March 22, 2018

That’s Not My Dog


by Gideon Noire

I went boating a few weeks ago with my friend, Skeeter. And when I got home there was a pooch on my porch. I don’t suppose that’s all that newsworthy, but the dog, in the words of the famous criminologist Inspector Clousaeu, was not my dog. At least, that was my impression. His name, I was told later that evening as Esmeralda and I sat staring into his obviously loving but clearly confused canine eyes, was Luther. And yes, she said, he was…our…dog.

As Skeeter and I had bumped blissfully over the Ditty River’s shallow rapids that afternoon, Esmeralda attended an event called the Petapalooza, where tender hearts gather once a year to find homes for homeless critters. Unknown to me, my home was one of their targets. This explains why there was a dog named Luther on my porch where no dog had existed. But it certainly doesn’t explain what transpired following Luther’s arrival, or his eventual seizure of the house my darling Esmeralda invited him into, or his eventual disappearance.

For starters, I am told, Luther is an “alpha” puppy. I didn’t know such a critter existed until two days after we met. That was the afternoon Esmeralda’s friend Shawna Wannna showed up for Luther’s first “reading.” If I snicker while telling you this part, understand I was raised by wolves…or possibly coyotes. In my family, the dogs didn’t get readings, at least not from someone other than my dad and especially someone dressed like a red polka dot macadamia nut, nestled in a bed of spinach, charging $52 an hour to tell you your pooch was once a courtesan in King Tut’s palace. The only reading dogs in my house ever got was a recitation of the house rules on the first day they arrived. If they did not square up in 24 hours, they went back to square one–or as Esmeralda is fond of calling it–de Petapaloopa.

According to Ms. Wanna, as an alpha puppy, Luther was a dog of stature that, if properly accommodated, would bring Esmeralda and I great fortune. Where she came up with this notion I have no idea, I can only say that Esmeralda ate up everything Shawna Wanna had to say, especially the part about making sure Luther was kept on a strict diet of raw figs, fresh fish and rice cakes. As I understand it, it was a traditional diet in the pharaoh’s household, and if we expected to receive the fortunes Luther would undoubtedly bestow on us, we needed to ensure he was placed in a favorable setting and provided the accoutrements to which he had become accustomed some 5,000 year earlier.

I love my Esmeralda and go to great lengths to see that she is accorded every luxury and every benefit of the doubt a loving spouse should receive. For three weeks, I endured the pomp and circumstance of having such a regal pet. But I also endured a form of unnatural gas that has not been since young Moses was sent afloat in the River Nile.

To say that figs and fresh fish are a lethal combination is to say that Brittany Spears needs therapy. I have no idea what the rice cakes were all about, but if my hunch is correct, it was some kind of weight loss ingredient. Then only other time I have seen them consumed was by an anorexic teletype operator once employed by Sir Randolph. She vomited almost as much as Luther did the first week.

In addition to the diet, Luther was accorded the master bedroom, while Esmeralda and I slept in what was designed as a pantry. For three weeks, I woke every morning with a surly attitude and went to bed feeling increasingly more irritable. You get the picture. Luther one, Gideon zero.
This is where the story would end except for the fortuitous arrival last Saturday of Skeeter and his hound dog, Shelly. Shelly can best be described as an earthy dog, raised in a very free spirit sort of way. She also has a swagger that few dogs, even those of royal temperament, can resist and, at last count, was the mother of nine litters.

We aren’t sure where Luther went that night.

Shelly is back home. Whether or not number ten is on the way remains to be seen. There are reports that Luther has now found refuge at the Pink Nectar Café where, it is said, he spends his days hanging out with a feral shepherd the locals call Dixie Dumpling. As for the prediction of good luck, I’m still waiting…unless of course you count the fact that I no longer sleep in the pantry.

I was right. Inspector Clouseau was right.

Luther was not my dog.

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