Mash’s owners had early meetings planned for the following day. They told Mash they would be dropping her off in the morning at her doggy day care. Mash awoke feeling excited, she loved going to DogzCreche, she only wished she could visit every day of the week. It wasn’t like she wasn’t happy at home but the weekdays could be so boring without her humans. They had been discussing getting her another dog for company, and although Mash loved that idea she still wouldn’t want to give up her days at Dogzcreche.

Sweetpea and Peaches arrived to great her at the gate. They each ran around sniffing each others butts.

Something humans really don’t relate to, thought Mash. But then I don’t get the human act of mouth to mouth activity. What is that all about? Give me butt sniffing any day, she decided and proceeded to draw in another whiff.

Sweetpea seems alert today, noticed Mash.

She is so much fun when she plays with us. I am lucky that I get to spend time with my friends, thought Mash and ran after them barking.”

At nine o’clock Claire vanished for a while but Mash barely noticed because she was playing with the Labradoodles. Jade and her brother were overseeing their fun. Occasionally Mash would cock her ears to listen for the sound of Claire’s car, wondering who else was coming to play today, but if she was honest with herself she was in the main wondering what form Treat Time would take today. The thought of Treat Time made Mash drool. She loved Massage Time and Walk Time but she would take Treat Time over them any day.

Mash heard a familiar sound and the gate opened, Claire had arrived back. Mash ran up the driveway after the car. Claire opened the back door of the car and Molly, Buster, Poppy and Chico jumped out. Mash decided to ignore the butt sniffing greeting today because she had other plans. She arranged her face into a pleading look and tilted her head up at Claire.

“Hello there Mash,” said Claire as she ruffled her head.

Mash tried again this time nudging Claire’s hand with her nose.

“What’s up Mash?”

How do I get the message across? Mash thought.

Then she had a brainwave. She ran in front of Claire and sat determinedly, blocking her way, she looked up at Claire with her tongue hanging out. Claire looked down at her. Mash jumped up and did a few 360 degree circles then sat again with a determined plop.

“Ah now I get it. You want Treat Time.”

Finally, thought Mash and she jumped up and down to let Claire know she had got it right.

“Give me a few minutes.” Claire said and disappeared inside.

A short while later Mash heard Claire calling out her favourite words “Treat Time.”

What will it be today, Mash wondered. Will it be an ice block filled with treats, like the other day? Will they be given to us as a reward for following a command or will they be hidden? I do hope we have to find them. I do like a good treasure hunt.

“OK guys and girls. I have hidden the treats in the Lounge. Use your noses. Go find” Claire said.

Mash didn’t wait for anyone else and rushed off to look for the treats in the lounge. She noticed Bluebell chewing on something out of the corner of her eye.

That Labradoodle has an annoyingly excellent nose, Mash thought grudgingly.

Then she spotted a salmon treat just under the chair and dived for it before anyone else saw it too.

Mmmmm, yum that was gooooood.

Something else caught her eye behind the miniature concrete lion statue.

Could that be what I think it is? She thought.

Mash noticed Bluebell sniffing in the vicinity,
It won’t be long before she picks up the scent. That’s if she hasn’t already, Mash thought. Not taking any risks, Mash made a lunge toward it, reaching there a split second before Bluebell.

My favourite, she thought chewing on the dried raw beef coated in herbs, but no salt.

Mash found three more treats, but she didn’t give up looking until all the other dogs faded away. She knew she had a good nose but Bluebell was the champion of this game. Mash felt that she was at a disadvantage with some of the other games they played at Dogzcreche. Other pooches seemed to find it easier than her when the ice block treats came out. Mash didn’t enjoy the feeling when her tongue got briefly attached to the icy block. It meant that she took longer than her friends to retrieve her treats, which were buried deep inside the ice.

I can’t be good at everything, she decided.

Feeling a little tired Mash selected one of the many dog beds scattered on the patio. She snuggled down into the softness and drifted into a relaxing sleep accompanied by the sound of classical music in the background.