Don't Forget About the Dog

June 7, 2011
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I first noticed the rain when it was dropped from the sky, landing with a victory splash on my nose. It was just one little drop to me, so I paid no mind as I dozed under my favorite spot in the hedges. Years of foraging for little birds that lost their lives to the sharp thorrns and scrrraggly twigs entwined around theirrrrr puny bodies, and of course, mindless dreaming… all caused it to become a horrid bush with beauty found only by me. I snuggled up to that favorite bush, only to hear the call I dread during the middle of a Saturday.

“Oscarrrrrrrrr! Come inside now boy! I don’t want my lil’ baby bein all wet!”

Time to come inside.

I have to listen to her. Besides, I can smell some treats baking in the oven. If I ask, I’m sure I can have some.

“Now that’s my boy,” she said, following my shaggy tail inside.

I walked right up to the oven and lay down to feel its warmth, a trail of dirt marking my path.

“Oh my! You naughty boy! Leavin a mess every darn place you go! I should call the lawn care specialists to clean up that ol’ hedge of yours…but if you are a good boy for the grandkids, I’ll let you go on this one,” Mamma said.

I cocked my head to the side in confusion. The grandkids are coming?!
“Mamma, why do the grandkids have to come?” I asked.

“That’s right. The grandkids are coming. An’ I expect you to be the friendly puppy that I just know you are.”

Great, just great.

“Ma, are those cookies I smell?” Master asked, yelling from the other room.

He blasted the volume on the
TV, hoping to hear and denying the fact that his hearing is next to none.

I winced. “Ow, ow, ow. Owwwwwww!” I cried.

“Humphrey, turn down that dang televishun! You’re hurtin Oscar’s poor lil’ ears!” she screamed, just added to the noise.

“Huh?” he said.

“Turn down the volume!!!!”

“Wut?!”

“Don act like you can’t hear me,” Mamma hissed to Master.

“Al right, al right,” Master mumbled and quieted that enormous noise.

Mamma turned back around and began spooning her sticky dough on a tray.

“I love you Mamma,” I said, snuggling up to her thinning slippers. “May I have some?” I stared into her eyes, asking with my own, and looking for a response.

“Well, maybe just wun… No! I am savin’ em for the grandkids, and that is that!” she said to me, not able to make eye contact.

Once Mamma begins thinking about the grandkids, it is just hopeless for me. A position at Mamma’s feet is no longer where I want to be right now, so I decided to go see Master.

Unfortunately, at my first step into the living room, a knock came from the door; the knock I had been dreading since Mamma mentioned theirrrr name.

“The grandkids are heeere!” Mamma shouted.

I scrambled towards the back door in a desperate attempt to flee (makes me itch just saying the word) from the room, but Mamma grabbed me around the torso, my hair caught between her bony fingers.

“Now wait just a minute!” she said in a tone of disapproval. “I want you ta show yur adorable lil face to the grandkids. I can-not have you runnin around like a lost puppy!”

I walked toward the door when she put me down. There is no arguing with Mamma.

“Come on in! We are just going to have so much fun today!” Mamma joyfully cried out. “I made cookies for ya!”

The two grandkids came inside.

“Where’s gampa?” the small one asked.

“He is sittin on his bottom in the other room. Why don you gosay hi?” Mamma replied.

“My oh my Ashley. Yur hair has gotten sooo long!” Mamma said to the second child, she was much taller than the other.

“Yeeaah… it has, uh, do you have a computer?”

“Now why on earth wudya need a computer right now? I have sooo much for us to do.”

“Mmmmmm… help me…” Ashley mumbled to herself.

I strolled into the other room, quite pleased with Ashley’s small interest in Mamma, only to have my pleasure interrupted by a blow to my face. I tucked my head in closer to my body, but a sticky, pudgy person pulled me in and squeezed me like I was filled with stuffing.

“Puppy!” the boy cried as he smacked my head with a flat palm.

“Ha! I see you met Oscrrr.” Master joked.

