As Dante was having breakfast he heard a voice on the radio say something about an amber warning. He wasn’t sure what that meant but by the tone of the voice, he could sense it was something important.
The amber warning didn’t bother Dante, he left home soon after breakfast, woofing good-bye as he shut the front door behind him.
When he asked DeDe, who knows many things, what it was, she explained it was a warning about the weather. The radio was telling everyone to put their waterproof coats on because today was going to be windy and rainy all day.
When DeDe heard about the weather she decided she wouldn’t go to the beach. She’d just had her hair done, and didn’t want to spoil her beautifully fluffed-up tail. She knew Harley wasn’t going to the beach either, because he was on a mini-break. So without his friend, Dante might be a little more demanding than usual.
The amber warning didn’t bother Dante, he left home soon after breakfast, woofing good-bye as he shut the front door behind him. He knew DeDe hadn’t heard him because she didn’t do her usual woo-hoo howl in reply.
To get from Dante and DeDe’s house to the beach you need to ride on Billy, the marshes train. Billy travels along the flat lands every half an hour and goes directly to the beach. Dante always leaves it until the very last minute to catch Billy, and this morning was no exception. He heard the train pull into the station as he ambled down the road. Sadly he had to miss quite a few interesting smells to make sure he caught the train. In the nick of time he leapt onboard as the doors closed behind him.
He flopped on the floor without trying to find a seat. Billy was always full in the morning, so he didn’t even bother to look for one. As his panting subsided he received a positive thought from Lily-Poo, saying the traffic was really bad on the motorway, so she’d decided to turn back for home. Hmmm thought Dante. If DeDe’s not coming because she wants to keep her tail fluffy, and Harley’s on a mini-break, and now Lily-Poo is in a traffic jam; that leaves only Phoebe and me on the beach today.
In no time at all Billy’s tannoy sounded, “Camber next stop, anyone for Camber alight here”. As the doors opened Dante made a running leap off the train high into the air. Normally when he does this he lands safely on the platform, but today the wind lifted him up, and before he knew it, he’d done three somersaults and landed upside down on the ground. He quickly picked himself up pretending he’d done it on purpose, just in case anyone might have been watching.
He tried to turn one way and the wind made it very hard for him to walk forward, so he turned the other way and found he could walk twice as fast as he wanted to. The problem was the way he needed to go was the hard way. The wind was so strong that he had to crouch to the ground to even crawl a little way forward.
When he finally got to the beach the sand was blowing into his eyes, so he decided to turn the other way so he could open his eyes and see where he was going. In the distance he saw Phoebe doodle-dashing all alone. Phoebe has her very own style of dashing which involves rolling in every puddle she dashes through. This was the perfect weather for her because she didn’t even have to try to get dirty and wet.
Dante ran along the beach to say hello and join in her dash. As they made their figures of eight the wind got stronger and before they knew it they were dashing more in the sea than on the sand. The sea became deeper and deeper until Dante realised he was dashing on his own. Where had Phoebe gone?
Luckily doodles have very sensitive noses and ears, so he started to listen and sniff more than look. He heard Phoebe barking and gurgling all at the same time, The trouble was he didn’t know where the noises were coming from. After a while he noticed that w
hen he turned one way, he could hear her faintly but when he turned the other he could hear her much louder.
In a flash he caught a glimpse of Phoebe way out to sea. Now, Dante doesn’t swim too well and much prefers to paddle with his feet firmly plodding in the sand. But Phoebe needed his help right now, so he squeezed his eyes tight and lifted his nose into the air for an ounce more courage. Somehow he began to swim as fast as he could towards her. He tried not to think what he was doing otherwise he would certainly have been afraid. He knew he just needed to keep going.
As fast as he swam the more the gale winds pushed him back. For every three doodle paddles he swam forward the winds pushed him back two. The waves grew stronger and he was tossed about even more. At times he wondered if he was even going in the right direction. The sound of Phoebe gurgling and barking kept him going.
He knew he had to save her. As he was concentrating so hard on saving her, he didn’t notice the sound of a motor in the distance.
After one particularly big wave he thought he saw the outline of Captain Ellis’ boat in the distance. As the next wave lifted him even higher he got a clear view of his boat and let out the loudest bark he could possibly bark. On the crest of the next wave he barked even louder.
What Dante didn’t know was that Captain Ellis had heard him and was on his way to help. Very quickly the boat was alongside him and Captain Ellis lifted Dante up out of the water. In between his choking and spluttering, Dante was able to shout to Captain Ellis PHOEBE, IN SEA, OVER THERE!
Turning the boat around Captain Ellis quickly saw her and sped further out to sea. When they finally got along side her, Captain Ellis tried to grab Phoebe’s collar and lift her out of the water. But every time he thought he’d caught her, another wave came along and carried her further out to sea. After what seemed a very long time, and before one particularly big wave, Captain Ellis finally got hold of Phoebe’s collar and was determined not to let go. This time he held on and lifted a tired and limp Phoebe on to his boat.
Dante had never been so pleased to see Phoebe and licked her
all over, which made his tongue taste very salty. Once Phoebe was safely holding on to him, Captain Ellis pushed on the throttle and they sped back to the harbour. Dante looked at Phoebe and he knew they were safe at last. How lucky were they that Captain Ellis had seen them, and had been so brave to set out in his boat on such a stormy day.
When they were safely back on the shore they thanked Captain Ellis by jumping up and placing as many muddy paws on his trousers as they could. To a doodle the best way to say, thank you is to leave muddy paw prints every where. As they settled down from their thank yous, Captain Ellis became serious. He told them that when the radio talks about an amber warning they should remember the beach will be windy and might be dangerous. If they still decide to come out, they must doodle dash in the dunes, far away from the rough and windy seas.
Then Captain Ellis reached into his pocket and gave them both a juicy doodle treat. Never had a doodle treat tasted so delicious. They felt their adventures had been enough for one day, so raced off to catch Billy train for home and an early night.
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