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Hi fellow Americans! I must be dreaming! I'm actually here - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where the most famous house in the Country is located! That's right! I'm at the White House!
After leaving Arlington National Cemetery, I had the strange feeling we needed to go home. "Woody, remember when you chased after the man and woman with the Scottish Terriers?" Dad asked. "Remember? I've been trying to forget that entire incident!" I answered. "Well," dad continued, "That just happened to be the President of the United States!" I couldn't believe it! Dad went on to tell me that the president and First Lady were walking on the Capitol lawn with their pups.
"The pups you chased were the First Dogs of America!" Dad said.
"Oh no!" I thought. "That explains the Secret Service." "Dad, we must get out of here! Once the president realizes who I am, I'll be kicked out of the White House and into the dog house again!" Mom, dad and Chloe all laughed! "Relax, Woody," Dad instructed. "The president realized you meant no harm and invited us here so you could make a formal introduction. The Secret Service told us to wait outside and the president will be right out. And Woody, this time please wait!"
My heart was pounding. I was thankful I had put on my bow tie and combed my hair. I had no idea I would meet the president today! What would I say to him? I didn't want to say anything silly or embarrass myself, but I had to think quickly about how I could express my appreciation. I wanted to thank him for leading our country, for protecting us from harm, and for keeping America great. My time had run out because I saw a shadow coming toward me. It was getting closer, and closer . . .
"Yes?" I replied.
"Woody?" the voice said again.
It was weird. I heard my name, but all of the sudden I felt terribly confused.
"Woody, son, wake up. Honey, you've been asleep a long time!"
I was puzzled. One minute I'm at the White House, the next minute I'm in the corner of the bedroom at home. I checked for my bow tie. It wasn't there!
"Wake up, son." Mom said one more time.
"Mom, wait. Where's the president?" I asked.
"The president?" She repeated.
"You must have been dreaming, Woody," Mom said. "Remember, you were punished for coloring in your Washington, D.C. book when you should have been doing chores so I put you in the corner? You must have gone to sleep."
"Oh, Mom! What about the Washington Monument and the Declaration of Independence? Are you and Dad still mad about the 'Secret Service' incident?"
Mom laughed. "I don't know what you're talking about, Woody, but it's OK now. You aren't at the White House, but the white house you call home - the one in Kentucky - and you're safe with us!" Mom picked me up and kissed me.
"It's time for dinner. Besides, tomorrow will be an exciting day. We'll be leaving early for our vacation to Washington, D.C. You and Chloe will want to be rested and ready."
I couldn't believe it! It was a dream! It felt like a dream - at one point even a nightmare - but it was so incredibly real! I was shocked at how many things I had learned in my sleep. Even in my dreams, I had learned about the history of our country. I had learned about our founding fathers' and mothers' who helped shape America. I had learned what it meant to be patriotic and civic-minded. I learned we have military men and women who sacrifice their lives to keep us free; and I learned to never, ever run on private property again! Most of all, I learned my favorite patriotic song was true, "There ain't no doubt, I love this land. God Bless the USA!"
So, fellow Americans, I'll say goodbye for now. Mom, Dad and Chloe are calling me for dinner. We have an exciting day ahead. I can't wait to cross the Potomac, view the Washington Monument, and pay respects to the soldiers at Arlington. Since I can't eat dessert tonight, maybe Mom will let me color a few more pictures in my favorite coloring book. By the way, keep your eyes open. You never know when I might show up, maybe even in your back yard. In the meantime, love your country with all your heart; be thankful for your freedom, and as always, work and dream like a big dog!
- Woody, a.k.a Mr. Dogwood
Thanks to LG&E/KU both E.ON companies and KPA for making this project possible. Thanks to the Kentucky Secretary of State for sponsoring the new podcast. For podcast and questions and activities go online to www.kypress.com.