Hold on, I’ve been refreshing my email since I got home.
I’m waiting on an email from the school principal.
By now, she’s probably been notified about the incident after school.
You know when the class “trouble-maker” does something bad and the whole class gets punished for it? I’m waiting for a new school rule to be announced to punish other families.
No, Emma and Kate are good kids. They don’t listen to Scott and me but they somehow listen to their teachers. But we are the Burtons and I swear this shit only happens to me.
Stella shot up to legend status after school today.
Legend status. Stella, the big black dog that will stand the test of time. New school rules written because of her heroic entrance onto school grounds. She busted out of the car in the name of her friendly breed, the labrador retriever. No dog has come that close to setting a paw inside the school.
She did it. She put a paw inside the school.
We live far enough away that I drive the kids to and from school.
On the rare occasion, I bring Stella with me to pick up the girls. Today was a rare occasion. I thought she could use the fresh air. The school staff hates me.
The wait in the school car line started out fine. I caught up on some emails, I helped write a rap song for my friend’s baby book, and then I talked to Scott on the phone. Stella waited with her eyes on the prize.
The school bell rang. Cars inched forward. I made my way to the front of the school. I saw Kate running toward the car with a smile on her face.
Oh, she looks happy today.
Kate opened the door.
“Oh no, wait!”
Gone. Stella was gone.
A wave of screams pierced the air. Brothers protected their sisters with backpacks. Teachers grabbed their walkie talkies and ran towards Stella. All eyes went to the black blur jumping on kid after kid. Stella’s big tongue crossed over every face she could reach.
I rolled my window down.
“STELL-LAAAAAAAAA! KATE GET STELLA!”
Kids moved in swarms from spot to spot in the grass. Boys dive-bombed Stella. Stella jumped on teachers. Stella knocked down a girl. The girl cried.
“EMMA! GET! STELLA!”
What do I do? I don’t know what to do. Do I get out? Do I…no, I shouldn’t film this.
A teacher walked up and down the sidewalk.
“Whose dog is this?! WHOSE DOG IS THIS!!”
“Oh, um! Hey!”
I slowly lifted my foot off the brake and rolled forward alongside the teacher.
“Mine. She’s mine. I’m sorry! What do I do?! EMMA AND KATE STOP LAUGHING! GET HER! GET HERRRR!! Should I get out?”
“No, stay here and we’ll get her. What’s her name?”
“Stella. I’m so sorry.”
Emma runs by, laughing.
“That’s my dog! STELLL-LAAAAA!”
I could feel the helicopter parents hovering behind me. They had the principal on speed dial.
Oh my God, this is a nightmare. I’m going to get sued for having a dog that loves to play with kids. They’re going to talk about me on News Talk radio tomorrow. They’re going to make a joke about that old movie with the man screaming, “Stella!”
Stella ran towards the open door into the school.
“DON’T LET HER IN THE SCHOOL! STOP HER!
NO! I’m going to have to chase her up and down hallways. She’s going to knock over desks and leave paw prints on white boards. They’re going to send my kids to private school after this. We can’t afford that!
Stella placed one paw inside the door. A teacher grabbed her collar and yanked her back.
Oh, whew. Ok, it’s ok.
Emma hopped in the car. Her face was red and she had the hiccups from laughing so hard. Kate pushed her way in. The teacher dragged Stella back into my car and shut the door.
“Stella wanted to go to school, mom!”
“Please don’t tell your dad.”
The girls called Scott.
Scott knows. I heard the disapproving, “Oh, Julie” over the phone. But it really should be “Oh Stella.”
It crossed my mind that maybe it’s in my head. This probably happens all the time. Many families in the area have friendly labs.
And then Emma’s friend rang our doorbell. Emma asked her if she heard what Stella did after school.
“THAT was STELLA?! Our teacher told us to stay inside because there was a big dog running around!”
And that’s how legends are made.
I’m waiting to read the disapproving email.