I’m not going to lie: when I was a kid, I was a tattletale. I like to think of myself more as a purveyor of the truth, but in reality I was a little policeman. My brother would do something that I didn’t think was quite right (or maybe crossing the line of being naughty) and I was sure to tell my mom about it. I think I was hoping that she thought I was helping her out. I think in reality, most of the time, she didn’t want to be troubled with breaking up our little spats.

The other night, it was quite dark and a little late and fairly cold outside, and I decided that I wanted to go for a run. I didn’t want to run outside, so I chose to run on the treadmill in the basement. I gave each of the dogs a pumpkin- and peanut butter-filled Kong, and Mocha was the only one of the three dogs who wanted to hang out in the basement while I ran. I was watching TV and thought to myself, “If I can just get through one episode of Modern Family, I’ll be good.” You see, I think running on the treadmill is quite painful both mentally and physically (but more mentally) and so watching an episode of one of my favorite programs on TV helps me to tolerate it.

I was 27 minutes into my run, and I heard Charlotte barking upstairs. As I recall the incident now, I also did hear a loud “thunk” prior to the barking but didn’t think too much of it at the time. I yelled upstairs to Charlotte, “No barking! Quiet!” I really wanted to try and get to 30 minutes on the treadmill. But the barking was unrelenting. So I turned the treadmill off and reluctantly went upstairs.

Much to my surprise, Charlotte and Franklin were laying next to an over-turned kitchen garbage can. Franklin was munching away on coffee grounds, orange peels, and cheese wrappers. Charlotte was barking at him, not eating the garbage. “My little tattletale! Were you letting me know that Franklin was being naughty?” She wagged her tail and looked up at me lovingly. Franklin reluctantly left his feast of garbage and sadly, as only a Golden Retriever can, watched me sweep it into the garbage can.

Mocha (the good girl, who stayed with me in the basement while I was running on the treadmill), Charlotte (the tattletale), and Franklin (the hungry garbage-eater).


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