“I’m a bit concerned,” she said.
The dogs sat on the couch. Talking dogs. Seriously. I had been asked to interview four talking dogs on a rather delicate subject matter. They wanted their voice (non-barking) heard, and they thought my blog would be the best venue. (Who knew canines read The Underground Writer? Who knew, for that matter, dogs could read?!)
“About what?” I ask.
Daisy is a mixed-breed. A cross between a Boxer and Pittbull. She shakes her head – her dog tags clicking together.
“My humans. My owners. They’re … getting … strange.”
“Not mine!” the Golden Retriever interjects, “my humans are the best.”
“Well, of course you would think so. You think everyone is the best. All Goldens do.”
The Golden Retriever is suddenly distracted, his snout raised in the air, sniffing.
“Do you smell bacon?” he asks.
Daisy raises a furry eyebrow at me and leans forward, her front paws sliding on the slipcover.
“As I was saying … my humans adopted me from the animal shelter, which was great! I love them, really, I do. But now … but now they’re acting like they’ve saved the world! All over their minivan are bumper stickers that read ‘Rescue Dog Mom’ and ‘I Rescued My Fur Baby’ and ‘Don’t Breed – Adopt.’ As though taking me into their home has made them better people.”
Daisy glances at Trixie – a Yorkie who has started gnawing on an old running shoe.
“Then there are my humans,” Ace – a Siberian Husky – says. “Bought me from a breeder. Paid a fortune, I might add. Now it’s like I’m their kid. I have to go in their car all of the time. They call it ‘car rides.’ They’re always taking my picture with them. ‘Smile Ace!’ they say, ‘smile for the selfie!’ Apparently I even have my own Facebook page – whatever THAT means.”
“I love going for car rides!” says the Golden Retriever, “My humans have a bumper sticker that says their dog is smarter than your honor student … what does that mean?”
“So what exactly is the problem?” I ask, “Daisy, you would rather have been left in the animal shelter? And Ace? You have a problem with being so loved?”
The dogs (except for the Golden Retriever, that is now licking his genitals) all shake their heads.
“I told them not to hire The Underground Writer for this!” Daisy hisses.
“You’re right,” Ace whispers, “she is a little slow.”
“The problem,” Trixie says, after she has swallowed a tattered shoelace she managed to dislodge from the running shoe, “is how the humans view us. My great grandpa Oscar used to tell me about sleeping outside on the back porch, or eating table scraps. Now I sleep on some fancy thing called a ‘dog settee’, and my human buys me organic dog food.”
“Speaking of food,” Ace interrupts, “have you seen what they feed us? What happened to meat? I like to eat out of the garbage can whenever I get the chance. And if it’s really smelly, I like to roll in it. Now, my humans feed me froufrou stuff they think will taste good.”
As if to prove his point, Ace nods towards the packages lined up on the table next to the couch.
“Pumpkin and Berry flavor? Gluten free? I just want a bone with some ham still on it!” Ace starts to drool, his saliva forming little pools on the slipcover that is now coated with dog hair.
“What’s with the vanilla sandwich cremes? I’m a dog for crying out loud! And apple cinnamon flavor biscuits?” Daisy asks, “why can’t they make stinky fish flavored biscuits? Or steak flavored?”
“Ohhhh! I LOVE stinky fish!” the Golden Retriever sighs.
“It’s like … humans are trying to make us human,” Trixie says.
“Human are trying to make dogs … human?” I repeat.
“Yes!” Trixie, Ace and Daisy say in unison.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Trixie continues, “I do love my humans, especially the kids. But sometimes I think the adults forget that I’m a dog.”
“Just look at the picture my human bought.” Daisy turns and looks at the picture hanging on the wall behind her.
“I think that’s great,” the Golden Retriever says. He is scratching his left ear with his hind paw. “I can’t wait to teach my humans how to fetch, and sniff stranger’s crotches, and beg for apple cinnamon flavored biscuits.”
Daisy, Ace and Trixie exchange looks.
Froufrou Dog Treats – Underground Writer venturing into the crowded pet food aisle of local store.
“Everything I Learned In Life…” picture: Google Images/Etsy.com