Dog Days

by R.T. Allenson

Dog days. Dog days. Oh, but we’re all dogs on the inside, right?

Though we’re not exactly canines, we share with them a few things – our love of the outdoors, a penchant for mischief, and of course, our love of companionship.

Here’s to our dog days, my loves! I pat my two dogs lovingly; I just got them today and they’re a bit shy, but I can already see that we’re going to get along swimmingly.

I pat my two dogs lovingly; I just got them today and they’re a bit shy, but I can already see that we’re going to get along swimmingly.

Mickey’s a blonde retriever – he has a habit of fetching things, even those that don’t belong to him and that’s why he was sent to the pound. He’s a handsome specimen of the breed and his posture shows that, despite his miscreant behavior, he comes from a dignified lineage. Perhaps his papa dog and mama dog were royal breeds?

I can sympathize with Mickey a lot. My parents left me before I got to know them. For all I know, they may be a king and a queen as well. But, that doesn’t matter anymore; I’ve made a name for myself and people are just dying to meet me.

Sara is my other dog. She’s a mutt with brown fur and she’s terrible at being a dog. I keep her around for Mickey because I think he fancies her, but she ain’t no hound dog. Not a tracker either. She barks loudly though and that gives me a bit of a peace of mind when night falls.

And of course, there’s Samedi – my first hound. I feel bad for him cause I keep him locked up in a cage, unlike Mickey and Sara. He’s not friendly anymore. I think he’s just jealous cause I tend to play with Sara and Mickey these days, but I can’t help it. He’s old and more activity’s just going to hurt him, you know?

Mickey licks my feet and it tickles me. I give him a kiss on the nose and let him sit by my side. Sara eyes me like she always does and she sets her head on my lap. I pat her lightly and tell her what a good girl she is. She likes that, but she like starting out the window, too. She misses the outside world, but it’s a dangerous place out there for a mutt.

“Today’s the last day we will play, my loves,” I whisper the words to Sara. Mickey arches his head and looks at me – a visible sadness in his eyes. “They’re going to take you away from me.”

I hear the rattling of a cage outside. Samedi howls and yelps, and I tell him to be quiet. “Oh, pipe down you old dog. They’re going to take you away too, so quit being sad.”

I pat Sara’s head lovingly and give her a kiss on the nose. “I love you, Sara. You and Mickey, and even cranky old Samedi who gets on my nerves. I shall miss all of you, my lovely dogs. I hope you miss me, too.”

I hear the police sirens blare outside, and ready myself for the inevitable. I move Mickey and Sara to the back of the house. I don’t want to them to see all the ruckus after all. I am their master and the last image I want them to remember is a dignified and loving one.

“Open the door!” The policeman outside yells. The old oak of a door will hold up for a while I think, judging by how hard he’s banging on it. 

“Pierce! I found the teenager! He’s locked up and gagged in a cage!” Another one yells. The banging stops and I hear terrified gasps from the coppers. Seems like they found old Samedi. What a curious thing to call a dog; a teenager!

“I haven’t groomed him in a while. I’m sorry if he looks like a mess.” I yell at the door. The banging starts again, and I feel it getting stronger. I think they’re using a ram. 

“No time like the present to live out your dog days,” I whisper to myself. I ready my shotgun and aim it towards the door.

A crash! A boom! Splinters fly everywhere, followed by flesh and bone. The policeman drops dead, and a bullet lodges into my chest and leg. The pain is excruciating, but I manage to blow off the second cop’s head off.

“Dog days. Dog days.” The blood is making it hard for me to say it, but I need to say it one more time for Mickey and Sara. I crawl over to where the two of them are chained, and point the shotgun at them.

“Let’s go, my loves.” I reload and all I need is to pull the trigger, but their eyes…their eyes of pain and sorrow. Something…human about them.

A hail of bullets erupts behind me and then, darkness.