It had just got too hot for Ernie and Theo to meet under their usual lamppost. Instead, they were going to rendezvous at another one – the café of the same name that had just opened in town.
Theo was always telling Ernie how important it was to visit dog cafes. They all sell lovely food but some also had pet accessories. So, he always saw visits to them as a chance to see what Ernie and Theo’s competition was up to. This helped him with his product development strategy.
Actually, Ernie probably enjoyed dog cafes even more than Theo. He’d found that if you kept your nose, not your ears, to the ground you’d almost always get a free meal. Of course, Ernie never personally paid for a meal, but you know what he means.
Theo always thought “dog cafe” was a funny name for places that dogs couldn’t enter without their humans. Still, the rules had their compensations. The pet humans always bought them treats from the café and were so busy gossiping that Ernie and Theo were left to themselves.
Theo arrived before Ernie and settled into a table by the door. He was munching on a coconut treat when Ernie ran in looking for him. By the time he saw Theo his eyes had taken in the jars of treats, the smell of the coffee and lots more. He bounced over to see his best mate.
“Well, I like this Theo, can I have one of your treats by the way?” Ernie said excitedly.
“Yes, of course you can,” Theo replied. Theo’s human gave Ernie a coconut treat. They could both see out of the corner of their eye that Ernie’s human was at the counter buying another bag of doggie goodies for them. It was going to be a terrific, not to say calorific, visit.
“Well, with everything going on, the next few weeks could be very significant for the country’s future,” Theo pronounced.
“Blimey Theo, I hadn’t realised our stall and products were important to the country,” Ernie gasped, his eyes widening. “Mind you,” he went on, “my human is churning out lots of leads, collars and bandanas on her new sewing machine and we’ve lots of markets over the summer. I am looking forward to the ‘Wirral Dog Fest’ on 14 and 15 July.”
“No, no, no Ernie,” Theo exclaimed shaking his head. “I don’t mean what WE do!! I’m talking about the President of the United States of America’s visit to Britain before he goes to a NATO Summit and meets Russia’s President. We’re also at a critical stage in the Brexit process,” he explained.
Ernie had heard his humans talking about “Brexit”. At first, he thought they were talking about “fetch it”. As the humans talked on though, he realised Brexit was much harder work and less fun than his favourite game. He was far more interested in President Trump’s visit though.
“Really, Theo, is the President visiting? I’d love to meet him, wouldn’t you? Can we go to see him?” Ernie was so excited the questions just kept tumbling out.
“Yes, President Trump is touring the country. He is going to meet the Queen and the Prime Minister. He is going to play golf in Scotland,” Theo explained. “As you know, I am very worried about his trade policy so I am not too bothered about meeting him really. Besides, even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t get close. He will have so much security.
Why do you want to meet him Ernie?” he asked.
“Well, he’s got amazing hair hasn’t he Theo?” Ernie replied “I’d love to find our who his groomer is.”
Theo slowly shook his head; he was too old for all this. Ernie had only just got going though.
“What’s security Theo?” he asked.
“Well, it’s a way of protecting the President from danger,” Theo patiently explained.
“Will he have guard dogs then Theo?” Ernie asked.
“I don’t think he’ll have guard dogs Ernie, no. He travels in planes, helicopters and a big armoured car. He’s got lots of secret service police looking out for him,” Theo said.
“Yes, but we don’t know for sure that he doesn’t have guard dogs do we Theo,” Ernie replied. It was not like Ernie to argue with his very clever friend but he had an idea that just wouldn’t go away.
“No, we don’t know for sure Ernie. Why are you so interested in if he has guard dogs?” Theo sighed.
“My brother Erik would make a great guard dog, he could look after President Trump I know he could. We just need to meet him. He’ll see what Erik can do with his own eyes – and I can ask him who does his hair at the same time”
Theo rolled his eyes. He’d met Erik at Ernie’s place a couple of times. Erik spent most of his time trying to chew Ernie’s ears off. He’d concluded that Erik was a shorter version of Ernie without the intellect.
He’d also heard worrying rumours about Erik. Apparently, he liked arguing with German shepherds but appeared frightened of Scottie dogs. He’d found out that Erik liked bringing bits of the garden into his humans’ living room. He was sure that the CIA’s vetting process would pick up these and Erik’s other erratic behavioural traits.
He tried explaining his concerns to Ernie. He did it as diplomatically as he could - Erik was Ernie’s brother after all. It was all in vain though. Ernie was getting more excited about meeting President Trump by the minute.
“Oh Theo, just wait until I tell Erik we are going to see President Trump. It will be a big adventure, I can’t wait. We’ll need your help Theo. You’ll come with us, won’t you?” Ernie asked.
Theo said he’d have a think about it. He thought it was the worst idea he’d ever heard. But he knew his little mate was very serious and that someone would have to look him and his barmy brother during their adventure.
Just then, the pet humans were getting ready to leave the cafe. Ernie’s human invited Theo’s back to her house as Erik’s human was coming for lunch. On hearing this, Ernie started spinning round the table. With Theo’s help, Ernie knew they’d have planned their adventure before the day was out.