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Arlo, our pitbull-lab mix looks like a big doofus, but continues to surprise us with how smart he really is.

He is only two years old and has more energy than we do. We have several different routes to choose from for our walks, depending on our own energy level. Some of these allow us the opportunity to let him off leash for part of the walk, freeing him to run around and wear himself out.

The other day mom was walking Arlo in the wooded area behind the elementary school. She let him off leash and he took off running like a wild dog through the bushes chasing squirrels and random scents.

Most of the time he stays close to us and returns in short order. But as time went by, mom kept walking and the dog wasn’t coming back. She began calling him, and then calling more, and still no Arlo. By then, mom’s getting closer to the elementary school and starting to worry. Arlo is usually friendly with kids, but he’s a big dog with pitbull looks and the adults tend to freak.

Mom was pissed and yelling for the dog. She approached the school, where cars were lining up at the end of the day.

“You lookin’ for a big-ass dog?” one of the parents asked.

“Yeah…”

“He went that way,” they said, pointing around the building toward the school buses.

The buses were loading and swarming with kids. It would just like him to jump on a bus. Mom stumped her way in that direction, still yelling for Arlo.

“You lookin’ for a big-ass dog?” one of the bus drivers asked her.

“Yeah,” she groaned with a nod.

“He went that way,” he said pointing to the street.

Oh, no! He’s not running through traffic, is he?

“He is in SO much trouble!”

Mom was now fuming mad and still yelling for the d**med dog.

She walked the two blocks to the neighborhood church where there were a couple ladies outside.

“You lookin’ for a big-ass dog?”

“Yeah…” mom growled.

“He went that way and left around the corner.”

That was our street. They were pointing in the direction of home.

“No, he didn’t…” mom muttered.

She was steaming, now. And just a little impressed.

The little sh*t went home.

She continued to yell all the way down the street expecting him to come out and meet her. But as she approached the house and passed the last tree, she saw Arlo sitting calmly in the front yard waiting for her.

How could she be mad at him? He went home like a good boy.

The story I got from Arlo was that mom got lost.

It’s hard to argue with that.

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