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Puggy Loventine

Sandee was sitting at the kitchen table working on a poem for Rob for Valentine Day. Olive came in and watched how serious mama looked.

“Mama, whatcha doin?” she asked.

“Making up a romantic poem for papa for Valentine’s Day,” Sandee said.

“What’s that?” she asked and sat right at her feet.

“The poem or Valentine’s Day?” she asked.

“Valentine’s Day,” she said.

“Well, there’s a history behind it and you might find it boring,” she said, “but what people do is extra nice things for other people they love or care about or have a crush on.”

“Like what kind of things?” she asked and Sandee picked her up to sit on her lap.

“Well, people send cars with nice sayings, or draw pictures, write poems, send flowers, and the biggest thing is chocolate,” she said.

“So that’s why yer writing for papa?” she asked.

“Yep,” Sandee said and Olive watched as she worked on the poem.

“Why did you put X’s and O’s there?” she asked.

“X’s are meant for hugs and O’s are meant for kisses,” she said.

“Oh,” Olive said and she was getting ideas in her head.

She got off of Sandee’s lap and headed to her room.

“Olive, come on, time for our walk,” Sandee hollered, “come on boys.”

All three pugs came barreling in with excitement.  Rob helped put their harnesses and leashes.  They grabbed what they need for the park and left.

It was a very sunny Sunday that day and the dog park was busy.  They, luckily, found a spot right near the park entrance.   They got out of the car and as soon as the pug’s feet hit the ground, they darted toward the park; almost taking Rob off of his feet.  Sandee got the dog kit out of the backseat.  They got only two toes past the gate and off Fosse, Java and Olive went.

“Get back here!” Rob hollered, “we need to take your leashes off!”

He ran after the boys and Sandee ran after Olive.  She didn’t have to go far, Olive was visiting with a family to the right a little.

“Hi, we grabbed he to stop because we saw you coming for her,” Helen said.

“Oh thank you so much,” Sandee said out-of-breath, “I’m Sandee and this escape artist is Olive.”

“Nice to meet you both,” Helen said and handed Sandee the leash, “my name is Helen, this is my niece Annie and this is our Boots,” she said.

“Nice to meet you all,” she said.

Annie was a very cute, pale and freckled face, red headed 9 year old and Boots was a male white Bulldog with black half-way up his legs.

“I see why you named him Boots, very cute,” Sandee said.

“Can I pet Olive?” Annie asked.

“Yes, that was very nice of you to ask,” Sandee said and Annie knelt down to pet Olive.

“She’s so cute,” Annie said, “I love her face.”

“Thank you,” Olive said in a woo-woo sound.

“Olive says thank you and she loves your freckles,” Sandee said.

“I love pug Olive, can I give her a hug?” she asked.

“Sure, she’d love that,” Sandee said, “oh my gosh, she’s so cute,” she said to Helen.

Just then Olive started to lick her face like crazy and Boots pushed his way in-between them.

“Looks like someone’s jealous,’ Helen said, “Boots, no no.”

“I agree,” Sandee said and Olive started to lick Boot’s face.

“Awww,” both of them said.

Helen and Sandee talked about whatever came up and they both noticed that Olive kept close to Boots; no matter what other dog came up to them and wanted to play, she never left his side.  They charged across the park over to Rob and the boys.

“Boots, these are my brothers, Fosse and Java,” Olive said introducing them, “guys, this is Boots.”

“Hi,” they all said to each other.

“What’s up?” Fosse asked.

“Oh nuthin,” Boots said, “I’m here with my mama Helen and my auntie Annie.”

“That’s so cool,” Java said as he picked his face up from the mud.

“Ewww, Java, dirty,” Olive squealed.

Java went to give Olive a huge, muddy kiss.

“Stay away from me!” she hollered and ran across the park and they all followed her.

The four of them played for about an hour and Boots never seem to leave her side; even when the boys went elsewhere for a little while.  Sandee and Rob made the rounds to talk to other people there.  They hollered for the pugs.

“Helen, here’s our number if you ever want to call us and tell us when you’ll be here,” Sandee said and handed her paper with their number on it.

“That’s great, we don’t know many people here, thanks,” Helen said and gave them her phone number, “I think Boots will like that alot.”

