I woke up to the sound of a beeping alarm. The ear-piercing tone gradually got louder until it was almost unbearable. I hopped up on my owner's bed and dug my paws into his abdomen. He bellowed a deep grunting noise and pushed me aside. The tone ceased. Satisfied, I shoved the door open with my nose and groggily walked down the stairs. One of the other men of the house was in the kitchen playing around with a device that made emitted a strong odor and a repetitive dripping sound. 'Morning, Charlie,' he remarked with a half-grin on his face. Wishing I could respond with a 'Good morning to you too, Dave', I simply pushed my head into his leg as a sign of recognition. Remembering that Dave never gave me table scraps, I meandered my way over to my food dish. Images of succulent pork roast, bread with peanut butter and steaming yellow corn filled my mind as I munched on the dry pellets that were intended to taste like chicken and liver, yet failed to do so. They broke apart in my mouth like clumps of dirt, and tasted the same way. I turned to my water bowl and began to lap up the lukewarm liquid. Dave was walking towards me, and I stumbled as I tried not to get in his way. He awkwardly attempted to step over me, his foot making contact with my back. Not knowing what to do, I scurried down the corridor, and behind me came a loud thud. 'No,' I thought to myself, 'it can't be. They'll be so mad at me, that couldn't have just happened.' But it did. Dave was laying on the ground nearly motionless. I walked towards him to see if he was okay. There was a large knot on his forehead and a bit of blood trickled from his lip. I leaned over and began to lick his hand, so worried I felt like I would pass out. All of the consequences I would incur flashed before me. They'd lock me up. They'd have me executed. I could hear them now. 'This dog is just too aggressive to be around people. We'll have to put him down.' I shuddered at the thought. My mind was discursive. The situation was overwhelming. Attempting to refocus my attention to the matter at hand, I placed my head just under his nose. I was flooded with relief when I felt air being pushed through his nostrils. The sound of my owner's feet on the carpet echoed throughout the living room. I scurried down the hall to meet him. I did everything in my power to try and get his attention, but he just shot me a cursory glance, hardly acknowledging my presence. He walked toward the kitchen, and I braced myself for the shock that would ensue. A look of horror spread over my owners face when he saw Dave sprawled out on the floor. My brain begged me to tell him what had happened, how it was my fault and I was so sorry, but there was nothing I could do but stand there. He ran to the sink and filled a glass with water, and dumped it on Dave's face. His eyelids flickered as he slowly rolled to his side. He began to mumble, as if he had some kind of speech impediment. 'Dad, are you okay? What happened?' my owner questioned. He began to get to his feet as he explained what had occured. He said he remembered hitting his head on the doorknob just before he blacked out. 'I don't even remember how I tripped! I gotta be more careful.' Once again, I cursed myself for not being able to communicate with them and explain what had happened. Frustrated, I went and laid down, wondering if there were any benefits to being a canine. As if he had heard my question, my owner began stroking my back. 'Dog, you've got it pretty easy. You just get to lay around here all day and not worry about anything. I'm jealous.' I smiled as his gentle hand lulled me into a deep, stress free sleep.
February 12, 2009