I brought the mail into the kitchen where the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about was lounging on the throw rug.
“There’s a letter for you!” I said.
“Oh, oh,” he said, jumping up eagerly. “Let me see!” He grabbed it from my hands and tore it open with his teeth. He read it and began howling gleefully and jumping up and down.
“Did your rich uncle die and leave millions?” I asked.
“No! I got into college!” he said.
“College? I don’t remember your talking about college,” I said.
“I didn’t want to get your hopes up,” he said. “It has been my lifelong dream to go to college.”
“What will you study in college?” I asked.
“Oh, math, I think,” he said.
“Math! You haven’t really shown an aptitude for math,” I reminded him. “You can’t even count how many dog treats I give you.”
“I can learn,” he said, “and besides, I’ve seen the math teacher. Ooh, la la!”
“Where is the college?” I asked.
“Not too far. I won’t be too far away.”
“What’s it like?” I wanted to know. I also wanted to know how he was going to pay for college, but I didn’t want to lower his spirits too early in the conversation.
“It’s very nice. And it is close to a golf course,” he said.
“You don’t know math, and you don’t golf,” I said.
“Oh, but I can get a job there to help me pay my way through school,” he said smugly.
“Doing what?” I asked. “You couldn’t really serve drinks and burgers, you can’t ride a lawn mower, you couldn’t rake sand traps. What would you do?”
“Retrieve balls! Who is better than I am at retrieving balls?”
“You have a point…”
“I suppose I could point the balls, too,” he said. “But from watching golf on TV, I think retrieving is what golfers really want. I would get them out of the water, out of the woods, even out of the next fairway if the golfer isn’t too much of a stickler for rules. This is going to be great!”
“So, when do you leave?” I asked.
“Pretty much right away,” he said. “Summer school is a big thing at this college, and that’s when the golf course is hopping.”
“Do I drive you there?” I asked, hoping to see this college he was so hot about.
“No, they’ll pick me up. It says right here,” he said, giving me the letter.
“But there are bite marks through the date and time of pickup,” I pointed out.
“Oh, that’s OK. I can be ready at a moment’s notice. I don’t have any clothes, as you may have noticed, and I can pack my bones and balls in a jiffy.”
“OK. Are you going to say goodbye to the kids?” I asked, wondering about my grandchildren.
“Of course. And this will be a good example for them of what can be achieved with study and perseverance,” he said, “to have their uncle go to college.”
“Study?” I wondered.
“Online learning,” he said.
“I never knew. Through which institution?” I asked.
“Oh, Facebook, mostly. Twitter. You know, the most trusted information is what you learn from your peers,” he said.
“You should do well in college,” I said.