“Us to,” Rob and Sandee said at the same time.

While Fosse, Java and Olive got leashed,  Helen leashed Boots as well and they all walked out the their cars together.

“Bye Boots,” Olive and the boys said.

“Bye Olive,” Boots said and nuzzles her just before they separated to their cars.

As soon as Helen, Annie and Boots got in the car, he pressed his nose to the window and whined as he watched Olive get in her car.

“Aunt Helen, I think Boots has a crush on Olive,” she said.

“I do too,” Helen said and smiled.

“Oh my gosh, that’s so cute,” she said, “do you think we could have puppy play time with them some day?”

“I have their phone number, maybe so,” she said and they drove away.

The muddy pugs piled in Rob’s car and Sandee just sighed.

“Everyone gets a bath today, car included,” she said.

“Mama, you’re funny,” Java said, “we don’t have a tub big enough.”

“Olive’s got a boyfriend,” Fosse said in a teasing tone of voice to Olive.

“Shuddup, I do not,” she said slightly embarrassed.

“Olive’s got a boyfriend, Olive’s got a boyfriend,” Fosse and Java said together in a singsong tone teasing her.

“Ok boys, knock it off,” Rob said.

They drove off and got home quick.  As soon as they got in the door, Olive went into her room and shut the door.

“Geez, girls,” Fosse said and rolled his eyes.

“Hey, don’t tease your sister,” Sandee said, “one day it will be you that likes someone.”

“Yeah Fosse,” Java said and started snickering and making kissing noises.

“You too Java,” Rob said.

“Yeah, you too,” Fosse said to Java, “neener neener neener.”

“Ok that’s enough from both of you,” Sandee said sternly.

“Ok mama,” they both said.

Olive got out all her art supplies and started making pictures and tried writing something.  Each time someone walked by her room they’d hear rustling around and moans.  Sandee started making dinner for everyone and Rob got the boys un-harnessed.  He reached into his coat pocket before taking it off and found a folded piece of paper in it.  He took it out, unfolded it and it said, “you are my fav person” in red crayon.  He looked over at Sandee in the kitchen and smiled.  He thought was a cute and sweet thing she did.  He didn’t say anything because he thought it was some soft of surprise thing coming for Valentine Day.

The next day the phone rang and it was Helen.

“Hello,” Sandee answered.

“Sandee?” Helen asked, “this is Helen from the park yesterday.”

“Oh hi,” she said happily, “it’s so nice to hear from you.”

“We were wondering if you and the pugs were going to the park today,” she continued, “Annie and Boots have been bugging me about wanting to see you all.”

“Yes, we will be there,” she said, “well, I’ll be there with the pugs, Rob has to work late.”

“Oh great, Boots will be extra excited,” she said.

“Ok, we’ll leave as soon as I get them ready,” Sandee said.

“See you soon,” Helen said and hung up.

Sandee grabbed the harnesses and leashes and turned to see Olive with hers in her mouth already.

“You know where we’re going don’t you?” she asked her with giggle in her voice.

Olive and Fosse’s curly tail was wagging back and forth in a tan blur; Java just sat there calmly waiting.   They got everything on,  Sandee grabbed the dog bag and they were off.

 

They got to the park and it was pretty empty.  Sandee smartly took their leashes off in the car because she knew as soon as the car door was open, they’d dash into the park.  She opened the door and she was right.  They got to the gate and feverously wagged their tails until someone opened the gate door.  Annie recognized the pugs and ran to open the door. Boots ran after her because he knew that Olive was there.  They all sniffed each other in a tight circle and then Fosse and Java were off running everywhere; after each other, after a few other dogs that were there and chasing scents in the air.

“Hi Olive,” Boots said with his head lowered.

“Hi Boots,” she said and gave him a hug.

He nuzzled her with his head.

“Hi Olive,” Annie said in a high pitched, excited tone.

“Hi Annie,” Olive said.

“I’m so happy you guys came,” she said.

“Me too,” Olive said.

“Me three,” Boots said and nuzzled Olive again.

“Hee hee hee hee hee,” giggled Olive.

Annie, Boots and Olive played and chased each other around for a little while, while Helen and Sandee chatted.

