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Posted: July 17, 2011 12:30 a.m.

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Rowe: It happened at Walmart (again)

It's been a while since my first ‘tell all' column about my experience from working at Walmart and boy have I got a story for you! As everybody knows, you can't just run down to Walmart without running into somebody or seeing something and coming back with a story to tell. You don't even have to go in Walmart to see the action either sometimes. If you happened to be at the Covington Walmart on a recent Friday evening, you'll know what I am talking about.

We made a special trip to Walmart, just for laundry detergent and it turned out to be a ‘special trip' indeed. We decided to let our little dogs, Opie and Little Bit, come along for the ride. Now these two get excited about riding anywhere, especially if it means a treat. Their trips are very limited during the summer months, but it had cooled off considerably by late evening and we thought it'd be okay for them to tag along. This wasn't their first trip to Walmart and they've never been inside, but all that changed with just one trip.

After circling the parking lot a few times, Sweet Pea finally found a suitable parking spot and killed the engine. He looked at me and said "I'll run in and get the detergent because you'll be in there forever so just stay here with the dogs." Lesson number one: No matter what they say, men DO talk more than women; Lesson number two: Men do not ‘go anywhere and come right back', especially if it's to Walmart (that's another Walmart story in itself so stay tuned); Lesson number three: Not even the most loving dog owners with good sense would ever think of taking two dogs for a ride, especially to Walmart on a hot, muggy July evening. There's not much I can say to justify my actions at this point so I will just plead the fifth on this one and blame it on too much summer heat finally getting to me and frying my brain.

Sweet Pea was indeed gone a while and, despite my best efforts to keep them quiet and occupied, there was just too much going on and they wanted to be part of it. Sweet Pea left the keys in the ignition so I could turn on the air if needed but it had cooled off considerably and I had the windows down about a quarter of the way. The boys had finally given up on Sweet Pea and got quiet and we were enjoying the respite from the heat. I guess maybe it was a little too quiet and boring for Little Bit because the next thing I knew, he'd jumped from back seat to the driver's seat, put his paw on the button that rolls down the windows all the way and jumped out. It happened so fast I hardly had time to think as I jumped out of the truck, running after Little Bit through the Walmart parking lot.

Luckily, most of Newton County was at Walmart that particular night because it took exactly that many of us to catch Little Bit. Word must have gotten out that there was a reward for his capture because there were plenty of people trying to help catch this runaway dog and not one of us could catch him. You wouldn't think catching a little dog would be so hard, but you've never met a dog like Little Bit.

Little Bit was just a puppy when we first saw him, wandering from house to house as though he were lost and looking for a friend. He became a regular visitor and we were all instantly smitten with him, including Opie, who'd found a new friend. Our daughter found it hard to say no to Little Bit, especially after learning he had no family and somehow conned us into making him part of our family. You know how the rest of the story goes, after a while the newness and fun wears off and it's Mom and Dad who are primarily responsible for attending to his needs.

The problem with animals is I have a weak spot for them and turning away from a cute, sad face is nearly impossible for me. Little Bit is a charming Chihuahua mix with cute little button eyes and big ears. But looks can be deceiving and behind that charming little face can be a little monster and that is exactly what we got in Little Bit. Sweet Pea says "it's just the puppy in him" and he just turned one, so unfortunately, we may still have a ways to go with him. The list of things he has destroyed is a mile long and we've learned the hard way that nothing is safe with him around. Cute as he is, there are times when I question what we were thinking in getting another dog and I have come just shy of putting him out by the road with a sign around his neck a few times. And then he cuddles up in my lap and gets mushy and all those torn shoes and blankets are but a distant memory.

After his recent adventure, I discovered what may have been a simple fix to nip this in the bud a long time ago. I noticed the other day Little Bit was really in tune to a commercial with Spanish language and he stared and listened attentively to what was going on. I repeated what was said and he got excited, wagged his tail and did the happy dance as if he knew exactly what I meant. You'd think after raising two kids, I would have this parenting thing down to a science; the secret is in how you talk to them but I never imagined he literally didn't understand English. Perhaps with a little more patience and brushing up on my Spanish, Little Bit's angelic side may come shining through and not a minute too soon.

Beth Rowe may be reached at


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