Sunnyboy was enjoying a walk on a warm spring day. His nose picked up on numerous scents filling the air at the edge of the park. One was the fragrance of a poodle from southern France that wafted his way from the auto repair shop across the street. He glanced toward the garage then looked both ways and crossed the street. Sunnyboy was on a mission.
The poodle saw him coming and twisted her body to play hard to get. She turned her head back, striking a gorgeous pose. Sunnyboy smiled like there was no tomorrow.
“Hey, big boy,” the Poodle said. “Could you tell I was out of sorts? Were you coming to my rescue?”
Sunnyboy nodded and said, “I’m always up for a challenge, especially when there’s a damsel in distress.”
“Oh, I’m not in any distress, but my owners are.”
“I’ve watched mine express stressful moments, too. So how can I help you?”
“The guys in the shop are concerned about a ring around the sidewall of the tire. Can you help?”
Sunnyboy shifted his head and walked inside the garage.
The SUV was on the rack and sat high enough for the tires to be at chest level. An old man and a young kid were standing by the passenger side rear tire contemplating how to address the situation. There was an indentation encircling the tire’s sidewall like a ring and they didn’t know what to make of it.
Sunnyboy jogged over to the two men and glanced at the tire. He then stood on his hind legs and barked. With one paw he pointed to his other paw.
“Hey, this dog wants to play charades,” said the youth.
“Non-sence,” scoffed the older man. “Dog’s can’t play charades.”
Sunnyboy reset himself and then got up on his hind legs again. He pointed one paw at the other.
“Ring!” shouted the teen.
Sunnyboy tapped his paw to his nose. Bark! He dropped back down onto all fours.
“He says you got it right,” the older man said. “Oh my, he does want to play charades. Okay boy, what’s the second word?”
Sunnyboy glanced around and saw flowers on the front desk. He walked over and carefully pulled one rose out of the vase using his teeth. He headed back into the garage.
“Alright boy, tell us more.”
Sunnyboy pulled the rose from his teeth and held it against his heart. Then he acted like he was shot and fell onto his back to play dead.
“He’s dead,” said the youth.
“Ring dead?” questioned the man.
Sunnyboy hopped up and waved his right paw over his left and back again.
“Oh, he means dead ring,” said the teen.
“Dead ring? Oh, death ring,” confirmed the old man.
Sunnyboy tapped his paw to his nose.
“What’s a death ring?”
The old man took the tire off of the car and set it on the tire machine. He started removing the tire from its wheel.
“The death ring was that indentation we saw going around the tire,” said the man. “When a car drives on a flat tire, the heavy wheel crushes the inside of the tire. After re-inflating the tire, the outside of the tire appears to be normal, but inside the walls have collapsed into a powder—creating ideal conditions for a blowout on the highway.”
“You mean the dog just made sure we looked at the health of the tire instead of just patching it?” asked the uneasy teen.
With the tire now off of the wheel, the old man reached into the tire and pulled out two handfuls of black dust.
“Yep, here’s the inside of the tire, leaving so little sidewall that the tire is no longer structurally sound and is ready to blow,” said the man. “We’ll have to tell the owners they need new tires.”
Sunnyboy walked away with pride in his step for helping others avert a catastrophe. The poodle snuggled up to him as he left the garage.
“Thank you big boy for taking care of little ole me.”
“It’s been my pleasure.”
The poodle pressed her wet nose against Sunnyboy’s. He then turned and headed back to the park with another secret story under his collar.