“Here Boots!” Helen hollered and motioned for him to her.

“Must be time to go home,” Annie said and they ran over to her.

“Good boy,” Helen said to Boots and she pulled a dog treat out of her pocket to reward him.

He took it gently with his lips, dropped it on the ground and nosed it over to Olive.

“Awwww,” the three said at the same time.

“Here,” Boots said to Olive, “happy valentine day.”

“You are so sweet Boots,” she said, “thank you.  Would you share it with me?”

“Ok,” he said with an upbeat tone.

“Wow, that’s incredible,” Helen said in amazement.

“What?” Sandee asked.

“He never, and I mean never, shares his treats with anyone,” she said.

Olive bit the treat in half and nudged half to Boots.  They both crunched and sat close to each other.

“But it’s not valentine’s yet,” Olive said.

“Well, I just wanted to in case I don’t see you on the day,” he said.

“Oh my pugness, you are so nice,” she said and nuzzled him quickly.

Everyone said their goodbyes and Sandee stayed a little longer.  She called the boys to her, they got leashed at went home.

When they got home and got inside, Rob was finally home, showered and laying on the couch.  He had fallen asleep with the TV on and snoring lightly.   Olive went up to him, very quietly, and licked his cheek.

“Oh hi baby girl,” he said softly as he opened his eyes.

“Hi papa,” she said.

“Did you eat yet?” Sandee asked as she un-harnessed to pugs.

“Yes,” he said.

“Hard day?” she asked.

“Yes, we did two jobs and that’s why I’m late,” he said fighting to keep awake.

“Why don’t you go to bed and I’ll make your lunch for tomorrow and leave it in the fridge,” she suggested and Rob dragged himself to bed.

“Thank you honey,” he said as he walked away.

Fosse and Java walked with him to his room.

“Olive’s got a boyfriend,” Java said.

“Really?” Rob asked as he crawled into bed.

“Yep,” Fosse confirmed.

“Hey you two, let papa get to sleep,” Sandee hollered from the kitchen, “come on out of there!”

“Tell me about it later ok?” Rob said.

“Ok,” they both said and left the room.

Sandee got to making Rob’s lunch for the next day while the pugs quietly played in the living room.  Eventually, everyone went to bed.

Rob got up the next day at the break of dawn and was out the door before anyone else in the house woke up.  He’d start the coffee right away and by the time a pot was done brewing, he’d be cleaned up, dressed, eaten something quick, and grabbed his lunch.  That day flew by for him and all the guys he worked with.  They had one big parking lot to pave.  When it was lunch break, his tummy was growling.  He sat in his car, out of the sun and opened his lunch.  He took out his sandwich and there was a small sticky note on it that said, “like a happy peanut butter and jelly, you put a giggle in my belly.”

“Sandee, I just love you so much,” Rob said out-loud and giggled.

He ate lunch, finished doing what he could before the rain started.  Meanwhile at home, the pugs kept bugging Sandee to call Helen and go to the park.  She looked outside and it got dark quick.  Shortly after that, it started to rain.

“Nope, no park today, it’s raining pretty hard,” she said and looked at three sad and droopy pug faces and chuckled, “oh my, you three look sad. What are we gonna do now?”

“Can they come over?” Olive asked.

“No, I don’t want to be a pest,” she said.

“Please, please, please, please,” all three begged.

“No,” she said firmly and the phone rang.

Sandee answered it, talked for a short time and hung up. She didn’t say anything to them about who was on the phone; she didn’t want to get them worked up, but Helen, Annie and Boots were coming over.  Fosse and Java sat and watched TV and Olive helped Sandee with a poem for papa for valentine day.

“Is this the same one from before?” Olive asked.

“No, a new one,” she said.

“Wow,” Olive said with her eyes wide, “that’s alot.”

A few minutes later there was a knock at the door.  The pugs watched as Sandee went to answer the door and let Boots lead in Annie and Helen.  Olive was so excited, she lay down and rolled over while she did her woo woo sounds.  Fosse and Java were excited that Annie was there because they really liked her and started licking her as soon as she got in the house.   Annie brought a book with her and wanted to read it to the dogs.

