I got this story done early so I’m going to publish it today instead of tomorrow.
I love visitors. I’m a Labrador retriever so guests are always great. New people to meet and new people to scratch my ears are always welcome.
People. Not dogs.
I’m not really fond of animal visitors. There was one time that a Mary Kay lady brought her dog over to visit, a forty-seven year old Boston Terrier by the name of Humphrey Bogart … or Bogey for short.
Okay, he wasn’t forty-seven, but that dog was old. I’m pretty sure he was alive when they invented time. He was almost blind, scrawny and trembled even when he was hot.
Bogey was sitting on the couch next to me when he woke up and declared, “Bring the puppies to me. I must share my wisdom.”
I’m pretty sure he was looking at me, but his eyes were on the side of his head. For all I knew he might have been watching television and looking outside at the same time. Prey animals have eyes on the sides of the head, predators have their eyes facing forward. I wonder if there was a correlation.
“Uh, there aren’t any puppies here Bogey. I’m ten, Ben is two and Harold is a cat,” I explained patiently.
“That’s fine, gather the Harold!” Bogey announced.
Ben rolled his eyes, “Dude, get him yourself. He smells like urine and motor oil.”
But as if on command, Harold wandered into the room and sat down, “‘Sup?”
“Excellent,” began Bogey. “Then I must explain the value in taking a cricket for a roll.”
“Yer old,” Harold noted for no particular reason. I would like say Harold pointed out the obvious, but unfortunately it was obvious to everyone but Harold.
“You see children, there was once …” he took a deep breath. “A cricket.”
“Dude, really?” Ben groaned. Ben was the only dog I ever met that had ADHD. He was a total spaz and could barely pay attention long enough to go to the bathroom.
“I stalked it for weeks, followed it, hunted it,” Bogey explained in his raspy old-man voice.
Laying my head down I sighed, “You never hunted anything in your life.”
But I was pretty sure that more than one hawk had seen Bogey and thought he would make a nice snack. Snack. He wasn’t big enough to make a meal for a bird.
“I caught it,” Bogey continued. He must have been deaf too … or ignoring me.
“Tossing the cricket high into the air, the second it hit the ground … I pounced. I rolled over on the cricket in the same way that you puppies roll over on something to get its scent on you,” the terrier explained.
“Uh, but Ah’m a cat,” Harold raised one eyebrow, genuinely confused. Looking at me, he cocked one ear, “Aren’t Ah?”
“Yes Harold, you’re still a cat,” I groaned.
“Quickly snatching the cricket, I tossed it into the air again and the moment gravy took over …,” Bogey smiled.
“Gravity.” I corrected him, “Gravy is for biscuits.”
“The moment gravy took over, I rolled over on the cricket,” Bogey finished.
“Why?” Harold was entranced. He would have made a good puppy … a dumb one, but a good one.
Bogey nodded knowingly, “Ah, but that … that is the important question isn’t it?
“Nope, not at … Bogey?” Ben asked.
Bogey had fallen asleep. I didn’t want to wake him up, but Harold seemed genuinely interested. Dang Harold.
I kicked Bogey and he opened his big gold-fish eyes, “The reason you take a cricket for a roll,” he continued as if nothing had happened, “Is because …”
Bogey paused for dramatic effect, “they deserve it!”
“Ya gotta be kidding meh,” Harold groaned. “That’s it?”
Bogey stood up and shook, “I will now demonstrate.”
What!? I picked my head up just as Bogey launched into the air.
“AH HELL!” Harold bellowed at the sight of the flying terrier.
I’m pretty sure Harold was still trying to figure out what was happening when the Boston Terrier landed in the middle of him.
“Get ‘im off meh!” Harold bawled as the old dog rolled over on him, rubbing on the nasty cat.
Ben broke down in insane laughter. I’ve never seen a dog laugh like Ben did. He couldn’t even hold himself upright. Rolling on the ground, the overweight yellow Labrador howled. Tears rolled out of his eyes while Bogey rolled over on Harold again.
I couldn’t help but snicker.
But then it happened. Bogey stopped and licked Harold as if he was a cricket. He wanted to throw the vile cat into the air, but the instant his tongue touched the yellow … ish … fur of my feline friend, Bogey stopped.
The Boston’s eyes grew even larger. I didn’t think the bug-eyed dog could look any more shocked, but there it was. The combination of cockleburs, Pennzoil, tomcat musk and other unidentified vile-tasting chemicals hit Bogey like a Mac Truck.
The small dog coughed lightly while we all waited to see what would happen.
Yipping and gagging, Bogey broke into a run. He was sprinting around the room dragging his tongue on the floor. I honestly never would have thought the old man could move that fast.
When Bogey shot past Harold, the cat looked up at me, “What happened?” he asked.
“I guess your armor worked this time Harry.”
“Yes Harold,” I smiled and laid my head down again. “Your armor worked.”
I guess there’s a first time for everything.
Poor old Bogey dog passed away a few days ago at the ripe old age of forty … er … fourteen. We’ll miss you buddy, but will do our best to keep back the cricket and peach pit hordes.