Dog

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The short story is about the meeting of a part time young journalist and one very special dog..

Submitted: September 07, 2014

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Submitted: September 07, 2014

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Loud barks filled the small kennel, but this one dog kept quiet and simply looked right at me, as if he could read my mind.
 His eyes looked incredibly intelligent; I couldn’t put my finger on what made them so… different. But I knew I had a winner right then and there.
“I’ll take this one”, I pointed at the small dog. He didn’t even bat a tail, just kept his eyes on me without making a sound.
“Are you sure?” the animal shelter volunteer looked at me quizzically.
“He’s a new rescue. We just got him last night and he’s so quiet, sometimes I’m not sure if he’s breathing. Might be boring”
 “Yes, I’m sure”, I re-asserted. “There’s just something about him. I like a dog who doesn’t beg”
 “Okay buddy”, the guy shrugged.
“I just hope you’re not one of those indecisive people. You know, those who take a dog and change their mind after a few days, only to return him with abandonment issues”
 “Don’t worry, I’m not”. “I had a dog before. He died of old age after I took great care of him”
 “That’s great to hear”, He smiled and handed me some forms.
 I filled up the forms, paid the license and vaccination fees, and took out the leash I bought beforehand.
 When the volunteer opened the kennel door, the dog stepped outside, strolled and stood next to me, looking into my eyes, as before.
 I bent down and patted him, as I put the collar and attached the leash. He stood there, a bit tense, while I connected the leash to the collar.
“You’d rather be free, wouldn’t you?” I said to him.
“Yes, he does seem like a free spirit, though the animal control people who picked him up said it was the strangest thing. He didn’t try to escape when they came to take him. He just stood there polite-like and let them take him, no muss no fuss”
As I said my farewell to the animal shelter clerk, and turned to walk out, the dog followed and matched my steps in speed.

We had some 200-300 meters to walk to my car, but as I started walking, I suddenly felt something strange. The leash I was holding felt too light and a small screeching sound followed.
 I looked down, and the leash I just attached to the collar was disconnected, dragging on the pavement behind me. The dog was still there, next to me, only with just a collar.
“What the..?” I stammered. “How did you do that??”
He just gave me another look, and then turned his head to look straight and just stood there waiting for me to resume walking.
 I was pretty stunned, as I was sure I fastened the leash to the collar, but as I didn’t think it possible for the dog to unhook himself from his leash, I jotted it down to my own lack of attention.
 I re-attached the leash to his collar and started walking again… Only to have almost the same thing repeating itself a minute later!
 This time something was definitely up. I did connect and fasten the leash, but somehow, the collar itself, still connected to the end of the leash was dragging behind me!
“You’re not like other dogs, are you? And you definitely don’t care for leashes, or collars. I think I can understand. I don’t like being tied down that much either”, “But the collar will have to go back on you, since you might be picked up as a stray otherwise”
It might seem weird that I talked to a dog and expected him to understand, but at least in this dog’s case – he completely understood.
 I put the collar back on him, rolled up the leash and put it in my pocket.
 The dog looked at me with his wise eyes and I could swear he looked somewhat relieved, like a weight has been lifted and he was not as tense as before.
 We went on walking, slow paced, towards the car. But when we arrived and I opened the back door for him to come in, he just went in and nonchalantly jumped to the front passenger seat where he sat like it’s where he always belonged, looking forward.
 I shook my head smiling, as I got in the car and started the engine, beginning the trip back to my apartment.

On the way back, the dog did not seem interested in me but rather in our surroundings. First he studied the inside of the car, mostly by scanning around visually (another weirdness as you’d expect a dog to sniff everything rather than rely on its less keen visual sense), and after he was done with that, he switched his gaze to the outside.
 Looking, as far as I could determine, mostly at people rather than on the general scenery.
 As I pulled into my street he managed to unlatch the safety belt I put around him, although I must have missed it, as I didn’t see him fiddle with it.
 Then he waited for me to open the door on his side rather than try and exit from my side. (Like a normal dog)
 I felt more and more like Alice falling through the rabbit hole, and for good reasons.
 Like royalty, he walked next to me (again, not even looking to see if we match in speed) up the stairs, into the elevator, out, and into the apartment.
 Only, he did that after rubbing his paws clean on the welcome mat. What dog does that?
 As I planned for this for a while, I already got him a nice new dog sofa with some chew toys (wasn’t sure how old the dog I’ll get would be).
 He took a look at it, noticeably not very interested, and went on to inspect the rest of my apartment.
 He basically did a survey, walking from room to room, looking at everything with great care (I started thinking I must be imagining things) as if making mental notes of everything.
 I could swear he gave special attention to all the doors and windows, and even sniffed (for the first time that I’ve seen) near each one of them.
 After he finished his walk-around (all the while ignoring me as I follow him, trying to catch his attention at first, but then letting him do his own thing) he went back to the living room, and settled on the thick carpet, facing and looking at me very intensely.
 It felt a bit like a job interview, only it was my new rescue conducting it, or just figuring me out.
 I felt a bit tired, mostly not for this strange new friend who turned the tables on usual dog-human relationships, but for the entire day that didn’t turn out to be so great.
 So, I withdrew from the stare contest, said “good night” and went to bed.

