As the moon goes to bed, the sun comes up
And here we meet a sleepy pup,
Who was walking through G-ville one bright sunny day,
Then saw The Villager and decided to stay

OOoooo! Uhhhh! Ooooo! Doodle Dog stretched out on what should have been a very cozy cushion, soft and squishy and usually perfect for relaxing. On most days he could take a running leap and land right in the middle and instantly not want to move from the quite pleasant perch. Some of those days he would spend hours napping away in the same spot quite happy to be left alone in his own little contentedly snoozing world. But today he turned over once and fidgeted twice and twitched his toes more times than he could count. He tried this position and that, then curled up like a cat, but no matter which way he plopped, the floppy-eared puppy couldn’t get comfortable.
Nearby, just out of paw’s reach now, his Trick-or-Treat bucket turned over, dozens of doggie biscuits had spilled out and half-eaten pieces strewn about on the cushion, cascading over a pile of pillows and scattered on the rug below. There were just so many flavors to try, Doodle Dog hadn’t been able to resist. But now the floppy-eared puppy moaned and groaned as his tummy twitched too. Twitch, twitch, gurgle, gurgle, his tummy sounded like the bubbling cauldron of witches brewing a Halloween treat but Doodle Dog knew better now! It certainly didn’t feel like a treat as it tightened and twisted with every turn of his fur.

Ugh… OOooOooo… the deep, cavernous, boooooo echoing from his stomach now sounded like the not-so-friendly ghost who peeked around bushes at the costumed children as they too sneaked around town in search for treats and attempting to avoid tricks! Little did they know one would be waiting for them at the bottom of their bags if they sampled too much candy!

Oooohhh… as Doodle Dog tried to perfectly position his paws, legs and nose on the cushion, he caught sight of the orange globe on the table in the corner. But his new pumpkin looked funny now… the slanted lines no longer looked like pointy ears and the six straight lines on the front didn’t quite resemble whiskers anymore. The friendly feline face had rolled over and Doodle Dog thought he could hear it purring… or something… No, that grumbling was coming from inside HIM! And no wonder the round kitty didn’t look right-side up… the floppy-eared puppy was on the couch upside down with his own paws up and head hanging over the edge. Hey! When did he get on a carousel? The walls were starting to spin and all the colors of the room blended together. Doodle Dog had never seen a face that was blue and pink before he went to the park for pumpkin decorating day, but now it looked like a rainbow had raced through his room leaving behind mixed blotches of blue, pink, orange, yellow and green streaked across the floor… wait, that was the ceiling… and the portraits and pictures placed precisely around the office now melded together into one big messy purple-y puddle … this merry-go-round was more SCARY-go-round!
Doodle Dog didn’t know how, but he had to get off this ride, so he moved just a smidge, then a bit, then flipped and flopped until he plopped onto the floor, the carpet immediately fuzzy on his face. Oohhh… relocating helped the ceiling stop looking like the floor since the floppy-eared puppy knew exactly where the floor was now and flexed his claws into the carpet just to be extra sure, but his tummy still gurgled and grumbled and booed and howled – owwwww! It was as though the sound effects from a haunted house had decided to spend the night in his stomach! Not only that, but as soft and squishy as the carpet was on his face, it also made his nose and forehead very, very warm, which made his tummy a little more woozy.

With the walls spinning a little bit less and their portraits and pictures returning to their places, Doodle Dog scooched little by little toward the kitchen where he knew the floor wasn’t quite as fuzzy. Closing his eyes to protect them from the overhead light, much too bright right now, the hard tiles clicked and clacked as his claws made contact but he only paused for a moment before continuing on to an even better landscape. Two front paws and two floppy ears pushed through the little doggie door and within a moment a whole Doodle Dog emerged into the backyard, instantly enveloped in a calming chilly breeze. Ahhhhh… Outside, the troubled tummy and the floppy-eared puppy found fresh evening air, a quiet, dark sky with stars that didn’t hurt his eyes, and cool grass to nibble. Gently stretching his two front paws and two floppy ears, plus two back paws and a slightly-less-grumbling tummy on this kinder carpet, Doodle Dog nuzzled his nose in the tiny blades of grass in their inviting shades of green – and ONLY green – and promised that no matter how tempting, in the future he would go easy on the doggie treats because gobbling too many was a trick he only wanted to have a one-time showing!

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In addition to her role as a contributing reporter for the Weekly Villager, Mialie T. Szymanski is the creator of the bi-weekly column “Puppy Tails”. This children’s story time column stars Doodle Dog, a floppy-eared puppy who has an optimistic perspective of the world around him. Szymanski’s picture book “Doodle Dog Enjoys the Day” chronicles a day in the life of this “paws”itive pup. The upcoming
read-aloud anthology “Puppy Tails: Adventures of Doodle Dog” is a collection of the columns and
illustrations as seen in The Weekly Villager over the last year.