Amore

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Take It To The Max

It was Sunday, November 14, 2021, and it was early in the afternoon. Amore and her family went ahead and drove up to their house after attending church. Then Rebecca saw a dog lying on their front porch and spoke.

“Hey, is it just me or is there a dog lying on our front porch?”

Amore went ahead and looked at the front porch. “It’s not just you.”, Amore spoke.

“Daddy, can we keep it?! Please?! Pretty please?!” Lisa asked him.

“Before you add the sugar on top, I’m gonna go see what the dog is doing on our front porch.” John went ahead and began exiting the car.

“Hey, wait for me!” Amore exclaimed before exiting the car.

“Wait for me too!” Rebecca exclaimed before leaving the car.

“Wait for me three!” Lisa exclaimed before exiting the car.

Donna and Ashley went ahead and exited the car after them. Then the whole family was standing near the dog.

“It’s a golden retriever.”, John realized.

“Cool!” Rebecca spoke. “I’ve always wanted us to have a golden retriever dog.”

John began speaking again. “Now, before we do carry home our new furry friend over here, there are some steps we need to take regarding the safety of the puppy and ourselves.”

“Like what?” Lisa asked him.

“Well, first off, we need to make sure this animal finds the proper help it needs.”

“And how are we gonna do that?” Amore asked him.

“We need to consider whether it needs proper medical attention and also consider whether this is a lost puppy trying to find its rightful owner.” John went ahead and began walking slowly towards the dog while keeping in its view. “Anyone got any food that’s safe for a dog to eat?”

“Don’t look at me.”, Lisa replied.

“Sorry, no dog-friendly treats here.”, Rebecca responded.

“I also don’t have any dog-friendly treats.”, Amore added.

“Yeah, me neither.”, Ashley added.

“Maybe there’s something in the house it can have. I’ll be right back.”, Donna spoke. Then Donna went ahead and entered the house.

“Ugh! Can we please go inside now?! I’m freezing out here!” Ashley exclaimed.

“We’ll go inside when we all make sure this animal has a warm place to stay. Poor dog. He must’ve also been freezing out here.”, Amore responded.

Later, Donna went ahead and came outside with a slice of bread. John got the bread from Donna. “Here, boy! Come get it! Come get the tasty slice of bread!” John exclaimed. The dog went ahead and got up. Then the dog walked toward the bread as John was walking toward the car. The dog continued following the bread that was being held in John’s hand. And the dog kept following John some more. John threw the bread on the back car seat. The dog jumped into the car and started eating the bread. As a result, John slammed one of the back car doors shut. After the dog ate the bread, it realized that it was trapped inside the car. As a result, the dog started barking aggressively. The dog continued barking aggressively. And the dog kept barking aggressively some more.

“Where are you taking the dog?” Amore asked John.

“I’m taking it to the nearest vet to see if it needs urgent medical attention.” The dog continued barking as John walked over to the driver door of the car and got inside the car.

“Okay, don’t text and drive!” Amore reminded.

“Thanks for the reminder, Amore!” John exclaimed. John went ahead and closed the driver door of the car as the dog continued barking aggressively. The car drove away from the house with the barking dog.

Then Rebecca went ahead and walked closer to Amore. “You think Dad will bring back some pizza from Amore?” Rebecca asked her.

“Maybe. Come on, let’s head back inside before we’re both stuck inside a couple of ice cubes.”

Then the Cooper family (John excluded) was inside the house after that.

***

As John was driving the car, the dog was scared for its life and wanted to escape. It resumed barking loudly and aggressively at John. It continued barking loudly and aggressively at John. And it just went ahead and kept barking loudly and aggressively at John some more.

“Will you please stop that?!” John asked him. The dog continued barking loudly and aggressively at John as he was still driving. And the loud and aggressive barking the came from the dog went ahead and kept going like an Energizer battery.

“Please. Stop.”, John begged a little more calmly. The dog continued barking loudly and aggressively from the back of the car. And the dog went ahead and continued barking loudly and aggressively some more.

“Stop!” John yelled.

Then the dog barked.

“Hey, don’t take that tone with me mister! If you are a mister! We’re gonna find out whether you’re a boy or a girl pretty soon once we take you to the vet!” The dog continued barking. And the dog continued barking some more. “Will you please shut up?!” The dog continued barking. And the dog continued barking some more.

Then John just went ahead and sighed before talking to himself. “Just stay calm. You’re almost there. Don’t let him or her irritate you too much and distract your attention from the road.” John continued driving. And John continued driving some more.

