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Rated: E · Short Story · Animal · #2319156
Sometimes, speaking with a dog can be illuminating.
I've co-habited with dogs and during our sojourn as room mates I've interpreted their responses and behaviours as best I could. Alas, I was never fluent in canine. Many times I was at the receiving end of a cocked head and a silent stare. Speaking in my language of choice never elicited a reply. Sure, I might earn a tail wag, or a pleading whine, but what did they mean?
Through a mind-boggling happenstance I conversed with an eloquent representative of the dog family. I cannot claim to be any the wiser.
This then is our wide-ranging conversation.
Me: "Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to speak with me. Um, do you have a name? What should I call you?"
Dog:" That's a great question and I really don't have an answer for you. My limited understanding of English has me believing my name could be 'Atta boy', 'get down', 'enough', or 'shut up, now.' Call me Bob, I like the sound of that."
Me: "Oh, okay Bob. I've always wanted to know why dogs cannot just settle down. Why do they circle 'round and 'round before they lie down? Are you hoping to find something?"
Bob: "Do I do that ? I've never noticed. I don't know what to tell you. Habit? Does it bother you that much? Have you not heard this, let sleeping dogs lie?"
Me:" "Yes, I have Bob. My dogs were quite the twitchers while they slept. Do you dream?"
Bob:" I dunno. Sometimes, when I startle myself awake I sense that I've been disturbed."
Me:"Why do you chase your tail? I'm assuming that you do this. Have you ever caught your own tail?"
Bob:"Regrettably, no. My tail just waves and teases me. I can't resist. I just know someday I will catch it."
Me:"Ah, so that's what the tail wagging the dog means. Tell me, can you explain why dogs bark at the drop of a hat? I've witnessed a dog barking at a closet. Some dogs bark at falling leaves. Is this where people get the idea of barking mad? Isn't that a tad bit odd?"
Bob: "What's odd about it? We like to bark. We like the sound of our own voices. Have you never been attacked by a falling leaf? Me personally, I'm always on guard."
Me:"Do you consider yourself to be a smart dog, Bob? What I mean is can an old dog learn new tricks? Are you old, Bob? Have you been around the block? Could I refer to you as long in the tooth?"
Bob:"Well I will admit to not being a spring chicken, but I still believe I'm a dog in the race. I'm quite capable of learning, but I am a creature of habit. What more do I need to know? Do I enjoy jumping through hoops and performing tricks? No, not always. What I do I do because it amuses my room mate. Don't actions speak louder than words?"
Me:"I wondered how I'd introduce this next question. Are you man's best friend? Would you be happier living alone?"
Bob:"I'm not ready to live a solitary life. I like my creature comforts. My room mate is an okay fella. He shares his home with me and most of the time the food is delicious. I'm a big fan of the you scratch my back philosophy. Yep, I'd say we're pals. There's no dog eat dog rivalry. I'm not planning to go anywhere. Are you finished quizzing me? Every dog has its day and this was my day to nap out on the back deck."
Me:"Well, I suppose I have one final question for you and you might consider it to be a delicate one. There's no other way to ask you, so, here it is. Why do dogs sniff each other's butts? Do you like feeling a cold nose probing your posterior?"
Bob:"No, personally I find a nose exploring my nether regions to be an invasion of privacy. Some sniffers are a little too aggressive. I like to get to know a dog first and ease into that. We should circle each other, wag our tails and at least exchange a meaningful glance. To be honest, no two dogs smell the same. My eye sight may fade, but my nose will remember every scent its encountered. We believe in smell you later. So, are you finished? Have I satisfied your curiosity?"
Me :"Yes, I've dogged you enough. Haha! Thank you, Bob. I went to the horse's mouth, or in this case I went out to the dog house and I got some answers. I'd recommend people go to the dogs more often. This has been illuminating."           783 words
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