For the next mile I lead my expedition party through the canyons, showing them how my big voice got even bigger as it bow-wow-awooo-ed down the canyon walls. When I wasn't giving speeches, I impressed them with my most gymnastic rolling.
Most of the dragon was underground with only his flanks and stegosaurus crest sticking out of the ground and curling big-spoon-ways around a canyon. The land the dragon slept in was the color of the 1970’s ––all rusty, creamy and drab greys with the rough textures of courderoy and polyester–– but the dragon’s back itself was covered in white chalky scales that flaked off and turned to dust under my paws.
She was hanging with only her toes on the ground and her brand new Ross Dress for Less jacket caught on the fence post. I looked at her dangling feet and her swimming arms. “I’m not with her,” I said.
"Hey, Mom! Guess what. This weekend is that holiday when we celebrate the first cruise ships that bought a boogeyvirus to America!"
The sun burned like a grapefruit over the mountain, and as it rose higher it lit the trees and rocks in the same color as the Wagon's tail lights had lit the trees and rocks the night before when Mom had almost backed into them.
Normally Mom makes me step off the trail and up-up onto a rock when we see someone coming, and then she turns her back to the trail and stuffs me full of kibbles until the people pass. But now, Mom pulled on the mask and the other people did the up-uping, as if by magic.
Before long we left the river and started climbing the day’s mountain, and the blades of jagged, waxy rocks pushed the trees even further apart. There was a rumbling up ahead that sounded like a motorboat. “Do you hear something?” Mom asked. “I think someone’s mowing the lawn,” I explained, not because it was true but because it’s rude to not know the answer to a question.
Mom plans for everything that won't go wrong and when everything goes right, she and Oscar decide to turn around anyway.
“You are so handsome!” Willy told me, when she saw how nice the flowers looked with me sitting on them.
“You’ve really got a talent for this hiking thing,” I told her. “There are people who hike for years without ever noticing how handsome I am.”
From way up in the sky the lake looked like it wasn’t deep at all, and that a brave dog could walk all the way across if he didn’t mind getting his socks wet. But now that we were at the edge of it, I could look into the calm grey water and see that it was very, very deep, and that the tiny islands that barely poked their noses out of the surface were actually very tall rocks standing up from a bottom so deep that I couldn’t see it under all that glowing grey water.