“Maybe I should check Facebook for a quick second.” John had his phone in one hand while driving with the other hand. Then John went ahead and put down his phone. “Oh, right! I almost forgot!” “No texting and driving.” “How could I almost forget that?!” “It was you who made me almost forget.” “Wasn’t it?” Then the dog continued barking. “Do you have to answer every question I ask with a bark?” Then the dog continued barking. Then John shook his head. “You should’ve been a cat.” Then John continued driving the dog to the vet.

***

Two weeks later, it was Sunday, November 28, 2021. It was in the evening while John and Donna were standing in the living room. John yelled into the hallway. “Girls, come here for a quick second! We all need to have a family meeting!” All the girls went ahead and came into the living room.

“I and your father have finally made up our minds about the dog.”, Donna spoke.

“Does that mean we’re keeping him for good?” Rebecca asked them.

“Yes, we are.”, John told her. “From now on, he’s staying here permanently.”

“Cool! We’re finally getting a dog! I’ve been waiting ten long years for this moment!” Amore exclaimed.

John continued speaking. “Sure, you’re excited now, but just remember that there are responsibilities that come with owning a dog. You have to feed it, bathe it, let it outside to use the bathroom, etc.” “Are you sure you girls wanna deal with all the potential negatives of having a dog in the house?”

“We’re sure.”, Lisa spoke with a smile.

“Okay, then I guess it’s settled. This household now officially owns a dog.”, Donna declared.

“What should we name it?” Rebecca spoke.

“How about Max?” Amore suggested.

“Nice thinking, Amore!” John told her. “That’s exactly what we’re gonna name him.”

“Great!” Amore replied. “So, where’s the dog now?”

“I have no idea.”, John responded. “He’s probably somewhere sleeping. It’s not that long before us humans have to go to bed and catch sone shuteye.”

Ashley added, “Yeah, well, I’m the only person here who doesn’t care whether we have a dog or not. Therefore, I’m gonna be the first person to leave.” Ashley went ahead and began leaving the living room and family meeting.

“And I guess we’re all gonna go ahead and follow the only girl in this house who doesn’t care.”, Amore commented. Then the remaining daughters began leaving the living room and family meeting.

“Are you sure we both made the right choice here?” Donna asked him.

“I’m positive.”

“Okay. Let’s hope that he doesn’t start using the bathroom in places where he shouldn’t.”

Then after that, the conversation went ahead and ended.

***

It was Monday, November 29, 2021, and it was morning. John went ahead and drove up to Amore (pizza restaurant) while Max was sitting in the back. John began speaking. “Well, here it is. This is the place where I work. And not only do I work here, but I also run this place as well. Max, welcome to Amore. I own this place as well. And I founded this restaurant nine years ago. I chose to name this place after my second oldest daughter, Amore, which explains the name. Well, let’s go ahead and head inside.” John opened the car door and exited the vehicle.

Later, John and Max went ahead and entered Amore. “And this, my little furry friend, is the inside of the building where all of the money is made. And there’s my office over there. Let’s head inside.”

Later, John and Max were inside John’s office. “And this is my office. And there’s your crate. You can just go ahead and head inside there for a little while until I let you out.” “Deal?” Then Max just stared at John.

“Oh, right! Dogs speak food!” John went ahead and pulled out a dog treat from his pants pocket and threw it inside the crate. “Go get it, boy!” Max went inside the crate and began eating the dog treat. John locked Max inside the crate. Then John got his smartphone and looked at it. “Well, it’s almost time for us to open. And don’t worry, little fella, we don’t sell hot dog pizza toppings here.” Then after that, John stopped talking and started his workday.

***

It was Tuesday, November 30, 2021, and it was in the afternoon. Lisa was in the living room with the dog while holding a bag of dog treats. “Okay, Max, time to teach you some new doggie tricks while you’re still a puppy. And if you do them all, you’ll get some doggie treats.” “Okay?” “Now, here we go with the first trick. First, you’re gonna learn how to place your paw in my hand.” At the dog’s level, Lisa held a treat in a closed hand facing upwards. The dog investigated, sniffed, and eventually “pawed” at the hand. “Good.” Then Lisa gave Max a food reward.

At the dog’s level, Lisa held a treat in a closed hand facing upwards. The dog investigated, sniffed, and eventually “pawed” at the hand. “Good.” Then Lisa went ahead and gave Max another food reward.

At the dog’s level. Lisa held a treat in a closed hand facing upwards. The dog investigated, sniffed, and eventually “pawed” at the hand. “Good boy, Max!” Then Lisa gave Max another food reward.

