by Roberta Denn
You can name me Lollie. . . . . .
The sun was starting to set on a Friday evening, many years ago. With no air conditioning coming through the room on a hot summer’s night, the windows had been propped open all the way, with the screens doing their magic and allowing the warm air to come through the wire holes.
Jolene and Chloe Dash, just kids, 3-years apart, were taking turns holding a skinny, green hairbrush, while standing on a blanket, their makeshift stage. Most people who hold a hairbrush would use it for what it’s made for…brushing a mane of hair…but not these sisters. They were on a mission that evening. That hairbrush would become the center prop for their nighttime concert! Chloe, the older and light brown-haired sister, put the music on, and they took turns singing into the hairbrush to perform their hearts out for each other. As the girls were putting on their spectacular show, their beige shaggy dog, Lollie, laid on the blanket and watched them, enjoying the company of her human sisters, but eventually fell asleep to the music they were blaring.
When it was time for bed, Lollie woke back up and jumped on Jolene’s bed. Jolene, younger than her sister with dark brown hair, gave her tons of kisses goodnight and Lollie loved every minute of it. But, Lollie had enough for the evening and showed it by yawning and laying down in the bed surrounded with stuffed animals.
Saturday morning came quickly. The Dash sisters were not early risers. Lollie learned their routine and made sure to sleep in as well. After a couple more hours of sleep, Lollie woke up and needed to go outside. She made her way up by Jolene’s pillow and stared at her, hoping she would wake up. When nothing happened, Lollie snorted through her nostrils and whimpered. This stirred Jolene and Lollie could see Jolene’s eyes open a little. Lollie went for the gusto and licked Jolene’s cheek. This was SURE to get her up. Jolene wiped the slobber from her cheek and opened her eyes, smiling. Lollie was staring right at her and whimpered again, trying to tell Jolene that she had to go outside and potty. Petting the top of her head, Jolene struggled to sit up and completely wake up to take the dog outside. As they made it to the back door, Jolene took the bright pink leash that was tied to the house and secured it to Lollie’s collar. It was long enough for Lollie to stroll around in the backyard and enjoy the fresh air and freshly-cut green grass.
By early afternoon, the Dash girls were dressed and ready to start their day. Their daddy had given them some glass bottles to bring back to the store and recycle for money. Excited to earn a few extra dollars for their pockets, Chloe and Jolene threw their matching jean jackets on and kissed their mom’s cheek goodbye.
“We’ll be back in a little while Mom.” Chloe said.
Mom replied, “Take Lollie with you. She’s been outside all morning by herself.”
When Chloe and Jolene got the wagon ready, they unhooked Lollie from her leash and put her into the wagon, before placing the glass bottles that were being recycled. Lollie panted and looked as though she was smiling from ear to floppy ear. Chloe patted her head, but that was about the extent to paying attention to Lollie as they made their way to earn a few extra dollars for the day. The shaggy dog didn’t mind one bit. She was just happy to go with her human sisters. As the wagon took off, Lollie closed her eyes and felt the summer breeze while listening to the girls chit chat. This was the best day ever for the shaggy dog.
The next day Chloe was brushing her feathered hair with her green “microphone” brush. She was singing in the mirror as she was stroking her locks. Jolene walked in on her and laughed as she watched her older sister’s reflection in the mirror.
“Oh, hey Jolene! I didn’t know you were there.” A touch of pink hit Chloe’s cheeks, in embarrassment, being caught.
Jolene made a silly face at her sister, because she idolized her and would usually ALWAYS be where her sister was. Just then, Lollie pounced into the doorway, barking at the sisters.
“I think someone has to go outside. Oh Lollie, do you want to go outside? Can you sit?” Lollie obeyed the Dash sister but quickly got out of the sitting position and ran to the back door. Jolene brought Lollie outside and clicked the leash to her collar. She then went back inside and asked Chloe, “Hey sis, do you want to go for a wagon ride again? I can pull you or you can pull me. We can take turns!”
Chloe thought about it for a minute. She had no other plans other than listening to the radio. “Sure, why not!”
Chole told their mom that they were going to walk around the neighborhood and would be back soon. Their mom was watching a soap opera on T.V. and just waved them on, giving a quick grin. Chloe and Jolene ran to the garage and grabbed the bright red wagon. Chloe jumped in. Just as Jolene was about to pull the wagon, they heard a loud whimper. The sisters looked at one another and asked at the same time, “What was that?” The whining got louder, and Jolene grabbed the handle of the wagon and headed towards the back of the house. It was then that the girls saw Lollie. She was all tangled up in her own leash. She started jumping and barking. Her ears were wagging from side to side. The girls had never seen her act this way. Chloe jumped out of the wagon and went over to Lollie patting her back, “It’s ok girl. We’ll be right back.” Jolene grabbed the handle again and Chloe jumped back in the wagon yelling, “Let’s gooooooo!!!!” As Jolene tugged the wagon towards her, the barking and yelping got louder and more determined. The girls turned their heads to see Lollie out of breath and on her hind legs reaching her paws out to the sky.
“What in the world is going on out here?” The girls then turned their heads together towards the back door and saw Momma Dash with her head sticking out. “What are you girls doing to Lollie?”
“Ummm, nothing.” The girls stared blankly at their mom and then back at Lollie. FINALLY, it hit Jolene all at once. Jolene went into motion with a smirk on her face as she grabbed the handle and started walking away from the house. Chloe looked confused as she was being pulled away from her mom and Lollie. But Jolene had a determined look on her face and was definitely up to something. Lollie couldn’t take it anymore. She cried at the top of her lungs.
This made Jolene stop in her tracks and laugh hysterically. “I KNEW IT!! Lollie loved the wagon ride so much yesterday she’s trying to tell us she wants to come with us!” Jolene giggled with delight because this is what she was thinking a few minutes earlier.
Chole jumped back out of the wagon and unleashed Lollie. She lifted her up and said, “Do you want to come with us Lols? You love the wagon?” Lollie licked Chloe’s cheeks and jumped out of her arms. She ran circles around the Dash sisters and ran right for the wagon. Within seconds she hopped right in and barked with those floppy ears flapping from side to side.
The Dash girls laughed with delight at this new discovery.
The sisters and Lollie got situated with the wagon as Momma Dash went back to finish her soap opera. Jolene gripped the handle for the last time and headed down the sidewalk with her two best friends in tow. There were tons of laughs and licks in that wagon ride that day.
*** *** *** ***
Years later, when Jolene and Chloe were adults, having children of their own, Jolene was sitting on the couch as she was watching television. A commercial came on. There was a shaggy beige dog sitting in a wheelbarrow with a young girl, pushing it around as the dogs’ ears flopped from side to side. That dog looked like he was having the time of his life playing with that girl, rolling in the wheelbarrow. A memory shot into Jolene’s head, remembering the day she was pulling the wagon with her sister and sweet dog.
“Oh wow, Jolene said out loud. “This commercial reminds me of Lollie!” Jolene reminisced for a moment in her head and a big smile came across her face. She grabbed her cell phone and started texting her sister. “Hey Chloe, you’ll never believe what I just saw on the T.V.!” She typed about the commercial and how it made her think of Lollie, and that long-ago wagon ride.
Her sister replied with a “wink” 😉 and “heart” ❤ emoji, texting, “I’m so glad we figured out that day that she loved wagon rides. We definitely made sure to give her plenty of them!”
This time Jolene replied with the same “wink” 😉 and “heart” ❤ emoji her sister sent her but added the “dog” 🐶 emoji with it.
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