“ Peppermint Was Gossiping “                   by   Bettyboo

 Peppermint was only 4 weeks old when I caught her gossiping with the other puppies. At first I thought she was cleaning Jwu Jwu's ear, but as I got closer I realized she was talking about me.

"Look at her. How come she's so big? She doesn't have a pretty coat like ours either. Let's ask Mommy what she is. Mommy, what is that thing with no hair, no ears and stands on 2 feet? Mommy do you like her?"

"Well actually Peppermint, I love her. And she's called a human. Humans don't have pretty coats like we do. She does look strange, she talks funny and smells different, but before long, all of you will understand her like I do. Plus she takes good care of me and she'll do the same with you. Ok. Don't be afraid. She won't hurt you."

Even this reassurance didn't stop Peppermint from talking about me every time I walked by.

"Hey, what is she doing now? I don't think I like her. Mommy said I should, but I don’t. Do yall like her?"

"Yeah I do! She gives us hugs and kisses and I like that!", said Alien, the biggest one of the bunch.

"Me too." said Mo'Joe, Full Moon, Santa Fe, Jwu Jwu, and Silk.

"But Mo'Joe, she yelled at you when you chewed on her shoe. And Alien, she won't let you go with her when she takes Mommy away. She takes Mommy away every day and we never know if she's coming back. That's not right! I cry when Mommy leaves."

"Mint it's ok. Remember Mommy told us that she goes running with her human every day. She loves it. Mommy said that when we are older, the human will take us running too."

"But I want to go right now and so do you Alien. How about the rest of you? I say we get out of here. Lets run out the door the moment she opens it. Whose with me?"

"I am, I am" said everyone.

When their Mommy and I returned from running in the park, I opened the door and got a big surprise. All 7 babies were at the door and tried to storm past me as we came in. I had to act fast to grab up each of them, while their Mommy scolded them for trying to get out.

"What in the world are you doing? Don't you know you can get hurt or lost out there! I told you to stay in your beds and wait til we got back. Whose idea was this? Huh, was it yours Alien?"

"No Mommy, but since I'm the big dog, I'll take full responsibility!"

"Ok, then everyone is on punishment. Our human will not give yall hugs and kisses for a whole day!"

"Aw Mom that's not fair! We just wanted to go with you."

"Mommy, it wasn't Alien. It was me, Peppermint. I get scared when the human takes you away and I don't know if you're coming back."

"Listen to me; I'll always come back to my babies. And our human is a good person. She would never hurt you or me. And since all of you are growing so fast, it won't be long before you can go running with us. Ok? But in the meantime, you can't go outside by yourself. It's too dangerous. Besides, we take you out everyday too. You like walking in the yard don't you? Wanna go out now and roll on the soft grass?"

"Yeah", everyone said. 

"Ok, I'll just look at my human and she'll know what I want. Watch how I do this so you can learn too. Ok?"

She was right; I knew exactly what she wanted. I put the puppies on the floor, went out to lock the gate, then let all of them folic and roll on the grass. Before long they were exhausted and ready to eat. Their Mommy feed them and they went to sleep. 

From that day on, Peppermint stopped gossiping about me. In fact, we became good friends.

Now she licks my hand and jumps up and down every time I return home. Ain't doggies grand!