At the dog’s level, Lisa held a treat in a closed hand facing upwards. The dog investigated, sniffed, and eventually “pawed” at the hand. “Good doggie!” Then Lisa gave Max another food reward.

At the dog’s level, Lisa held a trat in a closed hand facing upwards. The dog investigated, sniffed, and eventually “pawed” at the hand. “Good dog!” Then Lisa went ahead and gave Max another food reward.

Then Lisa went ahead and presented her hand without a food treat. Max got rewarded at the point he placed a paw on it. “Paw.”, Lisa spoke while holding her hand out flat. The dog pawed at it. “Good boy, Max!” Lisa rewarded Max again. Then Lisa incorporated holding his paw gently and shaking it.

“Good boy, Max!” “You did a very nice job with learning your first doggie trick.” “I wonder what doggie food tastes like to humans?” Lisa reached into the bag of dog treats and pulled out a treat. Lisa began eating that treat.

“Ewww, gross! You’re telling me you animals actually enjoy this stuff?!” Max stared happily at Lisa. “Well, class is over for today. We’ll get started again tomorrow on another trick. Same time. Same place. Be there. Class dismissed.” Then after that, Max went ahead and walked away from Lisa. “I’m never eating another doggie treat for as long as I live.” Lisa began putting the dog treats back in the kitchen.

***

It was Wednesday, December 1, 2021 and it was in the afternoon after school. Donna and all the girls were busy putting up the Christmas tree in the living room of Amore’s home. Rebecca began speaking.

“Since it’s the first of December, I do have to say, the last month of the year is my favorite month. We get to listen to Christmas music without interfering with Thanksgiving in November, Santa’s arrival is less than a month away, and we get an extra hour of sleep thanks to daylight standard time.”

Amore added, “The first of December also means it’s not that long before we spend our first-ever Christmas with a dog in the house.”

Rebecca added, “Too bad Ashley is gonna be the only one here that’s gonna get a lump of coal from Santa for being naughty all year long.”

“Shut up!” Ashley ordered. The ladies continued working on the Christmas tree.

“Not only is she gonna get a lump of coal. She is a lump of coal.”, Amore insulted. Amore and Rebecca went ahead and laughed a little.

“I said shut up!” Ashley ordered. The ladies continued working on the Christmas tree.

“And her attitude towards most people is as bad as the taste of eggnog.”, Rebecca insulted.

“If you two don’t shut up right now, I’ll show you just how naughty I am!” Ashley exclaimed.

“Bring it on! We’re not scared of you!” Amore exclaimed.

“Okay, you three, that’s enough. I don’t wanna hear any more arguing between you girls. Christmas is not a holiday of arguing.”, Donna spoke.

The girls continued working on the Christmas tree. Then Max went ahead and walked into the living room. Max walked over to Donna’s smartphone and looked at the phone. Max grabbed the phone with his mouth and exited the living room.

“Uh, Mom, it looks like Max just took something very important out of the living room.”, Ashley notified.

“Okay, well, what did he take? An ornament or something?” Donna asked her.

“He ran off with your smartphone.”, Rebecca replied.

“He did what?!” Donna exclaimed.

Max came back into the living room with the smartphone in his mouth.

“Hey, come back here, you little four-legged thief!” Donna commanded. Donna began chasing after Max and, as a result, Max started running away from Donna. Donna was chasing Max all around the living room. “Stop! I said come back!” Donna ordered. Then the chase continued into the kitchen. The rest of the females continued setting up the Christmas tree.

“So, how long do you all think the chase between Mom and the dog is going to last?” Rebecca asked them.

“Knowing how dogs typically behave, probably 2026.”, Ashley answered her.

“Yeah, that seems pretty accurate.”, Amore replied.

Max ran back into the living room with the phone as it was ringing in his mouth. Donna ran back into the living room. Max ran up the stairs resulting in the chase continuing upstairs. “Now, there’s someone who’s getting a lump of coal this Christmas.”, Rebecca spoke. Then Amore and her sisters continued setting up the Christmas tree.

***

Later, it was Wednesday evening. Rebecca was in the lit living room with Max as the sky was completely dark outside. Rebecca began speaking. “Okay, Fido, I think it’s about time we start teaching you some cool dog tricks.” Rebecca was holding some dog treats.

Rebecca set the dog treats down on the living room table. “Alright, I’m gonna go ahead and teach you the hand touch trick. You’re gonna learn how to move towards my palm and bop it with your nose.” Rebecca began with both hands behind her back with the dog in front of her.

