Become a Fan
By Dennis P Michels
Thursday, September 12, 2002
David wondered what in the hell gave his huskies a reason to bark and howl like they were at this moment. It was bad enough the teenagers were driving by shaking his house with their obnoxiously loud music. He wasn’t philosophically opposed to teenagers having fun, it was more that he opposed to anyone driving around, drinking, and having carnal delight while he had to fix spreadsheets because his coworker was out to lunch at all times.
Isaac and Misty were, on all occasions, the most loveable creatures a human could hope to have for companionship. But, as will many things, their adorable likeness was tempered by their twisted and absolute sense of entitlement. If they did not get their daily walk, property was destroyed. If a squirrel mistakenly violated the established borders, it was “played” with until its “squeaker” was broken. Which often left a tenderized version of the animal for David to pick up and dispose of.
Getting up from his desk David looked out the window to see if he could identify the source of his companions excitement. The air outside was dark beyond penetration. It didn’t help that he had been looking at the glowing phosphorous illuminations of the computer monitor, which rendered his night vision non-existent.
Halfway to the patio door he clearly heard Misty yelp in pain and surprise. Being vocal animals, huskies have a variety of distinct sounds to choose from to express an opinion. Misty, having a knack for self inflicted injury, distinguished a real injury with a voice not at all unlike a young child screaming.
With his heart in his throat at the prospect of his cross species child being injured, David ran back for his flashlight. After the few moments it took him to find it, Misty’s fearful cry had turned into a howling bark. Slowing down his pace, he realized Misty had likely treed a raccoon. Which was not unusual and often resulted in a few minor cuts to her snout.
Sure enough, upon reaching the patio door David could see Misty at the base of an elm tree howling up at something. While the beam of the flashlight did not reveal a raccoon, it did reveal Misty to be healthy. And as would be expected from a wild animal encounter, neither Misty nor Isaac wanted to come in when called.
Looking at the kitchen clock David decided enough was enough for all of them. He could pick up on work in the morning, and Isaac and Misty had enough excitement for one evening.
“Come on guys. Time to get in your bed.” David called into the dark yard. Shining the light onto the animals revealed they had no intention of coming in.
Instead of standing in the patio door and yelling at them David walked into the night to herd them in. Being separated by the width of the yard David went after Misty first. Often Isaac would play nice once he saw his sister corralled.
“Get your butt in there.” David ordered Misty. With a playful jump she ran toward the screen door. David began to relax and walk leisurely behind her. A moment before she entered the open sliding door she broke for open ground again.
“OK Misty, no bullshit tonight.” David shouted. Before she reached the grass her gait fell to a trot and she made a victory lap that saw her enter the house at its end.
“Come on in, Isaac. Misty already went to bed.” David called to Isaac who remained lying where he was. Looking out into the yard, at first being concerned that Isaac might have hurt himself, David saw Isaac was hugging one of his toys.
“Ok, little buddy. You can bring your toy with you.” David encouraged. Isaac got up and moved the toy with his teeth a few feet toward his papa.
“I know, I know. But its late and we all have a big day tomorrow, Isaac.” David explained confident Isaac would understand the tone of his voice.
Isaac took a step away from the toy and lay down with it again. David decided that he would just pick the damned thing up and carry it in, this way Isaac would follow him and the event would be over.
As David reached for the toy Isaac lay his head on it to prevent David from taking it. When David moved Isaac’s head away he didn’t even protest with a growl, which was somewhat unusual for Isaac.
“Good boy, Isaac.” David soothed has he grabbed the toy and lifted it up. It took his mind a moment to realize the pheasant squeak toy was much heavier than it should be, even when water logged after a storm. David shined the light on it to make sure Isaac didn’t still have a hold of it.
“AH!” David exclaimed as he dropped the toy to the ground in revulsion. Standing back Isaac stood and wagged his tail at his accomplishment. He had successfully destroyed the things “squeaker”. But David just looked down at a wet and mangled possum.
With a deep sigh David carried Isaac to the porch door and encouraged him to bed. Then returning to the corpse he took a long look to see how, and to make sure, that the animal had died. As he carried the carcass to the garbage can he reflected on how damned real they were making squeaker toys, even with the flashlight shining on it he hadn’t recognized the critter for what it was.
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