“Hello. My name is Good Dog. What’s yours?”
“Sally. It’s very nice to meet you, Good Dog.”
“Why are you called Good Dog?”
“That’s my name. Good Dog.”
“I know but are you a good dog?”
“I’m Good Dog. Yes.”
“Let me see if I can ask this another way,” mumbled Sally.
“Do you do what the people you live with tell you to do?”
“I think so,” said Good Dog. “I try.”
“That’s all anyone can ask, don’t you agree?”
“I do, but I don’t know if they do.. I don’t eat socks anymore.”
“Well, that’s a good thing.”
“I don’t eat books, or shoes, or garbage, either.”
“So you are a good dog,” said Sally, smiling at him.
“Yes, that’s my name.”
“Do you sit and stay?”
“I mostly lay on the bed, or on this sofa.”
“It’s nice that they let you on the furniture.”
“See that’s the thing about living with others. I mean I have my bed, of course, and it’s a nice cushion and everything, and I have toys, some of them even make noise, but I have to live by someone else’s rules. I have to eat when they feed me and do what they tell me to do and sometime they lock me in the bedroom so the little kids who come to visit, don’t hurt me. But I think they should lock the little kids up, after all, it’a my house, isn’t it? See, there again, is it my house? Do I have any rights? I feel as if I have no power at all. Sure they love me and kiss me a lot and they take me for walks but it’s all on their own schedule. I guess that’s okay but I feel helpless and not in control of my own life. They LET me sit on the sofa. It’s THEIR choice, not mine. Do you know what I mean?”
“I know exactly what you mean.”
“I’m a nice dog. I don’t bite, or bark a lot. Well, maybe at the mail person but that’s about it. I think I’d like to get a job, you know. Maybe work in a hardware store, or something.”
“A hardware store?”
“Yes. That’s where the man who lives here goes all the time.”
“What would you do there?”
“Greet the customers and make sure the backdoor is closed.”
“I think the people who shop there would like that.”
“I don’t know where the hardware shop is located, so I can’t go there and see if they need any help.”
“Maybe your person will take you with him next time he goes there.”
“Do you think so?”
“When he gets ready to leave, stand by him and make, I want to go with you, noises. Then, when you get there, maybe you can as the owner about a job.”
“I wish other people could understand me the way you do. It would make life so much easier. It’s nice being able to talk to a human. I really like it. I have a lot of questions, you know.”
“I’m sure you do have a lot of questions, but I have to be on my way. It was lovely meeting you, Good Dog. I hope things work out for you in the future.”
“Thank you. Please stop by as often as you can. I’m usually in the yard after breakfast and lunch.”
“Thank you,” said Sally. “I’ll do that.”
“I’ll miss you,” whimpered Good Dog.
“I’ll miss you too,” said Sally, running her hand down his back “Goodbye, Good Dog.”
“Goodbye, Sally. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“I have one more question,” said Good Dog.
“What is it?” asked Sally.
“Why is it that when anyone doesn’t do what another wants them to do they are called bad? Would I be bad if I didn’t sit down when I was told to do so? Can I tell them to sit down? I think it’s mean to always want your own way and tell others they are bad if they don’t do what they’re told, especially when there’s no choice. I can’t tell them to turn the music down because it hurts my ears.”
“I think you’re absolutely right,” said Sally. “It’s completely once sided and unfair. It’s the same way with people, you know. The only difference is, people can leave, or talk or argue about things. I’m sorry, Good Dog, but if you want to live in a human’s house, you pretty much have to follow the rules, because dogs can sometimes ruin things, if they aren’t careful. But it sounds as if you have a good life. A lot of dogs aren’t so lucky.”
“I know. And you’re right. I just feel, domesticated.”
“I’ll bring you a treat next time.”
“Really?” asked Good Dog.
“Yes, really,” said Sally, waving as she walked toward the front door.
“I’ll be right here waiting for you,” said Good Dog. “Come back soon.”