I participated with a local story-telling group where we write and perform our short stories in front of live audiences in different venues throughout western New York State.
This venue requested that we write stories from our pet's point of view. Sadly, due to my bad back, I'm unable to perform this story. Instead, I'll leave it up to your imagination.
Dedicated to Nahlaa Calabrese
by Maura Stone
I'm Lachy although the old man named me Lachinvar after a Walter Scott poem he memorized in school. I'm a black country lab with fine white teeth and red nails, thanks to my sister who paints them when she's bored. I really want to bite her when she ties red kerchiefs around my neck. But she's my sister and I love her.
I'm so big the old man doesn't have to bend to pet me; he thumps my back from the kitchen chair or living room sofa. The old lady's pretty nice, cooking tasty food for my cultivated palate. Being old, they don't walk me; they let me out in the back yard to do my business, ignoring my need to have someone parade me around to show off my pretty nails and teeth. They don't understand I need to smell variety and interact with my own kind.
Which happens when my sister visits. The old man and lady tell me days in advance. By then, I'm half out of my mind with excitement. The moment she steps foot into the house, I grab the leash from the hallway doorknob with my teeth and whine for attention.
"Take the dog for a walk," insists the old man.
"Dad, I just drove two frigging hours in traffic. Let me unwind," moans my sister.
"Look at him," he cajoles, "he can't wait to bond with you."
"Can I at least go to the bathroom?" she complains. We stare at her while she races to the crapper. In the meantime, I chew the leash handle to calm down.
When she returns, she screeches, "Damn, he drooled on the leash!" She wipes her hands on my back and then leans over to attach it to my collar. That's the signal to do my very special happy-to-bond-with-my-sister dance.
"Lachy, stop jumping around!" she yells. "Dad, do something! How does he get so riled up? I can't clip on his leash."
"Lachy!" cries the old man. "Maura's going to take you out!"
The word, "Out" means joy and I jump even higher, this time barking in glee. I chase my tail to show my sister how happy I am.
"Dad, why say that? You're not helping." She watches me. "What the hell's wrong with this animal?" Noting her exasperation, I stop running in circles. I'm now ready for our game, a ritual I started since puppyhood. Each time she advances, I prance in reverse.
Looking sternly into my eyes, she states, "Okay, that's it. You're not going anywhere," drops the leash and turns her back.
She won that round. With my teeth, I snatch the discarded end. With my wet nose, I push it into her hands. Quickly, she snaps it on my collar. To show her who's boss, I race to the front door while jerking her arm out from her body.
"LACHY!" she shouts as I burst through the door with one paw and gallop down the sidewalk to the street, dragging her behind me.
"Knock it off, you crazy mutt!" she cries and tugs. I slow down cause she got me by the neck.
While she walks me around the block I sniff at the lampposts to discover which neighborhood mutt got there before me. I like to take my time; it's been a while since she last took me out for a walk. I lift my leg on newly painted fences. Again, she tugs and cuts off my air supply. "Damn, Lachy, they just painted this fence."
I know. He he he. I wag my tail. Happy!
Proudly, I show off my nice teeth, beautiful fur and my sister for the other mutts in the hood. They're jealous and bark from within their houses and backyards. I smile at my sister. Look at me! My tail's up and wagging.
We finally reach an expanse of wilderness off the sidewalk ideal for me to do my business. Maura's impatient to return. She mutters, "Make it quick." I shoot her a look. "Listen, lady," I think, "can you crap on demand?"
I find a good spot and circle and circle until I get motivated. But I can't go if she watches. She makes a face and looks the other direction. I may be a dog, even so, I do need my privacy. She'd feel the same if I watched her in the crapper. Afterwards, I kick dirt over my poop and jump back onto the road.
"Are you done?" she asks.
I wag my tail and, as proof, burst into running home. She runs along with me, cursing the entire time.
Inside, the old lady has food on the table and the old man asks, "Did he do his business?"
"Yes," says Maura.
"Good boy," and the old man thumps me on the back.
"You spoil him," she pouts while he removes skin from the roasted chicken and feeds me by hand. She glares at me. "You never punished him for eating my shoe the last time."
I smile. For that, I'll wipe my greasy mouth on her leg. I'm still the alpha dog here.
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This blog and all its posts are a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.