© 2016, last edit 8/24/2018, Mirror Image Presentations, Alan John Mayer
I balance half my body out the kitchen window, and can see in the carport beneath my kitchen, the golden Mercedes is gone. Outside my dining room window is the only 400 square feet lot of open green lawn within three blocks of Poinsettia Park. This spot outside my windows is popular for humans who like to smoke and hold cell phone conversations. As well, it attracts wild animals who find refuge in the trees and the bushes, if one could say the squirrels in West Hollywood are wild.
I put on my leash, and walk Pokey to the corner. I stop, place my right arm straight down, fingers and thumb together, and bark out the command “Heal”. I obey, as does the dog, and I slip out of my leash. “Go” I say. The mutt scampers off to read pee-mail on the Sierra Bonita sign post, and the two trees. Normal procedure every day, but yesterday was different. He bolted up the eighteen-inch stone wall, barking wildly. He ran through out upper garden, directly under our windows, poking his nose into the hedge as he scampered about.
I figured it was a squirrel. “Pokey, No barking here” I myself bark under stress, knowing Pixies appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. “Come” I bark again. No response. My command is overruled by instinct of a dog bred to run, hunt lions, and rhinoseri. I chase the dog through the garden “Pokey Heal” again I bark. The animal behind the hedge ran toward me, with Pokey on it’s tail. I slip my collar around his neck, and pull him down, onto the sidewalk.
“Believe me, I know how difficult it is for you, Pokey. I know your grandfather was a Rhodesian Ridgeback, a hunter of lions and rhinosseri. I know your mother was a champion Italian Greyhound runner, but you must hold the Mexican Chihuahua of your parents at bay. No barking here.” He moaned. I cradled him in my arms, and rocked him, like a baby. With teriffic force, he pushed my hand aside. He wanted to get to whatever it lurking behind the hedge against the wall. “It’s okay” I tried to comfort him. He let out a couple of “Muff”s, while I, with all my strength, held his head in the crook of my armpit, and rocked him.
Ready for service when you wake me.
I waited for him to sigh. As soon as he did, I set him on the sidewalk. “Come on, let’s poop” I dragged him to the tree on the lawn. He picked up the trail of some bitch, and watered the tree. Good morning business world. With voice and gesture, hand straight down, fingers together, thumb out, I reminded him to stay, while I picked up his morning blessing, and made the deposit to the neighboring apartment’s trash bin. With me off the leash, I was amazed he stayed, knowing just feet away behind the hedge, lurked his prey. What was it?
Back inside the apartment, I praised him, gave him a Rawhide Twist treat, and sat down to write in my journal. He wandered about whining, in and out of the rooms, moaning. With the rawhide stick hanging out of his mouth like a cigar, he stopped and looked at me with sad eyes. Where can I hide it, so the cat won’t find it? he seems to be asking.
The next morning I watched, as a large tomcat crossed the street into our garden. I expected him to emerge on the sidewalk, but he jumped into the upper garden instead, and hid in the hedge. It was he, the instigator of such frustration on the part of Pokey Le Mutt that day.
As I edit this piece, August 24, 2018, Pokey still walks around the apartment, a different one now, with treats in his mouth, moaning and whining, Where can I hide this from the cat? Animals are our best entertainment and teachers. We need to love them, not raise them to be eaten. These days, most of my entertainment comes from watching YouTube and Facebook videos of animals, doing what they do best, being themselves.
God bless the animals. And God bless man and woman, that they may bless the animals.