.
“Where are you going?” his owner asked the other little girl.
“The park,” the girl said.
“I will walk with you. Fred likes the park.”
‘Oh, boy, the park!’ Fred thought, ‘Squirrels! Maybe I can chase squirrels!’
“Aren’t you going to eat your ice cream?” his owner asked the other girl, “It’s melting.”
“It’s not for me,” the girl said.
“Who’s it for?”
“Oh, why doesn’t he come get his own?” his owner asked.
“He’s got Alz-meyers,” the other girl said.
Fred had gotten tired of waiting for his ice cream so he circled around in front of his owner and tried to jump up into her face.
“Fred!” she shrieked, “Stop that!”
“He wants some ice cream,” the other girl giggled, “I think you’d better give him some.”
“Bad puppy,” his owner sighed, but she used her hand to scoop off a bit of the ice cream and it plopped down onto the sidewalk in front of Fred.
He was so excited he gobbled it up in mere seconds.
“Wow, that was fast,” the other girl said.
“He’s a pig,” his owner said, starting to walk again. “What did you say your Grandpa has?”
“He’s not really my Grandpa, but he’s lonely and likes ice cream. He has Alz-meyers. He gets confused.”
“Oh,” Fred’s owner said, “Can I meet him?”
“Sure,” the other girl said, “There he is now – on the park bench. Grandpa, I brought someone to meet you!”
Fred was so excited to reach the park, and he was so glad to see a man sitting still right where he could jump onto his lap and lick his face. Oh, boy, he tasted like ice cream!
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