Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dreams of My Children, Part 6


(Installing carpet in dog house, 1977)

The following is a guest column written by my dog, Rufus:

What I like to do in the morning, just after the sun comes up, is to watch the house, to see the people start moving around, getting ready for school and work, and then I start barking my head off.
After a while, the old guy leans out his bedroom window and flaps his jaw in my direction. It's a scream, you ought to see it.
I start it up again while they're eating breakfast. The old guy usually comes storming out the kitchen door, newspaper in hand, making motions like he's going to use it on me. What a joke.
A little later, when the school bus comes up the road, I start yapping again. Sometimes the old guy comes out the kitchen door, grabs the broom and runs halfway across the yard toward my house, brandishing the thing in the air, his face all red. It's all I can do to keep from laughing.

I can't complain too much. They let me off my chain in the afternoon, and when the kids come home from school, there's always some kind of excitement going on in the backyard. I'm getting old and this arthritis is killing me, so I don't run around with them much anymore or do anything ridiculous like chasing sticks. But it's fun to watch them, anyway.

You wouldn't believe what a scream it is living with this family. The other day, the little girl wrote "I AM CRANKY" with her finger in the dust on the back of the old guy's van. He caught her doing it and he snapped at her, "Whadaya mean by that!?"

You should see the old guy practice golf. He walks around the yard with a pitching wedge and a bucket of golf balls. I curl up by the porch or under a bush where it's safe and watch him. He has no idea where the balls will go when he hits them. He bounces them off the roof, off the walnut tree, off the neighbor's house. It's a scream. In about five minutes he's down to two balls, the rest being lost in the woods. He gets all sweaty and chatters to himself. I can't stand it. I roll around in fits, and then he says, "What are you panting about, hairbag?" He doesn't understand that I'm not panting, I'm laughing my head off.

Oh, I tell you, it's a human's life, isn't it?

- May 1989

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