The pup was safe and Dad didn't mind

The pup was safe and Dad didn't mind

Growing up, we kids always had dogs and cats. The cats were allowed to live inside, but the dogs were restricted to their dog houses in the backyard.

Our Dad was adamant — "No dogs in the house.” We kids felt differently and would, on occasion, slip our current pup inside and keep it hidden in one of our bedrooms. We were sneaky kids and got away with our rule-breaking for quite some time — until the night of the tornado warning.

We had, as usual, slipped our dog inside and had him stashed in my brother’s room. The sound of that siren terrified our dog, and he began to howl at the top of his lungs. Despite being downstairs, Dad heard those howls and reacted. He started up the stairs saying, “There better not be a dog in this house.”

We kids panicked, grabbed our pup and wrapped him in a blanket, and because there was no other way out, we pushed him down the laundry chute. There was always a basket of clothing at the bottom of that chute, so we knew he would have a soft, safe landing. Unfortunately, our pup was even more terrified and howled even louder all the way down. The entire neighborhood heard his howls including Dad.

We kids were scared silly and tried to assure Dad we had no idea where all that howling came from. I now realize Dad was trying with all his might not to laugh at our scared, guilty faces. He sent us to our rooms with orders to stay there. We did. But once he went back downstairs, I sneaked into the basement, finding our pup curled up in the laundry basket, amazingly asleep. Dad never went into that laundry room, so I left our poor pup there for the night.

The next morning after Dad went to work, we went down there to get the pup outside. He was gone. We searched that entire basement but no sign of him. We discovered him outside running in the yard. We found out years later that Dad had gotten up early, fed our pup a huge meal and then took him outside. He made folks laugh with that story for years. All we kids learned was to be more careful with our rule-breaking — and we were.