Rebecca moved her hand with an open palm (as if she were about to give someone a handshake) in front of the dog. The dog moved towards it and sniffed it. “Good boy, Max!” Then Rebecca went ahead and rewarded Max.

Rebecca put her hand back behind her back and repeated that several times. “Touch.”, she spoke before presenting her hand and rewarding the dog in the same way. Next, Rebecca gradually increased the distance she stood from the dog so that, eventually, the dog can be across the room and will run to her and touch her hand.

The dog was across the room and ran to Rebecca and touched her hand, “Good boy, Max.”, Rebecca spoke before rewarding him with a few dog treats. “Now, it’s about time you get taught how to spin.”

“Heel.” Rebecca had Max positioned in a “heel” position next to her leg and facing in the same direction as her. Rebecca had a treat in a closed hand and placed it in front of Max’s nose.

Then Rebecca moved her hand in a circle moving out and away from her (as if she were swimming). As she completed the circle, she rewarded him. “Spin.”, she commanded before moving her hand in the same way and rewarded Max as before.

John went ahead and came into the living room. “What in the world is going on in here?” John asked her. “And why are there dog treats in the living room?”

“I’m just teaching Max some new dog tricks.” “Do you mind?”

“No, I don’t mind. But since it’s so close to your bedtime, I do mind.” “Do you have any idea what time it is, young lady? Did you forget you have to go to school tomorrow morning?” Go ahead and get some shuteye, Rebecca.”

“Okay, Dad. I will.”

“Great!” “Oh, and make sure you remember to put the dog treats back in the kitchen.”

“I’ll try my best not to forget.”

Then after that, John went ahead and exited the living room. “But before I do that, I wonder what dog treats taste like to human beings, I’m just gonna go ahead and find out right now.” Rebecca got a dog treat and started eating it.

Then a disgusted look went ahead and appeared on her face. “Ew! You’re actually telling me you and your kind eat this garbage?!” Max walked away from Rebecca and exited the living room.

“I wouldn’t even eat this stuff for a million dollars. I think it’s best for me to just stick to human food from now on.” “And why am I talking to myself?” Then Rebecca began putting the dog treats back in the kitchen before heading to bed.

***

It was Thursday, December 2, 2021, and it was in the evening while the sky was completely dark outside. In Ashley’s lit bedroom, Ashley was painting her toenails while lying on her bed and listening to heavy metal music through her headphones. Max went ahead and entered Ashley’s bedroom. Ashley saw Max and stopped what she was doing before taking off her headphones.

“What are you doing in here?! No one invited you in here, so get out!” she spoke before pointing at the door. Max went ahead and just stared at Ashley. “Didn’t you hear what I just said or are you a deaf dog or something?!” “Out! Now!” she spoke before pointing at the door.

Max went ahead and just stared at Ashley some more. Ashley got up from her bed and stood by the bedroom door. “Okay, this is your last warning! Get out of here right now before I carry you out of here myself!” she spoke before pointing at the outside of her room.

Max jumped on Ashley’s bed. “Hey, get off my bed!” Max grabbed Ashley’s headphones and quickly ran out the bedroom. “Hey, come back! That doesn’t belong to you!” she exclaimed before chasing Max.

Ashley spotted Max in the hallway. And Max started running again. Then Ashley continued chasing Max. Max ran down the stairs. Then Ashley ran down the stairs. Ashley began chasing Max all around the living room.

The chase continued as if a cop was trying to catch a criminal. The chase in the living room continued some more. Max ran into the kitchen and the chase went ahead and continued in the kitchen.

Ashley began chasing Max all around the kitchen. Max ran into the basement. And Ashley began running down into the basement. Ashley started chasing Max all around the basement.

“Come back here, you little four-legged thief! You can’t run forever!” Then Max left the basement. And Ashley left the basement after him. The chase continued in the kitchen. Rebecca came into the kitchen to get a glass of water and saw Ashley chasing Max. Rebecca continued watching Ashley chase Max all around the kitchen. Rebecca stood in Ashley’s way before Ashley spoke.

“What do you think you’re doing?! Move!”

“What’s going on in here?”

“I’ll tell you what’s going on in here! That four-legged jerk broke into my room and ran out with my headphones! And I’m so mad right now! Get out of my way!” she spoke angrily.

“Hey, don’t get mad at him! He’s just a dog!”

“Oh, so you’re saying that dogs have an intense love for headphones?!”

“No, what I’m trying to say is that dogs always have a reason for the things they do!”

