Danny and the Alligator

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We slog through the antediluvian swamp, a diaphanous mist rises from the quagmire and a miasmal stench fills our nostrils. The authorities are pursuing us, though we have done nothing wrong. Well, Andrew (my human) has done nothing wrong. I, on the other hand, bit a man, a big fat, obnoxious slob of a man. He had it coming to him; he said I was the ugliest dog he had even seen. Me, Danny the Dog!

After I bit him, he pulled out his cell phone and called the cops, but Andrew and I didn’t stick around and wait for them to show up, we hightailed out of there. Now we are hunted fugitives, with the law closing in. Andrew always told me I’d go to Doggie Jail if I didn’t mend my sorry-ass ways.

They are close now; we can hear their voices, so we pick up the pace. But the going is slow. The water is up to Andrew’s knees and up to my chin. We maneuver around a large cypress tree, and there, before us, is the largest alligator I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s the only alligator I’ve ever seen. It has to be eighteen feet long if it’s an inch! Its mouth is wide open, showing the enormous teeth of the monster. I stop short and Andrew, who was behind me, trips over me and falls into that gaping, cavernous mouth. The alligator makes short work of him; now all that is left of my human is his right arm and part of his left leg.

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Just kidding folks, Andrew is always telling me I can’t write fiction. I thought I’d show him I could. However, we did meet up with an alligator the other day and I would like to tell you about it.

Actually, there was more than one encounter. The first was three days ago. We were walking in the park where we go every morning. Let me stop and back up for a minute. As most of you know, Andrew and I live in Florida, and the park we go to has a sign saying, “No Swimming because an alligator lives in the lagoon.”  Andrew and I never believed it; we had never seen hide nor hair of an alligator. Do alligators have hair? Anyway, back to my story.

It was before daylight and we were walking along the lagoon when we heard a croaking sound, a loud croaking sound. I was intrigued by it; Andrew was oblivious, as usual. I was pulling on the leash and Andrew was a million miles away, probably wishing he was getting laid more.

As we neared the sound, Andrew came out of his coma and said to me, “Where do you think you’re going? The croaking sound that you are rushing to is made by an alligator and you would make a very fine breakfast for him.” Then he yanked on the leash and started to pull me away. I, in turn, tried my passive resistance thing, but to no avail. I was unceremoniously dragged from the park. I started to walk of my own volition only after we were outside the gates.

That was day one. On day two, we heard the croaking again, and as Andrew has given up any hope of getting laid, he heard it at the same time I did. So we left the park tout de suite (that is French for right away, all at once . . . fast).

On day three (this morning), I finally had my encounter with the alligator. It took some maneuvering, but Andrew is easy to outfox. He was intent on picking up mangoes for our neighbor Peggy and he laid the leash down for a moment. That was all I needed. Before he could stop me, I was tearing along the shore of the lagoon, hell-bent on getting to the place I had last heard the croaking.

I rounded a curve at the far end of the lagoon and came face to face with the biggest alligator I’d ever seen, the only alligator I’d even seen. He was not as big as the one in my fictional account, but still, he was big enough for me. I started to bark furiously, knowing my barking would drive him back into the water. However, a funny thing happened. He stood his ground, and he even took a step or two toward me. That, I hadn’t counted on. My first impulse was to turn and run back to Andrew, but that wouldn’t do. Then I’d lose the upper hand that I enjoy in our relationship.

While still energetically barking, I was wondering what my next move should be when the matter was taken out of my paws. From behind, Andrew snatched me up and started running for the street. I squirmed (but not too hard) letting Andrew know I did not appreciate being taken away from my quarry.

On the way home, Andrew told me that I would not get my daily hotdog when we returned home. It was to be my punishment for running away and scaring him half to death. But when we got back to the boat, he gave me my hotdog anyway and scratched me behind the ear. What softy he is.

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Danny, Bicycles and Beds

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Ahoy all you landlubbers, It’s me Danny the Dog, I’m back once again to tell of my latest exploits. Now, I do know for a fact that a few humans read my humble posts, but my writing is mostly geared to my fellow canines. Having said that, I’ll tell what I’ve been up to the last couple of days.

I live on a boat with my human, Andrew. For the most part, we get along. And as far as roommates go, he’s not too bad. However, as most of you know, humans can be trying at times. For instance, take the situation concerning our bed. Well, on boats they’re called bunks. Don’t ask me why, it’s just something a silly human made up a long time ago.

