A Dog's Big Buddy

A Dog's Big Buddy

A Story by Jacob Clifford
"

My turf war against the neighbor's pets. Based on a true story!

"
It was two days before Christmas, and I'm sound asleep. Reminiscent dreams of high school crushes, childhood Christmases, and long-gone afternoons spent sledding down hills come and go, never staying long but leaving behind a vague sense of happiness and ease. I wouldn't have minded sleeping in a few hours on this peaceful Sunday morn, but my dogs have other plans. Just as I'm leaning in to share a kiss with one Miss Peterson, deep, angry, predatory barks yank me to reality, shattering the calm like a mirror thrown against the ground.
My first flash of thought is to cover my head with a pillow and go back to dreamland, but something about the barking is unsettling. I unwrap myself from my warm blanket cocoon and stumble into the living room, where all five of my dogs are gathered, dancing in front of the windows, groaning and whimpering and clacking their claws on the wooden floor. Grumbling a dozen obscenities, I push through the furry crowd and look out the window. About halfway up the driveway, sniffing around the base of a giant oak tree, is the neighbor's dog. He's beautiful, part German Shepherd part Husky, with pale blue eyes and long light brown fur tinged with gray. As a devout dog worshiper, I would love to run out there and snuggle him into next week. But my dogs aren't the friendliest with unfamiliar animals, and I don't want to give the Shepherd positive reinforcement to return here.
I slip on my shoes and step onto the deck. My dogs try to burst out the door with me, but I push them back; it's too early in the morning to break up a dog fight. As the crisp Minnesota winter air hit me, I realize I forgot to put on a shirt after getting out of bed. The wind passes clean through my bare torso. I try to ignore my shrinking scrotum and tightening t*****s and focus on the dog. He hadn't noticed me yet, but that wasn't surprising; I'm so pale, it's hard to differentiate my flesh from the snow. That's why winter is my favorite season: I can go around naked and jump out at people, scaring them out of their wits. Yes, I could regale you with dozens of tales of my winter hijinx, but I digress.
I tiptoe to the edge of the deck, fill my scrawny chest with as much of the sharp air as possible, and bellow wordlessly at the dog. He drops into a crouch, ready to pounce in any direction. After a moment of searching, he locks eyes with me. I yell again and stomp, and he took off down the driveway. He resembles a large, well-groomed rabbit, the way he scurries off.
My grumpiness fades, replaced by a sense of manly bravado at scaring away the pooch. My hairline may be receding before its time, and my beard may be tinged with gray, and I have dozens of bodily aches, but I still got it. I return to the house a hero to adoring dogs and indifferent cats, and go about my easy morning. Not five minutes later, however, when I'm in the middle of flexing my modest muscles and retelling the morning's events to my cat Oliver (who, annoyingly, keeps interrupting my story to meow and paw at his empty food bowl), the dogs bark again. I glance out the window and almost spit out my hot cocoa. The dog is back, and he's brought backup.
One of the neighbor's other pets, a large gray horse with black socks, is strutting toward the house, the German Shepherd following close behind. That horse is notorious for breaking out of its pasture and traveling the dirt, dead-end road we call home. It had been a while since he paid my homestead a visit, and sadly this won't be a pleasure call. I crack my knuckles and looked at Oliver. "Watch this." He simply stares back blankly, no doubt awed by my confidence.
Back on the deck, I stomp and shout like only an Olympian can. The horse stops walking but has to nerve to not look the least bit intimidated. The dog lowers his head and tucks his tail between his legs, but he stands his ground, reassured by his equine backup. A moment passes, and the horse trots closer. I yell again, to no effect. I'm suddenly aware of little Dolly, a haughty Pekingese with a knack for gossip, watching me from the window. She looks similarly unimpressed. I clear my throat and give my most boisterous bellow yet, one that rings across the sky for miles (or so I like to remember). Unfortunately, my voice cracks near the end, and the animal invaders don't even react as they draw within throwing range of the deck. Now desperate, and a bit embarrassed, I look around for a weapon, anything that can help fend off several hundred pounds of horse. I spot a rubber chicken - perfect! I pick it up and hurl it at the horse. The chicken travels about ten feet and lands at the horse's hooves with an anticlimactic Huuuuuh. The horse steps on it and keeps coming.
They stop at the deck stairs. Can horses not climb stairs, or is he trying to subtly intimidate me with his clearly superior testosterone levels? I remember the snow shovel near the door and run to it. I raise it above my head, waving it around and yelling. When that accomplishes nothing, I march back toward the stairs, jabbing the shovel like a spear. I am soon close enough to reach the horse. I don't know if I have the testicular mass required to strike the beautiful beast, but I don't have to find out. There is a thud at the window, and the horse gives a comically loud, throaty whinny and sprints back down the driveway. The dog, without his big buddy for moral support, reprises his rabbit impression. I catcall after them and give a couple energetic jabs at the sky with my trusty shovel. Once they're out of sight, I turn toward the thud. Oliver is on his back legs, trying to reach some flying insect. He must have run into the glass trying to catch his prey, and the sound scared off the beasts.
My pride is a bit wounded, realizing a fuzzy cat was more intimidating than I, but I don't let that spoil my mood for long. Oliver may have been the one to scare away the intruders, but come Christmas, I'll be telling a different version of events.