“I met him befoooooor,” the little boy responded. “Hees yoourr pu-py!”

“Youuu gotit Georgey! Where’s Ashley?”

“She wit Gamma,” said George.

His hands loosened their grip on me, and I took that chance to escape from George’s arms. I ran to Master, and found cover under his wide trouser leg. George wandered back into the kitchen where Ashley and Mamma remained.

“The cookies are all done,” Mamma said. She laid out a steaming tray of them, and the grandkids quickly found seats around the table.

“If there’s like, one thing I’ll NEVER forget about you grandma, when you die, is that you make like, the best cookies evr.” Ashley managed to get out before she took a huge bite of the cookie.

I snuck under George’s chair to catch any falling pieces of food that don’t make it into his mouth. It is always a good idea to stay under the chair of the messiest if you want food.

“Oi wuv cwukies!” George cried through a mouthful of them. And sure enough, a large piece fell to the floor in front of me.

Now, I love cookies too, so I scarfed that piece down immediately.

“Oscaaar! What did I tell ya bout the cookies? They are for the grandkids only!” Mamma said when she saw that I ate the fallen piece. “Get out from under the table!”

“Yeeaaaaa, scwam!” George added.

“I just wwwwaaaaanted a liiitle pieeece!” I whimpered.

“Uhhhhh. Oscar, we are gonna go work on a jigsaw puzzle, and you better leave us a-lone!” Mamma said, ignoring my whimper like everybody always does.

I ran to the other room to lay with Master, but he stood up and spoke to Mamma. “Do I hear you’re doin a jiggys aw puzzle?

“A jigsaw puzzle!”

“Well alll’be. Jiggle saw puzzles jus so happen to be my speciealty,” Master said.

“Jigsaw puzzles!”

“That’s what I said.”

“Oh, jus come an help us if ya want.”

Master did just that, and hurried out of the room as fast as his bad knees could take him.

I sat alone, staring into the kitchen at my happy, laughing family. They didn’t want me; I wasn’t even allowed to be in the same room with them. I have my own door on our back door so I can go in and out as I please, and I realized when looking at that door that I needed to leave. I didn’t belong here anymore, so left with my tail between my legs.

It was pouring outside, but I ran, stopping at my favorite hedge for one last goodbye and continuing on. I ran and ran, past hundreds of houses and zooming cars. Past numerous trees and buildings. I ran for hours and hours. I ran until my paws were sore, and I just couldn’t run anymore. I ended up wandering along a shady street, my fur drenched in mud and rain, leaves and burs were stuck in my coat up to my shoulders, and I was absolutely ravished.

“Osscarrr! Oh… Oscarrrrr! Please jus come on home!”

Now I’m hearing voices…

“I’m sorry we ignord ya!” Mamma’s sorrowful voice played through my head.

I struggled down the street, barely able to move, taking a wobbly path due to my dizziness. The streams of rainwater running nearby could have pulled me away like a torrent of water.

“Oscar! Eee., uh… come! Come!” Master’s voice was the next to be heard.

“I want to come hoooooooouuuume!” I howled.

Suddenly, I saw images, too. They were of my home with Mamma and Master standing at the door, calling to me.

“Please com-on home!” Mamma wailed in the doorway.

I walked toward them in this vision, the wet grass felt so real on my raw paws. I walked right up them, and felt Mamma’s embrace. I did not want this to be my imagination. I missed them so much.

“Oh, my lil’ baby,” Mamma cried. “We were a worried sick when you jus disappeared like that.”

My heavy eyelids closed and I fell asleep.

When I awoke, I was in my home, lying on a soft cushion near the oven. Mamma sat by my side, stroking my back. Perhaps it was not a dream, my vision of coming home.

“Oh Oscar, I love you so much,” Mamma said.

Master came into the kitchen.

“Well, oh-be-darned. Oscar’s back home.” He chuckled. “Now you never run away again.”

That’ll be easy.





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