Sandee set out some food and drinks for her, Helen and Annie and put out some dog treats as well.  Annie sat in the middle of the living room floor and the dogs sat on the floor near her.  Helen and Sandee sit at the kitchen table adjacent to that area and watched as Annie put the book in her lap and read the story.  They got a kick out of watching her put some drama to the story and the dogs seems to like it because all their attention never left Annie.  They also noticed the Olive and Boots sat very close to each other.

“How bout some snacks?” Sandee asked out-loud.

“Yes, we have worked up quite an appetite after that story,” Annie said very seriously.

Sandee made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into heart shapes and other finger foods for the humans and all kinds of small heart-shaped cookies for the dogs.  Rob walked in a little while later, soaked.  He greeted everyone as he walked to the bedroom to change.

“Well ladies and gentlemen, how is everyone today?” he asked.

“Ok, alright, fine,” everyone answered.

“A short, but wet day always makes me hungry,” he said, “what should we all do for dinner?”

“Pizza!” all dogs said at the same time.

Helen started to get up and grab her things to leave.

“Would you and the crew like to stay for pizza?” Sandee asked Helen.

“Is that ok?” she asked.

“Definitely,” she said, “I’ll go to the store and get some pop and juice.”

Sandee put her coat on, grabbed car keys and went to the store.  She got two types of juice and three different flavors of pop.  While standing in line to pay, she noticed small bags of valentine heart candies with words on them where the candy was.  She grabbed four and got them with the drinks.  She put them in her pocket so they wouldn’t be in the bag for Rob to see.  She got home just in time for the pizza’s to be delivered.

She got inside and everyone had plates, cups, napkins and other things ready. They all poured drinks and dove into the pizza.  They all ate, talked and laughed at stories they shared.  It got late and Helen had to get the three of them home before anyone got tired.

“Thank you so much for having us over,” Helen said.

“It was our fun and pleasure,” Rob said, “thanks for staying.”

“I love you, I love you, I love you,” Annie said to each pug as she kissed them on the top of their head.

Boots leaned over and gave Olive a huge kiss.  She blushed and giggled.  She gave him a peck on the cheek in return.

“Awwwww,” everyone said together.

“Oh stop it!” Boots said.

Everyone said their goodnight’s and Rob cleaned up the table and put everything else in the fridge.

“Will you, pretty please, take the garbage out and to the curb?” Sandee asked Rob sweetly as she handed him his coat.

“Yes, I guess so,” he said and winked.

Rob put his coat on, tied up the kitchen garbage and took it outside.  He set it on the curb and put his hands in his coat pocket as he walked to the house.  There was something in his right pocket.  He pulled out three small bags of valentine heart candy that had love messages on them.  Rob smiled big and kept it to himself because valentine’s day was only two more days away.  He wanted to take Sandee out for a very romantic dinner to celebrate and thank her for all the little gifts.  He thought maybe all these little gifts was leading up to something big.

He got inside and Sandee was putting the pugs to bed.

“Mama, could we have a valentine party this weekend?” Olive asked her while she was getting tucked in.

“Sure, what were you thinking?” she asked.

“Well, a small one with Annie and Boots and their mama,” she said.

“That’s a great idea!” she said, “let’s talk details tomorrow.”

“Yeah, thank you,” she said excited, “and will you help me make a special present for someone special?”

“I would love to,” she said with a smirk on her face.

“I love you so much mama,” she said and kissed Sandee.

“Oh baby O, I love you too,” she said and kissed her back.

“Ok, don’t tell anyone about the present thing, K?” she asked.

“K, it will be our thing,” she said and turned out the light.

Sandee walked out of Olive’s room snickering.

“What’s so funny?” Rob asked.

“Girl stuff,” Sandee said.

They locked the house up, turned off the lights and went to bed themselves.

The next day, Rob took the boys to work that day and Sandee and Olive planned the party.

“Should we send something in the mail to let them know?” Olive asked.

“Nope, it won’t get to them early enough,” Sandee said, “we’ll just call them.”

“What should we eat?” she asked.

“I’m going to let you decide the menu, little Ms. Party-planner,” she said.

“Ok,” she said with a very serious look on her face, “let’s go with pink and red food.”

“Decorations or not?” she asked.

