A Dog’s World

Stephanie Cottrell Bryant

April 22, 2000

A Dog’s World

Wow, the humans are all staring at the flashing-movie-box and I think Im bored or hungry or something, but theyre not paying any attention to me, so Ive got to make them pay attention by picking up my ball and bouncing it around and chasing it around the house, but Id better watch my tail >cause I just spilled something and now Shes yelling at me, beautiful and angry at the same time, so I chase the ball down the hallway for Her, and come back with it, and chase it again and again and again, the ball tastes funny in my mouth, and I wonder if theyre paying attention now, but it looks like theyve gone back to watching the movie-box, and even She is watching it now, so I turn around a few times, sniffing my tail because thats fun, and then my toe hurts for a second, and now Im chasing the ball again, which is also fun, and then Shes paying a little more attention to me because Im such a goofball (she says), but I think She loves me anyway, because Shes always laughing when I act like this, only suddenly now shes not laughing, and I can smell something different, but I think maybe its just Her, because She smells different from anyone else, always, but then she takes me by the halter and leads me into the Other Room.

****

I am an old dog. I am thirteen years old. That makes me old.

The younger one, Hammer, is only nine. That makes him, old, too. Not that youd know it. He bounces around here like a puppy. Hes doing it now. Showoff.

I am an old dog. Old dogs do old-dog things. For myself, I like to rest. I like to be petted. My Lady is a wonderful dog-petter. She feeds all of us. She also cleans up for us. Very nice woman, is My Lady. Her mate is nice, too.

My Lady is watching the television. She has friends over– they watch together. I think shes lonely sometimes. Shes always inviting people for dinner, movies. The lights are low. I relax in the low light.

Shes late with dinner, of course. Shes always late with dinner. Its a habit of hers, being late. I love her anyway. She keeps Hammer from eating my food.

I relax into my pillow. Thirteen years– I am good at resting. Ive had lots of practice. I teach the cat how to nap. Hes a terrible student, though. Too high-strung.

Hammer has hurt himself. Hes such a fool. Theres a lot of blood. Hes tracking it all over the carpet. I wait for My Lady to get mad. But she doesnt. In fact, she doesnt notice at first. After a while, she sees the blood. She jumps up and grabs his halter. They go into the kitchen. I worriedly sniff the carpet. The humans worriedly knock on the door. I wonder if Hammer is all right. I wonder if My Lady is all right.

I wonder if shes giving him dinner.

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