© 2019 Jacob Clifford


Author's Note

Jacob Clifford
There isn't much of a point to this story; it was just an experience I wished to share. Happy New Years!

My Review

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Featured Review

This is a delightful ditty that gives off warm vibes due to the lively relationships you paint between the narrator & his menagerie. I really felt the pressure of being the leader & protector of your furry clan. I love the rubber chicken details -- too hilarious! The ending was great too, with a perfect dash of humility when a kitty kat manages to do your job without even trying! This story has a great splash of personality on every level (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

I'm glad you enjoyed this little tale of tails. I often consider myself to be alpha dog/cat, but it .. read more
barleygirl

3 Years Ago

You inspire me to infuse my "pet" pieces with more of a sense of playful community as you do here!



Reviews

What a cute and whimsical tale. I really like your writing expression. I don't review many story writers around here, but you had me hooked, even with such a light hearted story!

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

I'm glad you enjoyed this little story. I'm finding it harder and harder to make time for this site,.. read more
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Another fine tale, Clifford.

As a rather proud expert on the Equine, I can tell you that it is all in the posture. Next time just strike a dominant pose, back straight, head up, arms out wide and you will see that horse give you more respect. They react to body language more than anything else.

As for the story? It is a very witty piece. It must have been some morning for you. As one who frequently gets invaded by neighbourly cats and their strategically placed, half buried s**t, i sure can relate to your tale. Whatever the case, life is sure more exciting with our furry friends around.

I did notice the changes in tense as you outlined in the author's note, but it didnt detract from the story as a whole. It is a very enjoyable read. Light, fluffy and humorous. Keep them coming.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

I'll have to take your advice the next time I'm plundered by a horse. I'll become alpha horse as wel.. read more
No surprise, the cat did it. To me, they’re stars. A witty and humorous tale with an endearing kind of twist. I look forward to reading more soon.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Cats are certainly something. Never a dull moment with them around.
DIVYA

3 Years Ago

Things happen around them :)
Their aura perhaps.
Clifford! I always love your stories. Had me smiling the whole way through. My only one suggestion would be to reword this bit: "the neighbor's German Shepard. He's a beautiful dog, part Husky,"
My brain didnt like having to switch from German Shepard to cross breed. Maybe say something like "is the neighbor's German Shepard x Husky. He's a beautiful dog, "
It's good to see you writing here again Clifford! :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Long time so see, friend! It's good to be writing again, for sure. I'm glad you enjoyed, and your su.. read more
This is a delightful ditty that gives off warm vibes due to the lively relationships you paint between the narrator & his menagerie. I really felt the pressure of being the leader & protector of your furry clan. I love the rubber chicken details -- too hilarious! The ending was great too, with a perfect dash of humility when a kitty kat manages to do your job without even trying! This story has a great splash of personality on every level (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

I'm glad you enjoyed this little tale of tails. I often consider myself to be alpha dog/cat, but it .. read more
barleygirl

3 Years Ago

You inspire me to infuse my "pet" pieces with more of a sense of playful community as you do here!
Well I can say it holds a lot of imagery and detail, This is a well written write

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Thank you very much, Brandie.

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Added on December 31, 2018
Last Updated on April 15, 2019

Author

Jacob Clifford
Jacob Clifford

MN



About
Thank you, my Cafe family, for all that you have done for me. This has been a wonderful period of my life. If any of you ever want to reach me, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] more..

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