I’d like to tell you, gentle reader, of my travails. I’m Danny the Dog, and today’s adventure is about a morning that will live in infamy.
It started out as most of my mornings do. At 5:00 a.m., I wagged my tail, hitting the wall with it, and then I started in with my patented low growl. The thump … thump … thump of my tail hitting the wall, coupled with the growl, always awakens Andrew.
It was time to take him for his walk.
He begrudgingly hauled his carcass out of the bunk (on boats, beds are called bunks). He went into the head (bathroom) and did whatever humans do when in that room. Then he opened the hatch (door) and I scampered out onto the deck. Of course, I had to wait for him, I always do. He’s kind of old and decrepit and it takes him a while to ascend the stairs. Finally, we were on our way. If I had known what was in store for me, I would not have been so anxious to start off on this particular walk.
First off, I must tell you that I love messing with Andrew’s head. I mean, I like him and all, he’s not too bad for a human, but I’ve got to keep him in his place. After all, I am the dog and he is only the mere human.
Now, there are a few things that Andrew does not like me to do, but I do them anyway. At the top of the list, he doesn’t want me biting people. I say if God did not want us biting humans, He wouldn’t have given them to us to bite in the first place. But I only bite humans who deserve it—the ones who won’t give me a treat.
The other two things on his list are no drinking out of mud puddles and no eating food I find on the side of the road, particularly chicken bones. I did both of these things that morning, just to let him know who was boss. And maybe I shouldn’t have.
Before we even got out of the marina, I stopped at two puddles and drank my full. Concerning the puddles, Andrew learned a long time ago that I love rainwater and no way am I ever going to let him pull me away when I’m drinking that delightful liquid.
The next part of the walk didn’t go as smoothly. You see, I have Andrew conned. He lets me sniff to my heart’s desire where other dogs have been. Maybe “lets me” isn’t the right way to say it. It took a lot of training on my part to get him to be patient while I did what dogs love to do. Anyway, as he was thinking I was on the scent of a dog or some other animal, I was really looking for a chicken bone my super snoot had detected.
When I found said bone, I clamped my jaws on it before Andrew knew what was happening. But even a human as out of touch as he is couldn’t help but hear the crunch as I bit into that tasty morsel. He tried to pry my mouth open to extract it, but he’s too old and feeble. No way was he going to get that delicious bone from me. In the end, he gave up. Counting the mud puddle, that was two for the dog and zip for the human.
Now we come to the crux of the matter. We usually go to a park on our morning jaunts, but not this morning. There’s a lake in the vicinity that Andrew likes, but we mostly go there in the late afternoon. He likes to watch the sun go down over the water. He calls it communing with nature.
It’s a nice lake—if you like water. I don’t. I’ll drink the stuff, but that’s where I draw the line. (On the few occasions that Andrew bathes me, it takes all my willpower not to bite him.) Around the lake is also some nice green and soft grass. I love to roll on it. Andrew, being the indolent slob that he is, just sits there without rolling on it at all! Unbelievable!
That morning, he did what he always does. He tied the long leash to a tree by the water’s edge—the tree on one end of the leash, me on the other. I didn’t mind, the leash is twenty feet long and there were some good scents in the air, mostly duck. I love barking at ducks, don’t you? So, as Andrew sat on the grass, I set out to find me a duck to bark at. It didn’t take too long to scrounge up a scent and it led right into the water.
I must not have been paying attention (of course I wasn’t, I was sniffing!) because I found myself on some terra firma that wasn’t so firm. I plunged into the water right up to my neck. It took me only a second to get back on solid ground, and when I did, I started to shake myself off. But I stopped because Andrew was laughing. He was laughing at me! So I held my instincts in check and went over to where he was sitting. Then, and only then, did I let loose with the best shake of my life. Now Andrew was almost as wet as I was. That stopped his braying.
He was pleased to inform me that falling into the lake was my bad karma for eating the chicken bone. He is always going on about karma and reincarnation. I don’t know about karma, but when it comes to reincarnation, who the heck would want to come back as a human? Not me; I might come back as Andrew. God forbid!