“Well, I sure am gonna have a reason for getting my property back!” Ashley walked over to Max and picked up a part of what was her headphones. “What?! Look what you did to my headphones! Max, why would you do something so stupid and idiotic! I mean, look! Look at this! You see what you just did?!” she exclaimed angrily. Max ignored Ashley while chewing on what was left of her headphones.

“Well, look on the bright side, this moment opens up the opportunity for you to buy some better headphones.”

Ashley stared at Rebecca unhappily.

“Not helping?”

“Ugh! I’m going back to my room!” she spoke angrily. Ashley put the partial headphones somewhere and went back to her room.

“Well, looks like you and Ashley finally met for the first time. Oh, and F.Y.I., she’s the rotten apple of the family. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”

Then Rebecca got her water while Dexter continued chewing the damaged headphones.

***

It was Friday, December 3, 2021, and it was in the evening as the sky was completely dark outside. After dinner, Amore and Max were in Amore’s lit bedroom. Then Amore went ahead and began speaking.

“Okay, Max, I think it’s time you start learning some new dog tricks. Now, I know dog owners usually reward their pets with dog treats for successfully doing dog tricks. However, instead of rewarding you with dog treats, I’m gonna reward you with Amore breadsticks instead. You’re lucky that I was able to sneak these into my room after I had my dinner. Oh, and F.Y.I., there’s no dipping sauce. Sorry about that. Okay, let’s do this.” “Alright, since I’m one of the middle children, you’re gonna be taught how to do the middle trick.” “You’re gonna learn to come and stand between my legs and look up at me.”

Max was in front of Amore. Amore pulled off a piece of a breadstick and placed it in front of his nose. Amore moved her hand slowly and gradually round behind her, so her hand ended up between her legs from behind.

Amore had her other hand ready to then pass the treat to going through her legs, to encourage the pup to move between her legs. Once the dog’s head and shoulders were poking out from between her legs, Amore stopped moving her head and waited momentarily and then rewarded Max. That repeated until it was nice and fluid.

“Middle.”, she spoke before moving her hands as before. Over time, Amore reduced how much gesturing with each hand she was doing so that she could eventually simply say “middle.” And Max moved into the correct position looking up at her ready for his reward.

Max got rewarded. “Good boy, Max.”, Amore spoke with a smile. “You know, I think I’m gonna like having you around.” Amore went ahead and walked back over to the other breadsticks. “You know what?” “I’m gonna go ahead and share the rest of my breadsticks with you.” “Is that okay with you, Max?” Then Max barked happily. “I knew you were going to say that.”, Amore spoke with a smile. Then Amore went ahead and began sharing the rest of her breadsticks with the dog.

***

It was Saturday, December 4, and it was in the evening as the sky was completely dark outside. In the dining room of the Cooper household, Amore and her family sat down together to eat takeout from Amore for dinner.

“Well, I do have to admit, it sure has been an awesome first week with a dog in our house.”, Amore spoke.

Ashley added, “And I also have to admit, being a dog owner sucks. Mom, Dad, can we trade him for a fish?”

“Nope, the dog stays no matter how much he gets on our nerves.”, John responded.

Ashley continued, “Well, I sure didn’t have a pleasant first experience with him. He invaded my room, took off with my headphones, and ripped them to shreds.”

“I taught him a new trick or two.”, Rebecca reported.

“So did I.”, Lisa informed.

“Yeah, I did too.”, Amore added.

“Well, I can kind of relate to Ashley’s first experience with Max. I had my phone taken away from him, but thank God it wasn’t broken.”, Donna spoke.

John added, “And I took him to work with me. Maybe I should start doing that more often. Any who, I think it’s about that time for us to start eating.”

Donna warned, “Oh, and we’re having some dessert with our takeout from Amore that contains chocolate. It’s very important that you girls remember not to feed the dog chocolate. Chocolate is poison to dogs and their bodies can’t handle it the same way we can.”

“Noted, Mom. We’ll try our best to remember that.”, Amore told her.

“Good. Now, we can all eat.”, Donna responded.

Everyone closed their eyes before grace was said by John. “Heavenly Father, we thank you for this essential food we’re about to have for our health and well-being. And we thank you a whole lot more for creating the dog population. Especially this little fella over here. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray this prayer. Amen.”

“Amen.”, the remaining humans spoke.

Max happily barked two times near his bowl of dog food. Then Amore and her family started eating takeout from the Amore restaurant while Max started eating his bowl of dog food. And after all that, Max’s (nearly) first week of being a permanent member of the Cooper household turned out to be an awesome one.

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