A Dogs Tale: Part One

By Mike Powers

What is happening here? That man (I’ve never liked him, you know, and I get feelings about people - always have, and I guess always will) took my stuff. He took my doggie bed. Well, it really wasn’t as high and mighty as all that. It was really a couple of old, dirty towels folded over in half. But that beats concrete every time. He took my dish. It didn’t belong to me, anyway. When I got it, it was dirty, and it smelled like that mangy poodle I pass on my way here. (I hate poodles. They think their doggy-doo doesn’t stink, but believe me, I know. I’ve smelled it, and it stinks just like all the rest of us. And, it doesn’t even have interesting news in it. Poodles are so snobbish, they can’t even crap right.) As much as it discussed me, I licked that bowl until it was clean and made it mine. I don’t know where they went, but when they open my kennel-run, the man I don’t like grab my collar (that’s one thing I’ve had ever since they took me from my home - this collar. It’s got that mawkish tag that has my number. It doesn’t have my name, Buzz. They won’t call me by my name, but I learned that number lickety-split, because if you don’t know your number, you will starve to death. And the other dogs get mad too. “What’s wrong with you, 27? We are staring, and he’s calling you, but you just sit there like a damn house cat! Eat or get out of line for Fido’s sake.”) and hooked a leash to it. That’s when I got scared. They only use the lease when you’re about to get moved to a new place, and it’s scary. I know I’m a good dog, and dogs are supposed to be brave, but it’s hard when your skin starts a tremblin’ (it’s my skin not ME!). I tried to make my tail wag, but it has a mind of its own. Can’t keep the silly things still when I’m enjoying myself, but right now, it was sweeping the ground. I tried to keep my eye straight to, pretending I was cool, but I couldn’t help myself. They kept rolling back, trying to peek at the men clipping on the leash as if that would tell me anything. Right then, I started telling myself, “don’t forget to walk when he walks. You got to get up and go before the leash gets tight.” I was concentrating really hard on that part, because I often forget before I get taken from my family who called me Buzz, and I hate it when that lease goes tight and jerks the chokey collar- thing around my neck. It doesn’t hurt, but it scares me bad, because I know it could hurt, and… “Yelp!” That was me! Oh no! I was concentrating too hard, and I didn’t pay attention! I didn’t start walking like I was supposed to, and now the collar is tight. Okay, Okay. I’ve got to do something or my head will pop off. Okay, Okay. Oh, I know, I’ll drag the leash out of his hand. Okay, push with all my legs! Push back! “Yelp!” Oh! Good Fido in heaven, that hurt. That was as bad as when me and church got into that scrap over the third post on the chain-link fence. Those English bulldogs got some JAWS, brother, but he knew that was my post. I’ve been marking it for months before he even got here. Then he had the nerve to act like he couldn’t smell nothing, which he probably couldn’t with his nose all smashed up against his face like that. But we patch things up after I rolled him in the grass a few times to jog his sniffer. Now he goes around saying, “this is me mate, Jazz: and that right there is his post - the third one, right-o!”

Another hard gang on the leash. I you able again, and it finally came back to me. “WALK!” I told my stupid legs, and they did, and then it was no big deal, except I was trying to say goodbye to all my friends. They were coming up and touching noses. “See you later, Buzz!” Bye pal. Get a good family!” But the man kept dragging me along, not giving me any time. English Bob was at the door. He’d become my best friend since our scrap. “Well Buzz, here’s to you! Where are you off to, eh?” “I don’t know. I don’t know it all, but…” The man gave a final yank on the cursed leash, and I was outside the holding pen. The door shut with a crack of finality.

As the man walked me to the van, I actually got kind of excited. I’ve been at Nokil for a long time, but I knew I was a lucky mutt. Sam Shepard had escaped from another place where, he swore, if you ended up staying too long, they took you into this room at the back, and you just disappeared. “I tell you I saw all kinds of mongrels go into that room, and none of them ever came back out. Simple as that never heard from again.” Well, I didn’t want to be disappeared, I can’t tell you, but as bad as it was at Nohil, I never saw that happen. I guess the worst part was, whenever you first got there, if you were a bad dog, they take you into this room, and you go to sleep. Try as you might, you couldn’t stay awake. And when you woke up, your NUTS were gone! That was a shock, but it didn’t seem life was much different. In fact, in a lot of ways, it was easier. I wasn’t near as inclined to scrap over the she-dogs or even my post.

The back door of the van opened. I never seen so many dogs in one place. How’d they fit’em all in there? Suddenly, the man grabbed me by the scruff like I was some kind of pup, and shove me through an opening in the cage door he’d cracked open just enough for me to fit. Then he pushed me in like he was stuffing a turkey. “Yelp!” And all the other months are barking and snapping at me. “Hey! There’s no more room in here!” “What are you doing? That’s my spot!” I was pressed up against the mash of the cage door, but in this, it turned out I was lucky, because some of the fellows had curr-dogs all around them. I don’t know how they could breathe, but I didn’t have time to feel sorry for them. They were all snarky at me.

I raised my hackles, bared my teeth and emitted my best, throaty growl. There didn’t seem to be anyone close by who wanted to test me, at least not in this serene tan, and some of the bigger brutes, we’re too far back to really get it me.

Everything settle down as we all turned our thoughts towards where we were going (nobody knew), how long it would take to get there (it seem like forever), and if any more unfortunate bags of fur and bones would be shoved in here with us (it seems I was the last one on the list). It was time to see what would come next.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez