“It sure is frustrating,” I agreed. I was sitting next to Sarge, the German Shepherd. We were waiting for Opie to bring-to-order a meeting of the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society with one of his Scottish brogue laden ‘woofs.’ “I have to admit, I’ve had it happen to me. Even the Geezer and Mrs. G are completely unappreciative, occasionally.”
“You do something you think is really good and what do you get? Sandy, I’ve been relegated to the rope. They’re tying me up in my own yard. All I did was growl and show my teeth to some strange human that was trespassing on my turf. How was I supposed to know she was the water meter reader? She wasn’t carrying a sign or wearing a uniform. She could have been something terrible like an Al Qaeda terrorist or…or…or one of those Occupy Wall Street people.”
“You scared her pretty badly. Didn’t you tell me she tried to climb a tree?”
Sarge got a sardonic grin on his face. “Yep. It sure was funny watching her try to slither up that coconut palm. She only got high enough to leave her big, soft butt at a perfect biting position. It sure was tempting.”
“Sarge! You wouldn’t do such a thing, would you?”
“Oh, no, Sandy. What kind of a canine do you think I am? Besides, my human showed up at that second, frothing at the mouth with his underwear all tied up in knots.”
“I’ve had it happen to me…I’ve had it happen to me!” Manny our resident chihuahua was eavesdropping and said excitedly, “Humans don’t appreciate what we try to do for them. Why, one time it was raining out. I had to go. You know, number two. Well, there’s this big potted plant in the living room. It was turning brown and looked like it could use some fertilizer. I endangered my life and limb by climbing up in that tall flower-pot. Just as I was finishing, my human came in and yelled at me! It scared me so bad shit went everywhere. I shook more than usual for a whole week.”
Sarge looked dubious. “You sure you just didn’t want to get wet?”
Manny’s eyes opened wide with a, not to genuine, look of innocence. “Oh, no, no, no! I was just trying to be a service.”
I shook my head. Sometimes, Manny has to be Manny.
Sarge surprised me when he nodded. He knows our little buddy is always full of…well…bull shit. He said, “I guess you could be right, Manny. My cousin Rookie lives with this really cool human named Tricia. He says she’s normally sooooooo nice, but…even nice humans can be irrational. Like one time, he was left alone with a tennis ball. Tricia is always having to go find it so they can play. He thought he’d just carry it around with him. It’s unbelievable she got so upset when she took him to the vet to have it removed from his stomach. And, another time Rookie and Tricia were playing with the hose, spraying each other with water. The phone rang in the house and his human went to answer it. Then she went insane, just because Rookie carried the hose into the house following behind her, so they could play in the living room. He was just trying to save her a few steps.”
“So true.” Fifi our prissy poodle joined the conversation. “I try to keep my human in proper fashion. If she wears a pair of shoes, or a dress, or panties that aren’t chick, I immediately remove them from her wardrobe by chewing them to oblivion. Do you think she appreciates it? NO! Chewing that fake leather and polyester is horrible. The sacrifices I’m willing to make. But, instead of being rewarded, I’m chastised.”
Heintz, the neighborhood mutt walked up. “Tell me about it. I take home all kinds of gifts. You think I get any thanks? Hell NO! Rabbits, squirrels, birds, all fresh killed or barely alive. I mean, I’m bringing food for their table. They yell…and then comes the real insult. They throw my hard work away!”
“I know.” I couldn’t resist adding my own tale. “Both the Geezer and Mrs. G are getting a little heavy. Well, that’s true of Mrs. G. The Geezer’s getting a lot heavy. Anyway, they were watching TV the other night while eating their suppers. A neighbor came to the door and they both left their meals on the coffee table. There were terrible things, dangerous things on their plates. Steaks dripping with cholesterol. Potatoes smeared with butter and sour cream. Squash covered with cheese sauce. I wondered if they had a death wish. I hoped if I’d have the fortitude to face those dangers. I DID! I made them disappear. All of it! I was so proud. I stood there, wagging my tail in anticipation of all the praise I’d receive for me helping save them from the horrors that had been on their dishes. They screamed at me!”
Sarge put his paw on my shoulder and said, “Poor Sandy.”
“Uh-uh-uh-ummm.” Opie got our attention. “The subject for today’s meetin’ of the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society is how can we be doin’ more for our human friends.”
Sarge yelled, “Motion that we adjourn the meeting.”
“Oui. I second the motion,” Fifi said.
I’ve never heard such a chorus of barks…or seen a more confused look on Opie’s Scottish face.