At 2:30 a.m. this morning, Miss Dionne started whining and yipping. “Quiet!” I snarled at her. She moaned; gave a few tentative barks. But Steve had noted that she’d peed and pooped on her last excursion of the evening, so we knew this couldn’t be a true emergency. “DON’T!” I told her. And sure enough, the noises stopped.

It took both of us a long time to get to sleep again. When I finally did, I fell into a troubled dream. Steve and I were staying at a hotel in Pacific Beach that, improbably, had a river running through the back of the property. I knew it was Rose Creek, which in reality is a miserable stream with a reputation for being loaded with industrial chemicals. But it looked like a river in my dream, and I was startled when Steve and Dionne waded in and started splashing around. After a while, he dried her off with a ratty old towel, and later, in the hotel lounge, I found her with Steve and several other dogs who were also staying at the hotel. Amidst the chaos, I lost track of the two of them. So I went up to our hotel room, where I discovered he was taking a bath, and she was romping around the room. I did a double take. It wasn’t Dionne at all, but some larger mostly black dog (part Giant Airedale, it seemed to me.) I was livid that he had confused Dionne up with this mongrel.

The real Dionne’s ear tattoo.  She’s #609.

Unperturbed, Steve shrugged off the mix-up. He could probably find Dionne if he asked the front desk which other guest had gotten the wrong dog. If worse came to worst, he added, we could create a fake tattoo in the ear of the Airedale/Retriever. CCI probably wouldn’t catch on.

I’m not sure what happened after that. But I didn’t sleep well for the rest of the night. Dionne, on the other hand, seems perkier than ever.

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