animal, conspiracy, dog, dog blog, enemy, fiction, FinderDog, German Shepherd, Hardy, humor, Humphrey, hydrant, mystery, narrative, ocean, pet, photo, photography, photos, quest, quotes, sick, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy, vacuum, walk, woman
[H]e made close acquaintance with phenomena which he had before known but darkly–the seasons in their moods, morning and evening, night and noon, winds in their different tempers, trees, waters and mists, shades and silences, and the voices of inanimate things.
-Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Woman has been home from work this week. We have spent some lovely bonding time together, though my old nemesis, Vacuum, has reappeared, which created a rough patch in an otherwise serene few days.
The vacuum careened through the apartment, creating havoc from my comfortable chaos. I barked, and Woman seemed to feel my reaction meant that I needed to be “conditioned” to the Vacuum once more, and instead of putting it away in the closet, she’s left it out. It watches me, but I watch it. Edgar hasn’t mentioned it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Vacuum was involved in the conspiracy in some way.
Then, Woman became sick. This was not fun at all. Instead of playing all day long doing endless running, jumping, chasing, and fetch, she just lay there and occasionally said, “No, Humphrey” when I stuck my nose in her face to see why she was still lying there and if she felt ready to get up.
This afternoon, Woman was feeling better and the weather was very fine, so we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood.
I felt my usual exhilaration to be out in the world, encountering what fate brings me, whether I chance to meet new dogs, fight coyotes, or protect Woman. In fact, today I did meet a charming black labrador retriever who lives around the corner from me. He and I exchanged pleasantries before he had to go to help his family bring luggage into the house (they had been on holiday).
Woman and I continued perambulating together, perfect companions, enjoying a day with more than a hint of spring in it. I participated in the traditions of countless canines before me, sniffing and peeing on a hydrant, and felt quite in my element.
Our route took us to the ocean and a cornucopia of smells. Woman walked slowly or sat on a bench while I read what their was to read with my sensitive muzzle. I read about lost love, happy puppyhood, gentle old age strolling familiar sidewalks, frustrated dogs longing to sprint away from it all…
When I had had my fill, I joined Woman and we watched the ducks and sea gulls in the water.
chickens, coyote, coyotes, Edgar, fiction, FinderDog, first person, German Shepherd, Hamlet, Humphrey, Mr. Bailey, mystery, narrative, photo, photography, photos, quest, Shakespeare, skull, story, the whisper goes so, william shakespeare, woods
There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out
-William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Upon my most recent visit to Woman’s parents’ home, I heard from Edgar once more. That is, I received a message concerning him. Let me begin at the beginning.
Mr. Bailey met me upon my arrival. He had a social event coming up and had gotten his hair cut and donned a vivid bandana.
“Thank you, Mr. Bailey. I will.”
I came closer to the wall of the enclosure. “Yes?” I asked.
“Humphrey?” One of them asked.
“We have a message for you from Edgar. He says to meet him at the water tank on top of the hill. We have not seen it, but that is what he says. It is through the woods behind our coop, he said.”
“Thank you,” I told them. Will he know that I’m coming?”
“He said he’d be there today and tomorrow in case you visited. Don’t stay much longer. The coyotes have been about. We are keeping a low profile.”
Another voice cut in–“I still think we should stand up to the coyotes. Who cares if they know that we work against them. I think–”
There was a ruffling of feathers and hissing. “Go now, Humphrey.”
We greeted one another joyfully, circling.
“Humphrey, I have learned more. There’s something I want to show you. Follow me.”
We flew through the woods. The snow swirled around us, I could feel the ground rise up to meet my paws again and again in rapid succession. I followed close behind Edgar, and the joy of running as fast as I could with my brother filled me up. It almost felt like when we were puppies, back in the home where I was born, and he was the playmate of my every waking hour.
Eventually, Edgar slowed down, and we approached a patch of woods. This is what he showed me:
When I first looked upon it, I a chill crept into my heart. I saw the shape of the head, the brow, the spaces where the eyes were–I was looking at death in a more intimate and naked fashion than ever I had looked on it before.
“She was one of the coyotes in the local pack,” Edgar said. “She was blind in one eye. I saw her often when I was spying.”
“What happened to her?” I asked.
“I’m not sure. I hadn’t seen her for some time, and then I came upon her…here.” Edgar shook his head. “The pattern of the bones–the way the scene is here–I think there may have been a struggle. She may have tried to leave the pack. I had made myself known to her…she was having qualms about the pack’s decisions, and she hinted that she might be willing to help me from the inside. I’m worried that her duplicity may have been discovered.”
