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My Life as a Dog

November 8, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

              Following a head injury, I awoke in a rattling, barely moving

 

vehicle with the town dog catcher crouched beside me.  I had

 

amnesia.  Seeing the dog catcher informed me of one sure thing. 

 

All I could remember was a big, hairy man always calling me a

 

bitch.  And to awake in what seemed to be our small county animal

 

control’s vehicle, with suspicious nail and fur clippings on the floor,

 

what else could I think?

 

               The dog catcher watched me intently, but he didn’t say

 

anything.  I put a tentative paw up to my neck and gasped.  No

 

collar so no tag!  Omg!  I was going to the dilapidated, crepitus-

 

furnished, tin-roofed shack that served as our town’s “animal

 

rescue shelter,” where dogs and cats were kept for three days,

 

maximum, then taken out back and shot. 

 

              What if they suspected me of rabies?  I felt drool at the

 

corners of my mouth.  When one is tested for rabies, one has to lose

 

one’s head (literally, because the brain is examined).  Cleverly, I kept

 

my lips over my teeth, and tried to avoid eye contact with my

 

warden.  I started to think about my…well…my puppies.  I knew I had

 

three of them, but I didn’t know where they were.  This was

 

uppermost in my mind.  That, and looking for the shotgun/rifle/357

 

Magnum hanging up in the vehicle.

 

            The trip continued.  I wondered if they were going to stop to

 

pick up any other animals.  I didn't seem to be able to move around

 

very well.  How would I defend myself, I wondered, if they picked

 

up a bigger dog than I was?  I am afraid of cats.  What if they

 

stopped for a cat?  Or two cats, who were related, and the inside of

 

the vehicle became the backdrop for a domestic violence situation?

 

Maybe that had already happened at some point, hence the crepitus

 

on the floor.

 

           What if they collared a skunk?  Well, if any of that happened, I

 

reasoned, then the warden would sit up front, where I wanted him

 

to go anyway.  He kept staring catatonically at me.  Then he offered

 

me water, and I refused.  This seemed to alarm him.  But was I afraid

 

of it?

 

           Did I really have hydrophobia?

 

               The vehicle/truck/rolling coffin stopped; this was it.

 

Someone went around to the back doors and opened them.  Run, I

 

told myself, use all four legs and get out!  Paws, don't fail me!

 

              Too late!  Now there were three men and they were

 

unloading me!  In an incredulous epiphany, I discerned that this

 

wasn't the internment camp!  It was a hospital - a human hospital.

 

Wtf?  OMG, they were going to do experiments on me!  I knew it!  I

 

knew it!  I was on the way to the basement for sure!  

 

             Wait - our town dog catcher also served as a volunteer EMT.

 

It was all coming back to me.  I tried to speak and words came out.

 

Words, not barks!  I wasn't a bitch after all!

 

            My memory returned gradually over the next 24 hours, but I

 

will never ever forget my life as a dog.

 

            But what were those clippings on the floor?

 

            Woof.

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