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A Dog's Tale
George was an average man. Like all average men, he was going gray and starting to bald. Like all average men, he had a decent job and a decent car. Like all average men, he had a dog. But his dog was anything but average.
He was a man of order. There was a time for everything. Every day, he would wake up at 6:30 and make a cup of coffee. Then he got ready for the day and took his dog out for a walk at 7:00. But his dog resisted all planned walks and demanded to be played with instead. She climbed on all the furniture and left muddy paw prints. She drove George insane.
Sometimes, George thought he could hear his dog speaking to him. As he would bend down to pour a bowl of dog food into her red shiny bowl, he thought he could hear his dog complaining. Why’d you give me this little? Can’t I have what you’re having for once?
That was just the start of George’s slow unravel. Not only did he think he could hear her, but he thought she was taking over. When George walked his dog, he felt like she was his master. He would take her round the corner and let her do her business. Then he cleaned up after her. The smell was overwhelming. What could she have eaten?
He had to bend down and attend to her like a personal maid. He knew she enjoyed it. He feared what else she had in store for him. She willed him to listen to her. He tried to shake it off.
It was those eyes. Oh, those eyes! The dog’s eyes were big and dark. Eyes of revenge. Watching, waiting. Eyes of accusation. What’cha looking at, you big ugly human? It was those eyes that gave her away.
George was sure this was not how dogs should act. He needed help with his dog. So he went where all good owners go for help: the dog run.
When George got to the dog park, he went straight to business. He unleashed the dog and sidled up to the other owners.
“Hi. I just got a dog and she’s too pushy. She thinks she’s better than me. She thinks she owns me.” George was oblivious to the fact the other owners were staring at him. “Should I put up with her? I think something’s going on.”
The other owners snickered. George had a long way to go in the area of dog expertise. “Nothing is going on. You’re overreacting. Buy a dog training book.”
George was still unsure.
“Listen up, dog. I’m your owner. You gotta listen to me. You hear that? Good. Now, roll over.” Nothing happened. “I said, roll over!” The dog looked like it was about to explode from laughter. George wanted to wipe that smirk right off her face. “How about we try something else? Sit and I’ll give you a treat.” The dog sauntered out of the room.
There goes the training idea.
George needed to find a way to manage his dog. He would not put up with all the mess and demands she made. He needed to be in control.
“Hey dog, I need to speak with you.” If anyone was listening in, they would have thought he was insane. “Now.”
To his surprise, the dog lumbered over. She seemed to bat her eyelashes, flirting with him. No, that’s not possible, he reminded himself.
“So what am I going to do with you?” He spoke more to himself than to the dog.
What do you mean? I’m not a nuisance -- I’m your loyal dog!
No you shut up.
He shook his head. This is impossible.
No it’s not.
Let me think my own thoughts without you invading them too!
Have it your way.
It was a battle of the eyes, and the dog was winning. George blinked.
Please! What are you trying to do to me? What do you want? I play with you, I feed you, I even clean up after you!
What can I say? I’m the dog; you’re a human. You cannot resist me. But you know too much. What should I do with you?
What are you talking about? You mean --
No! I’m your loving owner! You wouldn’t . . . would you?
You’ve given me no choice.
George stared into the dog’s eyes for what seemed an eternity.
The dog pounced.
* * * *
At 7:00 am the next morning, George and the dog went out for a walk. This time, George was wearing the leash.
Bronx, New York
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Sometimes the bully isn’t the captain of the cheerleaders or the girl who for some reason has it out for only you; sometimes the worst bully of them all is you.- Karles_Ivy