We both gazed at the eyes which were no longer there and sighed.
“Edgar,” I said. “Can’t you tell me more of what you know–or think you know?”
Edgar paused. “Yes,” he said. “Yes, I suppose it’s time I did.”
“From what I’ve pieced together, this is what I suspect. There’s some sort of structure to it all. It seems like a cult, almost. Not all the members know very much, but they all complete various rituals–howling at certain times on certain dates, messages left in code… There are animals in charge of smaller groups, but they somehow communicate as a whole organization as well. The lady whose bones lie here–she implied that the group was making decisions she was uncomfortable with. We think that there is a group of dogs and cats which is trying to maneuver in order to make a deal with the coyotes. I’m not sure yet what each side will gain. We have more to learn.”
I was silent for a moment, taking in my brother’s words.
“Now you know what I know,” Edgar said.
“We have more to learn,” I said.
“Yes,” he said.
“But we’ll do it together,” I said.
Edgar looked at me and wagged his tail. Then he left, vanishing into the trees as the snow fell. I stayed for a few minutes, sniffing here and there at the nearby trees and collecting my thoughts.
There was a dark maze of mysteries opening up before me, but at least I would walk into it knowing my brother was with me.
animal, coyote, danger, dog, dog blog, dream, Edgar, fear, fiction, frankenstein, German Shepherd, hesitate, humor, Humphrey, Maggie, man, mary shelley, Memories, Mr. Bailey, mystery, names, narrative, nightmare, ocean, pet, photography, photos, puppy, puppyhood, quest, quotes, Remy, things are not what they seem, woman, Woman's Parents, Woman's Sister
I cannot describe to you my sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking. It is impossible to communicate to you a conception of the trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which I am preparing to depart. I am going to unexplored regions
-Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
I am conscious that it has been some time since I have written. I assure you, reader, I have not been idle. It sometimes happens that protecting Man and Woman, smelling who has walked in my neighborhood streets, and defeating my toys in battle consumes all of my time, and I must put these greater considerations before my writing. I do find, however, that I now have some time to return to my neglected writing, and to you.
I find that my writing often helps me to form necessary resolutions and to understand the whorl of thoughts that, from time to time, threatens to overwhelm me. I will confess, Reader, that though I am strong, I sometimes experience that cold, shrinking sensation: fear.
Last night, I felt fear, and it made me feel like a tiny puppy once more, casting me into that place of vague terrors and certain ones which seem to loom large and threatening. Against these, as a puppy, my bark seemed too shrill, my claws too small, my body too tiny, my teeth too much like little needles and not enough like the strong, adult teeth I now possess.
Sometimes, I just want to curl up in my kennel and bite a toy to feel that comforting resistance between my teeth and shut out the world.
Last night, I heard the coyotes.
I had been visiting Mr. Bailey and Woman’s parents with Man and Woman. I’d played with Remy, Woman’s sister’s dog, and Mr. Bailey and had become exhausted. I was sleeping in the car, waiting for Woman and Man to come out of the house and drive us all home.
Then, I heard it.
The night was suddenly full of howls and yips. The sounds cut right through to my bones, through to my puppyhood nightmares and the sounds I little understood during my puppyhood in Alaska. The half-remembered sounds of wolves in the night, driving back from Woman and Man’s friends’ home in the woods outside of town…
One of the coyotes emerged from the dark. I ducked down instinctively, hoping she did not see me. She looked like a ghost in the eerie glow of the outdoor lights.
I felt like a puppy again, hiding, and too fluffy and innocuous to defend myself and my family.
I was instantly awake in the car, and listening, my ears straining toward the eerie howls. I could not understand them fully; their accents were foreign to me. I did hear snatches of their dark songs which made sense to me…I heard my name. I heard Edgar’s. I heard Mr. Bailey’s. I heard Maggie’s. I heard the chickens clucking nervously and carefully, giving nothing away: “cluck, cluck cluck.”
I trembled. Who was I to stand against the forces Edgar had hinted at? Why were these coyotes focused on those dogs I loved? I closed my eyes and remembered the first day with Woman and Man, and wished myself back to that innocent puppy, happy and warm in a towel on Woman’s lap as Man drove me to my new home.
I heard our names again in those chilling howls, and I remembered that that puppy had not been fully helpless. He had, even then, a will to fight, and the desire to defend. He had, even then, been preparing for the scenes I now faced.
I was hesitating now, on the brink of this new knowledge and this new fight, but I had it in me to do what was necessary to protect my family and friends–Edgar, Mr. Bailey…Maggie…and Woman and Man, if the coyotes dared to involve them.