Friday, June 1, 2012

The Poodle from H-E-Double Hockey Stick

By Laura Bradford

In preparation for writing this post, I jumped online in search of a photograph that would capture the true evilness of my fourth grade nemesis. Yet, despite page after page of poodle pictures, all I could find were (*deep swallow*) cute versions of the four-legged creature that had tortured me on a near daily basis while waiting at the bus stop in my blue and white plaid uniform.

Cute poodles...

Who knew?

So, since I am completely unable to consider the possibility that such a version of my torturer exists, this post will not have a picture. Instead, I'll give you a literary account and leave the visualizing up to you, The Stiletto Faithful...

Fourth Grade Me: Light brown hair, chubby cheeks, a happy-go-lucky enough personality, loved school, and was on the cusp of stumbling across my writing dream. I still wasn't a huge fan of chocolate (trust me...I gasp at the thought now, too) at this point. I loved to color. I loved to play Barbies. My favorite dinner in the whole wide world was my mom's Pot Roast and Noodles, and my favorite lunch in the whole wide world was left over meat loaf (cold, on sandwich bread, and topped with ketchup--YUM!).

Feel free to read that last sentence again. It goes along with my still-runs-deep despisement of poodles...

Chablis: Dishwater brown fur. Fat. Way bigger than a poodle should be. And MEAN. He loved nothing more than racing down his driveway (which was across from the driveway where I waited for the bus each morning), barking his head off, hell bent on terrorizing the neighborhood children.

Nope, no bias there. Just giving an honest account...

The Day That Made Me Hate Poodles Forever:  I'm standing at the bus stop in my aforementioned Catholic school uniform with my school bag beside my feet and my brown paper lunch sack clutched tightly in my hand. Despite being the kind of kid who actually enjoyed going off to school each day, this particular day was extra special. For in my brown paper lunch sack was a meat loaf sandwich...with ketchup. All I wanted to do was get on the bus, learn what I needed to learn the first half of the day, and finally get to the point where I could spread my lunch across my desk and dig in (because, after all, what kid wouldn't envy a leftover meatload sandwich?!?!?).

So there I am, waiting for the bus, when Chablis comes out of nowhere and starts racing down the hill, barking his head off as he always did.

Which, prompted the response I always gave...

I ran.

Only, on this particular day, I dropped my lunch sack when I took off.

And you know what? That damn dog grabbed a hold of that bag and raced right up the hill...with my meatloaf sandwich encased in his evil little mouth.

I, of course, ran home in absolute hysterics (wouldn't you?!?!?) only to discover that the meatloaf on my sandwich was the last of the leftovers from the previous night's dinner and peanut butter was now in order.

Peanut butter...for me.

Meatloaf...for Chablis.

See? I don't get the cute factor...


P.S (a.k.a. a shout-out, if I may):  HEARSE AND BUGGY, the first book in my new Amish Mysteries with Berkley/Penguin releases on Tuesday!!!  I'd love it if you'd give it a try. And if you enjoy it, I'd love it even more if you'd help spread the word. In the meantime, you can find chapter one of HEARSE AND BUGGY on my website: There, you'll find lots of pictures...but absolutely no poodles. :)


  1. In my opinion? Chablis did you a favor. (ducking) Just not a fan of meatloaf sandwiches.

    Now peanut butter - yum.

    I don't remember any mean dogs in my childhood. Now we did have a haunted house....

    Congrats on your new release.

  2. A haunted house? Hmmm. THAT would make an interesting blog one day...

  3. Oh, Laura, I giggled while reading this. I had a similar experience when I was about 5 years old. My mom took me to McDonalds and we were eating outside on one of the tables when a squirrel scooped down and stole my hamburger. I cried and cried but my mom said I should have been sitting down and eating my burger instead of off playing. No hamburger for me. Darn squirrels! I'm convinced they are just rats with cute tails :)

  4. Meatloaf/hamburger, very close. :) Maria, I had to laugh at what your mom said. That's SUCH a mom comment! LOL. And I agree on squirrels!

  5. Well, it could be worse. The only time I was ever bitten by a dog (deliberately, not nipped while playing), it was a dishwater brown standard poodle. Maybe he was mad because I didn't have any meatloaf.

  6. We had Kelly the Psycho Cat. She was our nemesis. More on her to come...

    Can't wait for HEARSE AND BUGGY! Maggie

  7. Oh, I know exactly what you mean about losing your sandwich. Special lunches were...special. And dogs were scary to me when I was young. I'll look for your book.

  8. LD, was your dishwater brown poodle named Chablis, by chance?

    Can't wait to hear about Kelly the Psycho Cat, Maggie!!

    Lil--thank you!!!

  9. I dont have a poodle story...but for some reason I have disliked poodles since I was kid. Maybe I had an experience that I have repressed because it was so full of poodle horribleness.
    Cannot wait until the cover of HEARSE AND BUGGY on my NOOK says new and not preorder. :)

  10. I can't wait for that, either, Lori!