The next day, I had to head back to work, and wasn’t sure what to do with my nameless dog. I could leave him at the apartment, but didn’t know him well enough to be sure I won’t be coming back to a trashed home with an innocent looking dog standing in the middle of the wreckage.
 As a result I took him with me, and he was quite happy sitting in the front passenger seat, next to me, scanning the people we were passing by and ignoring the wind rushing from the half opened window in a very non-dog-like way.
 We arrived at the office quite early, so I hoped that I will be able to postpone nosy questions about me bringing a dog to work. No such luck.
 I work part-time at a newspaper. After throwing my bag on my desk and turning on the computer, I headed to the cafeteria for my morning coffee, and the dog followed me in his dignified manner, peeking now and then into cubicles along the way.
 When I reached the cafeteria, I saw Felix, a wacky friend I had been working with since I started there.
 He was the designated office prankster. And his pranks ranged from stupid-silly to crazy-dangerous.
 The reason I know is that I was privy to all of them. And had an active part in quite a few.
“Hey Leon!” he smiled at me. “Who’s this guy walking you around today?”
 “That’s my new dog”,” I picked him up at the animal shelter yesterday”
 “Nice!”, “does he know any good tricks? How come you didn’t name him yet?”
 “He knows a few tricks” I replied, “But he’s not too social, so I suggest you don’t get too close to him”
 “We should train him to pick up files from the basement and deliver to us!”
 “I don’t think so”
 “Why are you being such a bore?”
 “He’s not your butler dog, Felix”
 “Fine, Fine.” I could see the cog-wheels turning in his head as he made plans that probably included my dog, a trampoline, and something explosive.
“I really meant what I said before” I re-iterated. “He will not take kindly to abuse”
 “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t harm your precious dog”, he looked almost hurt (Though I knew him enough to know better. The man had the skin of a Kevlar covered elephant)
 I got my coffee, filled a bowl of water for the dog, and took them both back to my desk.
 He kept quiet, and after a while, I immersed myself into work and basically forgot he was there.
 That is, until a high pitched scream of pain came out from somewhere close by.
 I looked around, and naturally my new dog was not near, around or under my desk.
 I shook my head and went looking.
 What I found was a funny scene. It seems Felix did not really keep to his word, and tried to snag him.
 Somehow, he ended up with some burns from the coffee machine as it somehow released high pressure steam into his lower region when he tried to catch the dog that was standing on top of the machine, and now was gracefully getting back down to the floor.
 The steam stopped, but Fox was whimpering and slouching as he managed to get to a chair at one of the tables.
“I told you not to mess with him”
 “That bloody dog! All I wanted was to pet him!” he lied to my face.
“So this rope in your hand is for petting purposes?”
He tried to hide it behind his back. “I wasn’t going to hurt him. Just wanted to see what he can do”
 “Well, I guess now you know what he can do…”
 “Very funny” “He’s a menace!”
 “How’s that?”
 “I don’t know how he did it, but I’m sure he somehow released that steam!”
 “Yes, it’s the evil doings of the dog, I’m sure” I smiled at him reassuringly
 He went sullen, and mumbled something about having to dry his pants, as he hurried off to the office toilet.
 I look at my cryptic dog and asked: “Is this really wise? To raise such a commotion on your first day here?”
I’m sure that if dogs had the ability to smile, he would have.
 Instead, he just opened his mouth a bit and let his tongue hang out. It made me smile.
“Yes, I have to admit that was priceless”
The rest of the day went on quietly and without any further incident.
 While we were making our way back home, I was sneaking glances at my new dog. Wondering whether my choice of this quiet enigmatic dog has been random or if there was more to it than I initially thought.
 For now I just dismissed it, but an unidentified suspicion started building up in my head. I decided I’ll need more time to figure this out.
 After dinner, I went to walk the dog (or more like walk with the dog) around the neighborhood.
 I was aiming to go to the local small park, but when I took the turn to head that way, I found that my new dog had other plans. I went after him thinking that maybe he was walking me rather than the other way around.
 He headed up the street to a small hill in the middle of the neighborhood.
“There’s nothing there, you should know”, I tried to talk him out of it while walking faster to catch up with him. He may be small, but he’s fast.
 He pressed on, until he got to the top of the hill, where there was an old water tower, with a rusty ladder attached to its side. He stopped and looked at me patiently.
“Seriously? You want me to carry you up there? What makes you think this old ladder won’t break and we’ll enjoy some broken bones in the best case scenario?”
He seemed to ignore my words and just kept staring at me.
 I shrugged and picked him up. Holding him with one hand I begun climbing up the rusty, and now creaking ladder up the water tower. It took a while, and the fear of one of the ladder steps breaking at any minute didn’t do much to help the situation, but eventually we emerged on top of the old tower.
 After putting him down, I stretched up and found that my body was completely tense from the hazardous climb. But looking around, the view was worth it. I could see almost as far as the edges of the town.
 The dog looked around as if scanning in a full circle, then he turned to me, sat down and said telepathically, “I’m pleased to meet you, Leon”


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