Road Trip

Traffic is heavy. There is a blind dog in the passenger seat of my vehicle, emitting strange and exotic smells.

The dog’s name is Marigold. We call her “Marigold the Magnificent.” Or “Marigold the Marvelous.” Or, if she’s chewing another pair of my reading glasses: “Marigold the Maniac.”

We have traveled a few hundred miles. I have to make a speech at a private get-together tonight. The audience will include a very famous politician. I am more than a little nervous.

Also, I haven’t told anyone I’m bringing a canine with me. This gig was booked long before I rashly adopted a blind animal who needs me 24/7.

I’m hoping they allow coondogs at the venue.

I arrive at my hotel. It’s a nice joint. Art Deco interior. The woman clerk looks at me funny when I waltz to the front desk with a purebred hound.

The clerk is aghast.

“Excuse me, sir?” she says. “Is that a dog?”

“Is this a trick question?” I say.

“We don’t allow pets.”

“She’s not a pet.”

“What is she?”


No response.

“Look,” I say, “they told me I could bring my dog when I called ahead and booked a pet-friendly room.”

She crosses her arms. “I’m sorry, sir, but nobody told me about this.”

“It hurts being left out, doesn’t it?”

It takes some doing, but we finally get things straightened out. The manager is called. He says it’s no big deal. Then I pay a pet deposit. Bada bing, bada boom. He’s glad to have our business.

Although, honestly, Marigold still holds a grudge against the clerk. She decides to let the disgruntled woman know exactly how she feels by making some Art Deco on the hotel grass.

Our room is fancy. It comes with all the trimmings. Huge beds. Fat pillows. Soft towels. Robes so thick and plush you can hardly get your suitcase closed.

I work on my speech for a few hours. Then I get dressed in my formal duds. My attire for the evening is a fine suit, handcrafted by the world-class artisans at Sears. Marigold wears a turquoise collar.

We drive across town to the venue. It is a swanky place. Seated dinner. Podium. Chandelier. Circular tables in a ballroom. I believe they are serving prime rib tonight.

It bears mentioning that Marigold has an overdeveloped sense of smell when it comes to food. Marigold is a scenthound. Meaning, her sense of smell is already superior to 99 percent of the animal kingdom. But now that she’s blind, her nose is on steroids.

And the prime rib smells pretty good.

Marigold’s handler for the evening is Mikayla. Mikayla is a sophomore in high school, daughter of one of the guests. Mikayla likes to play on her phone a lot, which is not a great quality for the babysitter of a canine with a nuclear-powered nose.

The event begins. The band plays. The emcee introduces me. And here I am. Making my speech.

Midway through my speech, something happens.

I notice people in the crowd are snickering. A commotion sort of moving through the audience, akin to people doing the wave at a sporting event.

That’s when I see a dog wandering through the ballroom. Unsupervised.

Marigold the Malnourished has escaped. She is now standing before a nicely dressed older woman in a sequined evening gown. Marigold is politely asking for prime rib. The woman shoos the animal away. But Marigold is a big believer in persistence. So she says please.


People laugh wildly.

Mikayla rushes into the ballroom and removes Marigold. And as Marigold leaves the ballroom, I can see there is no saving my speech. I might as well take a swan dive off centerstage.

When my performance is finished, I am shaking hands in the lobby. People are sort of avoiding eye contact with me. The event organizer has already taken me off her Christmas card list. The catering staff wishes I was never born.

I see the aforementioned politician weaving through the mass of heads, making his way toward me.

The man pumps my hand sincerely and says, “You did okay tonight, son. But if I were you, I’d keep the dog in your act.”


  1. Barbara Zuleski - September 25, 2022 10:22 am

    price less, you are so good for my soul, especially on a cool rainy Sunday Morning

  2. Pat Deas - September 25, 2022 12:02 pm

    Too Funny!!! The bathrobe comment got me! Kisses to Miss Marigold!