“Oh we must have décor,” Olive said; Sandee did what she could not to giggle.

“Let’s do a few streamers and heart-shaped things,” Olive continued.

“Ok, why don’t we go to the store now and get the things we need to make and bake stuff,” Sandee said.

Olive got so excited, she ran around in a circle three times.  They got in the car and went to the grocery store.  Bought everything they needed and a few extra things.   As soon as they got home, Sandee called Helen and asked her if they were free for the party on Saturday.  They were so everything was in full motion.  They sat at the kitchen table and cut hearts out of construction paper, started hanging streamers in the living room, drew pictures of hearts and flowers, and made paper hats to wear.  They put everything on the kitchen counter that couldn’t be put out until the party.  While Olive watched TV, Sandee went around the house and cleaned anything that needed it.

A few hours later, Rob and the boys came home filthy and smelly. Olive had fallen asleep on the couch.  Rob observed all the decorations.

“Did I miss something?” he asked.

“Yes, we are having a valentine party this Saturday,” she said, “boys, go into the bathroom and get ready for a bath.”

“But….” they both started.

“But nothing,” she stated, “don’t give me that look Fosse!  You’re first young man.  Now scoot, both of you.”

Sandee went into the bathroom and started baths. Rob was thirsty and went into the fridge for something cold to drink.  On one of the juice bottles was a piece of folded paper.  He grabbed it and opened the paper, even thou it didn’t have a name on it.

“You are the most handsome in the world.  I am such a lucky girl. Keep looking in cupboards for the next clue.”

Not Sandee’s best rhyme, but it’s cute, he thought and went on looking in every cupboard.  He started with the higher ones and when he opened the lower pot one, there was another note.

“Cheers 2 U, you stand on the floor. You’re next thing will be in a drawer.”

Rob giggled at having fun.  Sandee had never done a scavenger hunt before.  He looked in all the drawers in the kitchen and found nothing.  He quietly looked in the drawers in the living room tables, no luck.   He next went into the office room and started low, since it was like that before.  Opened it up and there was the next note.

“Ok hubby, you’re turn,” Sandee announced as she came out of the bathroom with two clean pugs.

Rob stopped what he was doing but remembered where he was.  He got into the shower and cleaned up his dirty self.  He went to his room and got dressed.  He then went back to the office and picked up where he left off.  He made sure he shut the door.  He opened the note to read:

“When next you don’t expect, on your cheek, I’ll leave a peck.”

He thought he’d do something nice in return for her.  He went to the living room and everyone was sitting on the couch.

“So what time is this party tomorrow?” he asked.

“7pm, so mama and I will be busy baking and cooking all day,” Olive said.

“All day?” Rob asked and looked at Sandee shake her head no, “well Olive, could I have mama to myself for a short time tomorrow?”

“How short and at what time?” she asked very seriously.

“From 5 to 6 o’clock, is that ok?” he asked.

“Olive, we should have everything baked and set up by then,” Sandee said to her.

“Ok papa, it’s ok with me,” she said.

“Well thank you Olive,” he said back.

“I’d like to know if I could take you out for a nice dinner tomorrow,” he said to Sandee.

“I’d love to,” she said and winked at him.

He took that as another clue that would be the big reveal of all the other hints.  They went to bed early that night, so everyone could get up early and help out with what need to be done for the party.

The next day was beautiful.  The sun was out, no clouds in the sky and warm.  The boys got busy outside cleaning up the front and backyard with Rob.  Rake leaves, cutting the grass, plucking weeds from the garden and from around the flowers everywhere.  Sandee and Olive got baking; chocolate cupcakes, peanut butter pupcakes, carrot cookies, herb bread, and apple coconut crumbles.   When lunch time hit, they ate outside to enjoy the weather and keep the inside clean.  They played a little while after eating and then back to work.

A few hours passed and everyone was done.  All boys went inside to clean up and the girls cleaned the kitchen and put the goodies away for the time being.

“Ok, no climbing on chairs to get on counters to taste anything before the party,” Sandee said as she shook her finger at the boys, “Olive, when we get back, we’ll put the chocolate kisses on top of the cupcakes.”

“Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that finishing touch and I’ll keep these boys under close watch,” she said and gave them ‘the eye of shame’.

