In which Yellow goes camping

by Lorin Michel Sunday, October 9, 2016 8:30 PM

So Riley has a new toy. It’s an oversized, stuffed Crayola crayon that we have dubbed Yellow for obvious reasons. It’s brighter than the sun. We got it just days ago, from PetCo. Every time I go to PetCo to buy dog food, which is roughly once a month, I also stock up on whatever cookies-treats we’re low on and I usually buy a toy. Our little blonde nut goes through toys fairly quickly. Excited to get something new, he sits as I remove tags and stickers, his tail sweeping the floor, his eyes hyper-focused. He vibrates with anticipation. Finally, the time comes. I present the toy always by naming it as I give it to him. We started that habit with Maguire. We introduce toys with a name in the hope that when we say “go get Yellow” or “get Wubba” he has at least a clue as to what – who? – we’re asking for. 

Riley sniffs, licks and then grabs the toy, rising, turning and racing off into the center of the house. He whips the new toy back and forth, growls and then settles down to start chewing, squeaking, destroying. We try to distract him, but we’re not always successful. If a toy can make it 24 hours, it has a chance of making it for a week or two. If not, it’s usually gone within the hour. 

Yellow was purchased in the reduced price bin because of the destruction factor. Yellow was $4. We like Yellow. More importantly, Riley likes Yellow. After the ceremonial handoff in the kitchen, he and Yellow have become nearly inseparable. Yellow gets carried around the house. Riley sits at the front door, watching out through the glass, holding Yellow. When we go out to pee, Yellow comes with us. It’s his new BFF. Oh sure, he still loves Wubba, but Yellow is bright, shiny –


Where was I? 

Ah, yes. Yellow and Riley, sitting in a tree, p-l-a-y-i-n-g. They were out on the deck last night, Riley down on the tile, looking out over the deck, a sphynx overseeing his desert. Yellow was next to him, not really paying much attention to the desert, content to be with his new friend. 

I’m sure if Yellow could talk, he would have gushed about how excited he was to be in his new home, how much he loved his new friend, and how great the desert was. In fact, he didn’t have to gush. Because Yellow actually decided to go and explore it a bit. In other words, Yellow went camping. 

I went out to check on Riley and he was standing at the railing, looking down and whining. I went to look and there was Yellow down on the rocks. 

“We have a Yellow down,” I called to Kevin. “We have a Yellow down.” Good dad that he is, he laced up his hiking shoes and trudged down under the house, down onto the rip rap to rescue hapless Yellow. He handed him up to me through the railing and I promptly handed the toy back to Riley who was overjoyed. 

Within two minutes, Yellow had been tossed and nosed off of the deck again, this time rolling under some of the brush down below. Riley stood and whined. Kevin and I looked over and shook our heads. 

The sun had gone down and there was little natural light. We tried to explain to Riley that it was probably best for Yellow to stay outside overnight… 


… that we’d be sure to get him in the morning … 

*whine wine * 

… right after our walk. 

*whine whine sniff snort whine yip* 

I guess this is what happens when a best friend decides to go camping and leaves his puppy behind. There’s a lesson in there someplace. I’m just not sure where.


Postscript: Yellow was successfully rescued this morning making a certain puppy very happy indeed.

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