  3. Greyn - September 25, 2022 12:03 pm

    Marigold sounds a wonderful distraction, and an opportunity for many in that audience to grow. Puts the focus outside themselves just a bit. Good for all of us. Kept them from trying to read the label on your suit.

  4. Ruth - September 25, 2022 12:04 pm

    You always warm my heart with your lovely tales, or should I say tails☺️ In this case.
    I look forward to reading you every day as I love your perspective on life. Even on very serious matters too. Blessing to you Sean and your precious Marigold. You are her hero.

  5. Diana - September 25, 2022 12:32 pm


  6. Denise DeVries - September 25, 2022 1:08 pm

    One of several that I think is priceless. Pets and children often put us in our place.TY Sean

  7. Ginger - September 25, 2022 1:09 pm

    I love Marigold.

  8. Vickie - September 25, 2022 1:36 pm

    You obviously are her emotionalsupport person.

  9. Debbie - September 25, 2022 1:38 pm

    Marigold is definitely living her best life now! Bless you

  10. Stacey Wallace - September 25, 2022 1:42 pm

    Sean, I hope to meet Marigold, you, and Jamie one day. Thanks for making my husband and me laugh. Love y’all!

    • Donna R Taylor - September 25, 2022 3:45 pm

      That’s a dog after my heart. Stir up the program. Be yourself, sweet Marigold. The world deserves to know and love you.

  11. Patricia Gibson - September 25, 2022 1:47 pm

    😂 Too funny

  12. Debbie - September 25, 2022 2:25 pm

    “Robes so thick and plush you can hardly get your suitcase closed”!! Lol! 🤗 And, you get “dressed in a fine suit” while “Marigold wears a turquoise collar”! I love the way you think!🤗

  13. Harriet White - September 25, 2022 3:18 pm

    Marigold stole the act!

  14. Linda Moon - September 25, 2022 6:45 pm

    I like Marigold’s nicknames. My family is full of them and we’re not even dogs! We had a blind kitty once. Kitty (his actual name) sometimes walked into walls with no resulting injuries, ever. We’ve also had a deaf dog who learned ASL. But enough about my pets. Keep the dog, Sean, but not for your act. Marigold herself is worth the keeping!

  15. Peggy - September 25, 2022 8:14 pm


  16. Sheri K - September 25, 2022 8:15 pm

    Priceless!!! Thank you for your amazing wit!

    • Buddy Bob's Best Friend - September 25, 2022 11:34 pm

      Thanks for the chuckle today!!! You are Marigold’s Support Human. Keep her at your side so that you can use her as a distraction if the speech needs some energy or enlightening.:) She helps to keep the attention focused on you and what you are saying about the current state of our world. God gave her to you so that you can be a mighty team crossing the country ministering to the people about being kinder to others and getting back to what made our country so special originally. Go, Man, Go!!! Marigold, lead the way Beautiful Baby Girl!!! Strut Your Stuff!!! God Bless America & You All !!!

  17. Karen - September 25, 2022 10:28 pm

    Marigold is a star ⭐️

  18. MAM - September 25, 2022 11:36 pm

    Please keep Marigold in your act. Of course, she will steal the show, but people will enjoy your part, too, don’t worry, Sean.

  19. Sandra Jones - September 26, 2022 1:19 am

    Such fun !

  20. John - September 26, 2022 2:12 am

    Sean, you are Marigold’s “service human”! 😉

  21. Chasity Davis Ritter - September 26, 2022 7:16 pm

    You just tell them straight up “I am her seeing eye human…. Where she goes I must lead”. And if that’s not good enough please remove them from your Christmas card list as well.

  22. Paula Loftis - September 26, 2022 9:37 pm

    Friend sent me this column and I am grateful she did. As an animal advocate, I genuinely appreciate the love, support and care for Marigold. Wonderful sense of humor which we need more of these days.

  23. Mary - September 27, 2022 11:13 am


  24. Millie Ericson - September 29, 2022 5:02 pm

    Hooray for Marigold & the bathrobes! But we want to know who the very famous politician was!! LOL


Leave a Comment