dante stella stories photographs guestbook

 

Sea-Dog
 

Meow-Kitty crouched over the bank of the river, watching beneath the surface for a fish. Preferably a fat, stupid fish that wouldn't put up much of a fight. It was mid-day, and the sun beat down on her black fur. I wish that I was a lighter color, she said to herself. A few feet away, Bu-Dog was sleeping on his back, his paws in the air. Useless, Meow-Kitty complained, this time aloud. The sun was warming Bu-Dog's white belly, and it was a good thing that the rest of him was the color of dirt.

After a couple of hours had passed without Bu-Dog's waking, and for that matter without a single fish, Meow-Kitty saw something big floating down the river. Maybe it was a big fish. As it drew closer, she squinted in the sun to see exactly what it was. It looked like a brown dog. It barked at Meow-Kitty. She stood up and walked over to Bu-Dog, poking him with her  paw.

"Wake up, stupid. There's a dog floating down the river. "

"That's silly. Dogs don't swim in the river. "

But sure enough, the little dog head with its little ears got bigger and bigger. Then the dog came to the shore. Arf! Bu-Dog thought that it was a strange little bark. The dog hoisted itself up onto the sea  wall and then onto the grass. Meow-Kitty and Bu-Dog were taken aback when they saw  that the dog was big and smooth and had flippers instead of paws. Bu-Dog decided that this one might speak his language.

"What's wrong with you?" Bu-Dog never had much tact.

"Nothing. "

"Are you a dog?"

"Yes. I'm a sea dog. "

"Where do the sea dogs live?"

"Far away. "

"Past Toledo?"

"Other direction. North, where it is cold. "

"Do the other sea dogs all look like you?"

"Yep. Except the pups are white. "

Well, that is that! Bu-Dog thought. A new species of dog. And I discovered it. Bu-Scottie is never going to believe this.

"Why don't you come to our house for dinner?"

And so the Sea-Dog followed Meow-Kitty and Bu-Dog to their house. They came in
through the alley. As soon as they were near the carriage house, Meow-Kitty ran to fetch  the Human Pup. He was taking a nap on the hammock, but Meow-Kitty finally managed to  wake him up. The Pup came over to the carriage house to take a look at the animal that was waddling around the garbage cans.

"Where did you guys get a sea-"

"Sea-Dog?" Bu-Dog anticipated the question.

"Yeah. "

"From the river. "

The Human Pup thought for a moment.

"Put him in the carriage house. We need to come up with a plan. "

The Human Pup went into the house and brought several cans of food with him. He set them down on the shelf in the carriage house and pulled out a ladder. Stepping up on it, he reached up into the rafters and pulled down a plastic wading pool. Meow-Kitty immediately hid under the old car. She had been in that pool before. The Human Pup set the pool up and went outside to get the hose. He filled the pool full of water.

"Ok. "

The Sea-Dog climbed into the pool and the Human Pup washed him off with the hose. That was also the same hose that the Human Pup had once used to clean off Meow-Kitty. She stayed out of the way. While Sea-Dog was splashing in the pool, the Human Pup walked over to the shelf and picked up the cans, opening each one. He dumped all of the food inside the cans into Bu-Dog's old, chewed up dish. Bu-Dog looked at the labels and sounded out each word carefully.

TU-NA

SAR-DI-NES.

"Hey, Meow-Kitty, did you know that the Human Pup is giving Sea-Dog your treats?"

This got her attention. She darted out from under the car to take a look. Sure enough, Sea-Dog was eating all of the fish treats. Her fish treats. She hissed at the Human Pup. Ingrate. I bring you a new pet and you feed him my food!

When her anger wore off, Meow-Kitty and Bu-Dog started plating with Sea-Dog. He was very good at playing with the ball, like Bu-Dog. Sea-Dog could balance the ball on his nose and toss it into the birdbath. He was also good at catching fish, like Meow-Kitty. In fact, he showed her a few new tricks. And all the time, the Human Pup kept the swimming pool full of clean water and the dish full of fish. Sometimes Meow-Kitty would steal fish from the bowl. After all, they were her fish!  All of this went on without the Human Dog or Human Bitch finding out about the Sea-Dog. They did ask the Human Pup why there was never any tuna fish in the house.

"My favorite food," came the answer. The humans were so overjoyed that they managed to make the Pup eat tuna that they bought many, many cans of it. The Pup, of course, fed all of it to Sea-Dog.

Then one day, the three animals were down by the river fishing (Bu-Dog doing his part by staying asleep and not scaring the fish) when Meow-Kitty noticed something white up the river. It was a white head poking up above the water. She watched as the white spot became bigger and bigger. Sea-Dog had fallen asleep in the hot sun next to Bu-Dog.

"Wake up, you two! Something's coming. "

Sea-Dog looked up. Then he sniffed the air.

"Uh-oh. "

"What is it?" Meow-Kitty asked.

"That's the Sea-Bear. Gotta go!"

And with that Sea-Dog slipped into the river and swam away with the current, toward Toledo. He swam very, very quickly. Then he dived under the surface and disappeared. After a few minutes, the big white Sea-Bear swam up to the shore. He poked his head up over the seawall and asked Bu-Dog,

"Did you sea a Sea-Dog come through here?"

"What's a Sea-Dog?"

"Like a dog but it swims. "

"Oh, yeah. He went that way. " Bu-Dog pointed upstream, toward the North.

"Thanks. "

Sea-Bear swam back in the direction from which he came.

DAST