Monday, December 10, 2007

Sammy, The Beagle: Story 2

“Your dog is out again!” The neighbor who was convinced that Sammy had killed and eaten their pet white cat was shouting at me as I got out of my white Honda. It was a car identical to any number of other white Honda Accords, except mine had peeling paint from where a ninety-one year old woman, fresh from cataract surgery, had plowed into me as I was stopped at a red light. The accident had happened a few years before, but every time I saw the peeling surface, I felt a twinge of irritation.


My emotional perturbation, however, was nothing compared to the surge of rage that my neighbor experienced whenever she saw my cheerful beagle prancing down the road, tail held high.

The dog was out. Okay. She could have phrased it a bit more diplomatically. After all, she was not going to have to be the one to drive through the neighborhood at 10 miles per hour, gagging on the still-redolent back seats, “Eau du Dog.” Yum.

Sammy had learned to open every gate latch known to civilized man. He had also learned the trick I had previously attributed only to Buddhist monks who could “twin” their voices and sing two notes at the same time, who could melt piles of snow with their radiant heat, and who could “speed walk” hundreds of miles over mountains in a day, as reported by Alexandra David-Neel in her book, Magic and Mystery in Tibet. (buddhism books)

However, Sammy was no Buddhist monk, no matter how he made me mindful of “nothingness” and the notion that reality is really a blank slate until I populate it with the contents of my mind.

Instead, what I had on my hands was a big headache. Right now, he was standing the middle of a busy intersection, cars and trucks honking at him, and swerving to avoid flattening him like road-kill squirrel.

“Here you go, boy! Food! Treats! Mommy’s here!” I tried every tender entreaty in the book. “A pig ear chew toy just for you!”

Desperate to rescue my son’s dog, I parked the car and raced into traffic. I emerged, after receiving brutal imprecations, with a very stinky and resistant beagle in my arms.

Was he grateful?

Not at all. The first thing he did was to pee on my back seat.

Was my neighbor grateful?

Not at all. The first thing she did was to shout at me: “He killed and ate Snowball, you know!”

No one had ever seen Snowball, so I seriously doubted she had been eaten. With an owner like that, she probably ran away. One day Snowball would come back. The neighbors would have to dye spots on her to avoid losing face.

I rolled down the window to let a bit of the eye-stinging air mix with sweet prairie breezes. Sammy was whining and making mild retching noises to warn me that the urine would soon be blended with dog vomit.

What a life.

Is this the revenge of Snowball, the white cat that no one had actually ever seen?

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