“What do we have on tap today?” Fido wanted to know.
“As far as I can figure it,” I said, “it’s going to be kind of an ordinary day at the office, nothing special, unless news makes its way over the transom. You never know.”
“I love ordinary days at the office,” Fido said. He donned his green copy-reading visor and some old sleeve garters. “Could you please give me a red grease pencil and a piece of paper? I’m working on layouts today.”
“Fido, you look funny with that visor.”
“Yeah, yeah. But Carl Sandburg wore one. And The Society of Professional Dog Journalists annually recognizes deserving journalists working in the South with its Green Eyeshade Excellence in Journalism Award.” Fido paused, then lit up again. “And Hunter Thompson wore one, too.” Fido settled into his spot under my desk, just about the time the front door opened. There was a bit of a clatter.
“Kassie!” Fido yelped. “Hey hey hey hey! Looking good there, girl.”
Kassie loped on over to Fido’s spot.
“Fresh water in my water bowl,” Fido said to Kassie. “Belly on up to the bar!”
Slurp-slurp-slurp, went Kassie. “Got a treat?” Kassie said.
“Not until about 10 o’clock or so,” Fido said. “We’ll get one on our coffee break.”
Kassie checked the clock on the wall and trotted back to her own spot.
There was another clatter at the front door. Into the newsroom trotted Mica, Naia and Caileigh—a new acquaintance for Fido.
“Hey you!” Fido said to his old pal Mica, a collie. “Why the long face?” Fido laughed out loud at his joke. “Want a drink? Around here, on an ordinary day at the office, it’s always 5 o’clock! And Mica, I must say, you’re looking good today, despite your, um, proboscis.”
Mica is never amused at Fido’s nose jokes, but she is not put off, either. Slurp slurp slurp, she went.
In next was Zeppelin, the class clown.
“Zeppy!” Fido yowled. “Want a sausage treat?”
Zeppelin doesn’t exactly need an invitation to Fido’s bowl or treat bag. He is a boxer mix. He bounds right in, takes a slurp and asks Fido if he wants to maybe wrestle a little bit before things get all Western.
“Not today,” I said to Fido. “Maybe later, maybe never.”
“But Zeppy’s the only other guy here!” Fido said in his hangdog voice. “Who else am I to discuss the really important stuff, like baseball and football and other girl dogs?”
“I thought you were going to do some layout,” I said.
“Oh yeah,” Fido said. He settled in, adjusted his sleeve garters, licked the tip of his red pencil and went to work.
“You wouldn’t happen to have a pica pole, do you?” he queried.
“Wow!” I said. “You are really turning into a newshound!” I handed one of my old pica poles—an ancient newsroom measuring tool—to Fido.
By the time the morning was half old, seven dogs were in and out of the office, in various stages, but there are just six humans in total. Fido was in Heaven.
“I love ordinary days,” he said. “Before I do the layout, I think I’ll have a nap.”