Rob picked the closest restaurant for time concerns and they were lucky enough to get a table.  The place was busy but a table for two was easy to get in the bar area. They sat, ate, talked, and laughed.  He kept waiting for her to say or give him something the reveal herself with the secret valentine messages.  Dinner was over and they had to get going.  Rob reached into his chest pocket of his coat for his wallet and noticed there were a few of the wrapped chocolate kisses in it.  He smiled big at Sandee.

“Well?” he asked as he pulled them out of the pocket and showed them to her.

“What?” she asked confused.

“Did you have something that you wanted to say?” he asked hinting at her.

“No, did you?” she asked, “oh are these for me?  That’s sweet.  No pun intended.”

She took and ate them and he had a very confused look on his face.

“I’m so confused,” he said.

“So am I,” she said and started to get up, “come on, we need to leave now.”

“Ok,” he said, paid the bill and the left.

“Thank you for a prompt and sweet dinner, I love you and happy valentine’s day,” Sandee said and gave him a huge hug and kiss when they got in the car.

“I love you too sweetheart,” he said.

He kept to himself as they drove the short distance home thinking it would be part of the party. He was ready, but not sure for what.  When they got inside, the boys were tied up and to each other in the middle of the living room.

“Oh my, are you, is everything, what happened?!” Sandee asked.

“They teamed up against me and tried to get yummies, but I showed them and blizzed attacked em and they’re in time out right now,” she said sternly.

“Blitz attacked,” Rob said.

“Whatever, I put them in their place,” she said with her paws on her hips.

“Very impressive Olive, I’m very proud of you,” Sandee said, “see boys, don’t underestimate her size.  She’s small but spunky.”

Fosse and Java both shook their heads in agreement.  Olive untied them and put on their cheesy looking hats.  Sandee noticed that all the cupcakes had the chocolate kisses on them.  She was a  busy pug.  Sandee and Rob put on their hats just in time for their guests to arrive.  As Sandee put the food and drinks out, Olive greeted the guests and everyone admired and enjoyed the décor.  Everyone started snacking and talking and just relaxing. Rob excused himself to pick up in the office where the last clue was from earlier.  He found the next note and it took him into their bedroom into the closet.  As Rob was looking through every shoe in there, Sandee walked in on him.

“What in the valentine day are you doing?” she asked him, “we have guests.”

“Found it!” he exclaimed, “and I’ve figured it out.”

“Figured what out?” she asked very confused.

“All these notes and presents you’ve left me over the last few days,” he said and stood up, “but I still don’t know what the big ending is.”

Sandee looked at the piece of paper in his hand and the shape it was cut into and she smiled.

“Ok, you’ve figured it out before the surprise,” she said, “you are so smart.”

“Yes I am,” he said feeling very good about himself.

“Ok, well let me excuse myself so you can finish your puzzle detective,” she said, “I’ll go back to the party.”

Sandee went back to the living room and Rob read the note.

“The night is here and so is the day.  Meet me in the bottom of the house and I’ll have room for you in the bottom of my heart.”

He thought Sandee had something romantic planned for after the party was cleaned up in the basement.  He went back to the party and tried to keep himself contained.  It was getting late so Helen, Annie and Boots had to get going.  Sandee sent them home with a care package full of treats that didn’t get eaten.  As the girls headed out the door, Boots hung back.

“Here Olive,” he said to her and gave her a heart shaped cookie and a kiss on the cheek, “be my valentine.”

“Ok,” she said and kisses him back and giggled.

They left and the rest of them cleaned up the house and went to bed.  As Sandee tucked the pugs in, Rob went outside to lock the garage.   He came back in and went straight to the basement that was all dark.

“Ok valentine, I love the poetry and how creative you’ve gotten this time,” he said and clicked on the light.

Olive was standing there with a huge heart cookie, as big as she stood, that said on it, “my favorite valentine.”

“I love you papa,” she said and almost fell backward because of the size of it.

“I love you to, my funny valentine,” he said with tears in his eyes and caught her before she fell, “you were really good with all the clues; I hadn’t a clue and I am really surprised.”

He picked her up and hugged and kissed her.  They sat and ate some of the cookie for a while into the night.

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