Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Good Dog

Been doing a bit of fiction writing lately, so I thought I'd share.

Night had fallen and the family was asleep. Rex had curled up on the living room rug, wide awake but staying quiet—his boy did not like to be disturbed at night. None of his humans did, but he especially fussed over his boy. Grown-up humans could take care of themselves. Little boys needed good dogs to help them.

Rex heard his boy's bedroom door open, and he stood up. His boy was probably just up for a glass of water, but he was still very little and it was dark in the house. A good dog would go help him. He padded to the boy's side, able to see much better than a human at night. His boy was filling a cup when he heard it.

There was a noise at the door that made his spine tingle. It was a sort of cracking noise, like somebody was trying to pry the door open instead of using the knob. Nobody had ever taught him, but something in his doggie-senses told him that only bad people tried to break doors in the middle of the night. He growled and his fur stood up all over his back.

The door broke open and a man came in with his face all covered up, even though it wasn't winter. Rex didn't like that. The man moved into the kitchen, and he liked that even less. His boy opened his mouth to yell for the grown-ups and the man grabbed him, putting a hand over his mouth. Rex's heart pounded. He had to do something. Good dogs did not bite, but this man was hurting his boy, and good men did not hurt little boys. Perhaps it was okay for a good dog to bite bad men?

He heard his boy whimper, and that settled it. Rex bit into the man's leg, and the man yelled and let go of his boy. The man tried to kick at Rex, and he bit harder, shaking like he did with his toys until he heard the rip of fabric and tasted blood. The taste scared him, but he didn't want to let go for fear that the man would go and hurt his boy again. He heard the grown-ups now, heard them dialing the phone. The man flung him off and tried to run. Rex chased him. Bad men could hurt his family. Bad men had to be stopped.

By the time the men in uniform arrived, Rex had the man by the arm. His family came running and he let go at last—men in uniform took bad men away. He had seen it happen on the television that his humans liked to watch. Tail wagging, he approached the men in uniform, expecting them to praise him for saving his family. Instead, one of the men pushed a long pole toward him, and Rex felt something close around his neck. He didn't understand. Men in uniform only took away bad dogs. The people on the television said so. But he had not bitten his boy. He had bitten the bad man. He was a good dog.

He saw one of his humans move forward, heard the words "good dog". She was trying to explain. But the man in uniform shook his head and said something Rex could not understand. He felt himself being pulled away and started to panic.

He strained against the thing around his neck, barking frantically as his boy began to cry. "No! You can't take me! I'm a good dog! He was going to hurt my boy! I had to protect him. I'm a good dog!" He barked all the way outside as the men put him in the back of a van.

But humans could not understand dog-talk. Rex laid his head down and whimpered as the van began to drive away with him in it, taking him away from his family.

"But I'm a good dog…" 

The dog-thoughts are heavily influenced by Amy Shojai (she is awesome, go check her out). She has a section of her thriller novel that is from the point of view of the dog.

As far as I know, the laws that protect homeowners from prosecution for defending their own homes do not usually apply to dogs who bite intruders. Which is a shame, since I have known at least a few dogs who would never hurt a fly unless they really thought their family was being threatened.

Friday, August 16, 2013

It's the little things

When you lose a family member, furry or otherwise, you always expect that there are going to be big things you miss. A cuddle buddy on cold nights, that way they used to fuss over you when you were sick or upset. In fact one of the first things I realized when Simba passed was that she always made a fuss over me when I was upset about something... and now the reason I was upset was because she's not around to fuss over me anymore.

But it's the little things that really get you. Those little habits you never really noticed that catch you by surprise and bring the tears back all over again. It's going to say hello to her when I first get home. Automatically glancing at the bed when she's not in the living room. Walking by her favorite chair and looking over to watch her sleep, and finding it empty. The sleepy look she used to give me when I opened the blinds in the morning... the grumpy one she gave me when I closed them at night. Things you never realized you had come to expect until they're gone.

Just today I opened the treat drawer, looked at Anubis, and said "I need to go get more treats for you guys." Never mind that just before that, I was wondering what to do with the Greenies now since he won't eat those (Simba loved them). Old habits die hard... and here I sit crying again because of it.

Only when they're gone do we come to realize that the little things are what makes someone who they are. And then those are the things that tear at your heartstrings most.

Friday, August 09, 2013

RIP Simba

I apologize in advance that this post isn't going to be my most coherent. We just lost one of our furbabies.

Simba was almost 15 years old... she hurt herself about a week ago jumping off the couch. She was starting to do better... then... not. I had just picked up some stool softeners from the vet with the instructions that if there was no bowel movement by Monday they would need to see her again...

She wouldn't take the pill. I called to enlist my father's help since he's better at it, and I was worried I was going to hurt her if I tried again. We got the pill down... she swallowed it... but apparently it upset her too much. She started convulsing...

I was afraid something was up when she started getting lethargic a couple of days ago. More so when she stopped purring for me, stopped headbutting me when I put my hand near her. Our other cat, Anubis has been fussing all day... but so often when we see it coming, we throw ourselves into denial. I didn't want to believe I was losing her.

I did at least take her to the bed to cuddle a little bit before all this happened. So she got a little bit of time with me today before...

I'm just having a hard time believing it. It just happened so suddenly... she just stopped breathing... we tried to start it again, got her lungs to fill when dad tried to give her CPR... but it was no use.

She has been with me ever since I moved into this house. She was my snuggle buddy every night. She fussed over me every time I was sick.

And now she's gone.

I can only hope now that Anubis is going to be okay. I don't think I could stand it if we lost both of them right now...

We buried her out by the swing in my parents' yard, since when she lived outside that was her favorite spot, in a box full of some toys and a few of her favorite things. Including the cat grass I bought for her just yesterday to try and cheer her up about being confined for her injury.