School is out for the summer and the house is quiet with sleeping-in-girls. Mid-morning, Anne takes the fixings for soup out of the freezer: homemade stock, frozen vegetables, beef. She plops everything into a 6-quart soup pot, adds a little water, turns the stove burner to "medium," and sets about her day. It will be awhile before the frozen chunks thaw to a simmer.
Later, the heat and humidity of the mid-June afternoon keeps the kids in the shade-drawn living room, maneuvering for the coolest spot in the path of the circulating fan. Even Rosie the Lab is listless this lazy day. Anne sits at her computer and thinks, "It's way too early for the 'dog days' of summer!"
Suddenly, Rosie plants herself in front of Natalie, the youngest of Anne's three girls, and stares. When Natalie notices and looks up from her book, Rosie runs into the kitchen; when Natalie doesn't follow her, Rosie trots back into the living room and stares at Sofia, the next oldest.
"Hi Rosie!" Sofia reaches out to scratch her head. But Rosie doesn't linger. She races off to the kitchen a second time, nails clicking on the tile floor. Sofia goes back to her drawing.
Rosie rushes back in and fixes herself in front of Anne, who barely glances up. "Nat, I think Rosie needs to 'park.' This is your week, will you go take her?"
Natalie sets her book down with a sigh and heads to the back door off the kitchen. Rosie beats her to it. "Rosie. Sit." Natalie commands and puts Rosie's leash on to take her out.
"Mom," Natalie yells a few minutes later as she comes back in. "Rosie wouldn't go. She wouldn't get off the driveway onto the grass!" Natalie struggles to unclip the leash from the squirming dog. Free, Rosie sprints into the living room and resumes her stare in front of Anne.
Anne swings around in her desk chair. "What's up, Rosie?"
Rosie lifts her nose into the air and sniffs, swinging her snout over her left shoulder, but maintains eye contact with Anne. Anne considers, and then takes a sniff herself.
As Anne leaps from her chair, Rosie darts into the kitchen ahead of her, sliding to a stop in front of the stove. The pot is furiously boiling over. Just in time, Anne grabs a towel to drag the pot off the burner.
"Rosie, you saved the day!"