How strange that I should find myself out of the safety of my own yard. I turn back to peek through the small hole at the bottom of the fence. A rut had been dug which allowed one as small as I to barely squeeze through. While Christy was the neighbor to our left, I had never quite considered who was on the right. I’ve been so accustomed to chatting with Thieves and his critter loving owner, that the tall fence had completely blocked my curiosity.
After the last few days of heavy rain, the ground must have been soft enough for someone to dig up, and the old boards have weakened enough to break. Now that I’m through, there’s only one thing for a dog to do- explore.
The yard is somewhat overgrown and the ground moist from the recent showers. But, the smell of another dog is definitely in the air. Starting with the corner, I begin to encompass the yard, searching for the source. The tall grass and weeds cause my belly to itch. A few even prick me, leaving me with no other choice but to stop to take care of the nuisance.
At the far end of the yard, a small hut sits. Inside is a fairly sad looking fellow. His floppy ears droop just like his eyes. I stop and bark a greeting.
“Hey, how’s it going?” the droopy dog says in a dull tone.
“What are you doing? What’s your name? How come you’re in there? Why is there a hole in my fence? Why is your face so droopy?” I yip out with an excited wag of my tail.
“I don’t know,” he said, the sadness in his voice reflecting his boredom.
“You don’t know your name at least?” I pause midway through the question to scratch a growing itch that’s got my hind-quarters.
“These owners call me Dog, but my old friend called me Buck. I guess you can call me Buck, too,” he says as a stream of slobber drools out of his droopy expression.
“Well Buck, you wanna play?” I offer in an attempt to lighten the seemingly gloomy dog’s blight. I start with a little playful pounce, only to realize why Buck seems so gloomy. He’s tied up! I’ve never seen a dog on a leash without their companion on the other end. That’s enough to make any dog a little gloomy.
“Can’t. You go ahead and have some fun without me. I’ll just be waiting here, like I always do.” A sigh of boredom escapes the droopy Buck. It is a defeated sigh that I hate to see. Unfortunately, I’ve now run into a combination of events. While the fence is high, the old man is higher. He shouts out to me, calling me back to my own yard.
I squeeze back through the hole, the edge of the boards scratching the growing irritation that seems to be covering my entire body. The old man drops a brick in the small hole and warns me not to be going over there. I explain to him about the droopy Buck, constantly pausing throughout the conversation in order to give the occasional itch a good scratch. The old man notices the increasing irritation and provides a lending paw. I appreciated the help with a few licks, but the old man’s expression quickly turned as gloomy as Buck’s.
“Fleas.” That’s all the old man had to say for me to know exactly what was coming next. I tried to run, but I was already in the grip of the inevitable. Inside the house and into the bathroom we went, despite my pleas of mercy. I don’t like baths, but the old man insists.
I find myself in the bathtub with the roar of the water quickly filling the area. I don’t know what is scarier, the sound or the fact that the water may eventually fill up too high, and I might find myself struggling to get out.
Though the time is short, it always seems to take forever. The only good thing about baths is that I get a rub down afterward. The itch continues, but there aren’t any more prickling bites in odd spots. The old man sets the towel down on the ground, telling me to “dry off.” I do, giving a little shake, then rubbing my fur into the towel and carpet, making my best effort to get the water off me.
I can’t help but think about how gloomy Buck must be over there all by himself. Hopefully his companion will come back for him. Maybe now I can tell the old man about the droopy dog and his need for a little excitement. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the company of my own companion, and a race around the house in celebration of my “naked time.” Oh yeah! No collar for now!
Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories. Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts. Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.