On boats, you don’t have a regular mattress. One sleeps on foam rubber and there lies the rub between Andrew and I. I’m sure all my canine friends know where I’m going with this. But for my human readers, I’ll explain. There are very few things more enticing then foam rubber to a dog. It’s like dog catnip, if that makes any sense.

Allow me to digress for a moment and set the scene for you. I like to sleep outside most nights, but I spend my days indoors in the air conditioning. So every morning after our walk, I go into the boat and jump up on the bed, or bunk if you will. Then I start to paw at the sheets until I uncover a corner and then I’ll rub my snoot on the foam. Man, does that feel good! Of course, Andrew freaks out, but what else can you expect from a human. He gets on the bed and puts the sheets back in place and calls me a few choice names, but it’s worth it. And the funny thing is I only like to do it in the morning. The rest of the day, I get on and off the bed and don’t even think of that luscious foam rubber lying just under the sheets. Now on to bicycles, or to be more precise let’s talk about Andrew and the one and only time he took me along while he rode his bike.

Andrew is not much for physical exertion; in fact, he’s down right indolent. There is one exception, and that’s when he’s got a female on our bed, which isn’t often. Then he gets more exercise then he does in a month of Sundays, but back to the bike. This morning as he was getting ready to ride to the other side of the marina (I told you he was lazy), I started barking at him to take me along also. Usually when I do that, he leaves the bike and we walk. However, this morning he took me by the leash and off we went, him on the bike and me trotting alongside.

Now I know why he was hesitant to take me with him when he’s on the bike. I crisscrossed in front of him many times and every time he had to put on the brakes, so he wouldn’t run into me. And when I wasn’t doing that, I’d stop to smell an especially intoxication scent, almost pulling Andrew off the bike. When we got home, he told me that was my last time accompanying him while he rode the bicycle. But that’s okay. It was just a training exercise; I caused him all that grief on purpose and he responded as I knew he would. I much prefer walking, I can take my time sniffing, and every once in a while I turn up a treasure, like an old chicken bone. Andrew won’t let me eat them, but I get a crunch or two in before he takes them away.

We just got back from visiting some friends on the far side of the marina, we walked. It pained Andrew to have to walk, but I had a blast. I found a rib bone and had most of it eaten before Andrew got it away from me.

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Danny and the Mangoes

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This morning I took Andrew, he’s my human, out for a walk before the sun came up. We were out hunting mangoes for his friend Peggy. Well, he was hunting mangoes, I was sniffing some great scents, but more on that later. I’m Danny the Dog and this is the story of my adventures in mango collecting.

Andrew and I collect mangoes for Peggy, and she in turn makes mango muffins, mango pies, mango chicken, and Andrew’s favorite, mango ice cubes. He uses them in his vodka drinks. Humans, there is no accounting for the dumb things they do, especially Andrew.

During mango season, we go out every morning in search of the elusive mango. Actually, they are not that elusive. They’re lying on the ground, but Andrew has to make a big deal about it. You would think he was in Darkest Africa stalking a mammoth rhinoceros.

So, this is what transpired this morning, actually, it’s the same thing every morning. We walk to the park where there are a few mango trees and Andrew picks up the mangoes that have fallen during the night. To carry the mangoes, he has these plastic grocery bags, which he fills up and they get heavy. Of course, he has me on a leash because if he didn’t, I’d be all over the place. Picture Andrew trying to manage two heavy bags loaded with mangoes and trying to manage me straining on the leash.

On the walk back, I stop at every mailbox post, stop sign and clump of grass where a dog had been before. There is even a fire hydrant. When I sniff it and then raise my leg, Andrew always says it’s a cliché. I don’t know what a cliché is, but if it means good sniffing then he’s right.

Ordinarily Andrew doesn’t mind waiting for me while I do my exploring, but when he’s loaded down with mangoes, he gets a bit impatient. And that’s where the fun comes in. I take my time doing my sniffing until Andrew can’t stand it anymore and tries to drag me towards home. But I plant my feet and refuse to budge; I always win. Andrew sighs and stands there with the weight of the bags pulling on his arms until I’m good and ready to move on. They are small victories, but necessary if I’m to keep Andrew well trained.

Well, I have to go now, Andrew and I are going over to Peggy’s for some mango chicken and maybe if I’m a good dog (which I seldom am), some mango pie.