The Cloak of Invisibility
Chase is a white dog and easily spotted in the yard on any dark night. He is quite aware of this handicap. If he doesn’t want to come in when called, he freezes, hoping he won’t be spotted. He also knows the phrase “I can SEE you!” which then convinces him that he will be in more trouble if he doesn’t comply with the earlier command calling him in.
At the beginning of the year, The Englishman and I were in American Apparel and discovered, to our delight, a selection of dog shirts and hoodies. I purchased a classic sweatshirt complete with the single pocket and zip up front for Chase. It was a perfect fit and he refused to allow us to remove it for five days. Warmer weather soon arrived and the hoodie was stored until the cold returned.
Summer turned into fall, bringing endless rain. I dressed Charlie and Molly in new turtleneck sweaters and zipped Chase into his hoodie. It was his super hero outfit. It allowed him to spend longer periods of time in the yard, protected from the stinging rain and wind. He lounged near the fire, perfectly bundled in the soft, black fleece. He slept in the hoodie, swaddled in its’ warmth. He would not allow anyone to remove his hoodie and one night I discovered why.
Chase followed me outside into the inky dark to check on the ducks and chickens. I had a flashlight that dimly lit a small area in front of me. Chase poked and sniffed near the edge of the driveway. I whistled and assumed he would follow me. Ever-obedient, Chase had disappeared when I returned less than a minute later. I peered into the dark but could see nothing. My dog had used his main super power: The Cloak of Invisibility. I whistled into the night. Nothing. I called for him, pleaded with him and offered treats. Silence greeted me. I returned to the house and gathered several more flashlights.
I scanned the front yard and the street. I imagined the lost dog posters and the embarrassment of adding “last seen wearing a black American Apparel Hoodie” to the description. I could hear the whispers of the neighbors: who puts clothing on a dog? I had just turned back, defeated and planning to seek assistance from The Englishman when I heard galloping clicks from the street. Out of the darkness came a slice of white fur racing down the driveway. Chase dodged me and ducked quickly into the house through his dog door. Panting heavily, he lapped the water in his bowl as The Englishman and I searched the American Apparel website for a new hoodie…in white.