A Dog’s Life – Roady Series Episode #40

Keep moving. That’s what the doctor said. I’m not eligible for extended rehab so it’s up to me to get up and get going. Roady likes the idea. I walk him up the road a ways down the long drive that stretches to the Miller’s old farmhouse. It looks abandoned but Mom says Mrs.Miller still lives there.

We walk past dry fields of soybeans. The plants are dead and yet this means they’re ready for harvest. Dead means life to something else.
“That’s the way the world goes round isn’t it?” I say to Roady.
He looks up at me then gives a soft gruff. I’m not sure he agrees but he takes a bite of one of the plants and chomps on the beans.
“I mean life is all about dying.”
Roady pulls away yanking the leash right out of my hand. He jumps in front of me throwing the straggling bits of soy plant in the air. I laugh and try to take a step forward but he challenges me again. I pick up the plant and toss it. Roady follows it through the air and pounces on it like it is a prized beef bone.
When I reach for it, he picks it up so fast then races in a circle around my legs.
“You nutty dog,” I say. He comes around again and jumps up against my chest pressing on the spot where stitches used to be. The pain takes my breath away but I can’t be mad.
“I get it,” I say. “Life isn’t about dying, it’s about playing and maybe good food.”
Roady barks loud and strong, a sure vote of “yes”.

Read the full Roady Series from the beginning by choosing it in categories. Entylerywords is all fiction based on a character in a novel by Clare Graith. Read more of Clare’s writing at CGExpress.

In the Mind of the Dog – Roady Series Episode #39

I had a dream. I was my dog Roady. I woke up with dirt in my nose because I had dug a hole at the base of the tree where I was tethered. It was a good hole and I chomped on one of the roots, the buried treasure I had found. But, I realized, it was another day, tied to the tree. I wanted to chase the leaves that drifted down with the cool autumn breeze but when I leapt up to snag them from the air, the rope yanked me back. I tried chewing the few at my feet but it wasn’t the same as catching them in the air like toasted biscuits falling from the sky.
Don’t want to be going round this tree so I sit and watch that gravel path, the one that my master comes down when he’s back from an adventure without me. Don’t know why he goes without me. I see the car, that wonderful place where the blankets smell like him or maybe they smell like me or potato chips, the kind with that red, powdery stuff that tastes like meat cooked outside. Haven’t had that meat in a long time. Not since my first master left in a van with red lights flashing. I want some meat right now. I’m hungry, yes, definitely someone forgot to bring me breakfast. I call to the boys but all I get is a rock thrown by that man, not my master, the man who yells and keeps me tied here.
My master left in a van with red flashing lights. Will he never return like the last one? Will I always be tied to the tree? I hear my own soft whistling cry.
I get a fresh bowl of water sloshing. I steal sips as a boy lowers it down. He laughs at me for spilling it. Then he puts down my bowl of food. Love my food. Can’t get enough. I pull it up with my tongue and throw it to the back of my mouth, salty, tasty. I crack it to bits between my teeth. It’s good. It’s good. It’s gone. Wait there must be more. Wait. More please! My barking doesn’t seem to bring more.

Day runs into day. The leaves no longer tease me. They just fall. I just watch. Then one day, I’m on the leash and off the tree. The biggest boy walks me up the street. Am I going to find my master?
We come to a place with grass and more grass and kids and more kids. There’s balls, and balloons that look like big round leaves, bobbing on strings. I can catch one. I leap up and bite. It bites me back and I whimper. But there’s another one. I’ll get this one too, but as soon as I leap, the leash pulls me away.

I spend the day at this place of wild noises and kids petting and poking me. I have a short rope on and can’t leap and catch any more balloons because there’s a cart behind me and kids inside it. It’s almost like the tree. I go round in circles. The kids laugh. There’s one, two, three at a time. I feel a pain when I try to pull forward. Oh yeah, that’s the place that was torn once. The cart tips over and someone says the cart rides are done. Yes, I’m done and the boy walks me back home. I wish he would carry me. I wish…then I see him, my master. He’s there. It’s him. He did not leave me. He came back. I don’t know how I do it but I pull from the boy’s grip and run to my master.
“You’re back. You’re back. You’re back. I’m so happy, happy, happy.”
I lick his face and taste that it is really him. It smells like him. It is him. Life is good.

I woke up from that dream to the feel of Roady’s breath on my face. He is sleeping so close to me, paws over my chest like he’s pinning me down.
“Don’t worry boy,” I whisper. “I’m not leaving you.”
But in the next moment a thought comes to me, I have no place to live. How will I bring him back to Cincinnati? Where will he stay all day? I close my eyes to this dilemma and drift back to sleep.

Choose “Roady Series” in categories to read from Episode 1. “Like” this post to let me know you enjoyed it. EnTylerywords is fiction based on a character by Clare Graith. Check out CG Express for more writing by Clare.

Doggy Kisses – Roady Series Episode #38

Family will borrow things as though no permission were needed. I get that when it’s a three year old sibling swiping a GameBoy from a thirteen year old brother, though when Stan Junior did that Mom yelled at me for not letting him have it. But, when an adult stepfather (why I allow even in print any reference to him as a father must be due to the beating to my head I took a week ago) and a sober mother send my dog off to some kid’s birthday party to pull a cart, I’m ready to pack up and drive away for good.
“He was just hanging around whining all the time,” Mom explains.
“We’ve been feeding him,” Stan adds from his recliner throne, a six pack carton half filled with empty beer bottles at his feet. “Dogs got to earn his keep.” He guzzles the rest of another beer and adds it to the set.
“You’re getting paid for this?”
“Damn straight I am. Like I said. No free loaders in this house.” He stares at me. I don’t like the implications of that look. If I wasn’t a hobbling invalid I might just not be able to restrain myself from knocking his block off. But then in true Stan fashion, he takes it one step further. “You ought to be thanking me for saving your life. Where’s my next beer?” He yells at Mom.
“Just making sure you don’t kill each other.” She runs off to the kitchen to get the beer, barely a limp left in her gait.
“Thanks,” I say because truth be told, I do owe him my life on that count, though he might have let me die right on the couch out of ignorance. I hobble my way back out the door.
“Where are you going?” Mom says holding the beer, dripping condensation off her hand.
“I’m not staying in this house.”
“Tyler, no. You’ll never be comfortable with your injuries in that car.”
“Comfort is more than just a soft place to stretch out. My car is heaven compared to this…” I keep myself from saying what is on my mind. Stan might be half way to drunk but he is fit and able to give me some pain if I rile him up. I walk out the door.
On my way to the car, Junior comes up the drive with Roady trotting on a leash. The dog breaks away from the boy and hurls himself through the air knocking me off balance. He’s all over me. Doggy smell full blast, wet kisses all over my face, his joy so free, my physical wounds might hurt more at this moment, but a thousand heart wounds are healed as I wrap my arms around him and kiss his doggy face back.

This series is fiction. Read the full Roady Series by choosing it in categories. “Like” to let me know you’re a fan. Follow this blog to not miss any new episodes.