Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fido - The Day Before She Died a Short Story

By Øyvind Holmstad (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It was a warm bright sunny morning, and Fido was sleeping peacefully in her favorite spot by the old oak tree. Having made her favorite breakfast of kibble with liver and a side of yogurt, I called to her to let her know breakfast was ready, "Fido, breakfast, come girl." Ears instantly perked up and into the house she comes trotting at full speed.
“Slow down there girl, one of these days you’re gonna wipe out slipping on something, running that fast into the house.”
Two minutes later the food was gone. Man that dog could gobble food at a lightening speed.
“Hey, thanks for the breakfast, there Sue.”
Okay, am I losing it, or did she just speak to me? Nah, I'm imagining it. I must just have too much on my mind right now.
Fido was ready to go back outside for yet another nap or to chase squirrels. Not believing what I was seeing, she walks over to the door, places her mouth around the doorknob and turns the knob to open the door. I stand there looking a bit stunned. I had heard of dogs doing this before but have never seen one actually do it. Following her outside and talking to her as I normally do, I say to her, “Did you just open that door?"
“Well what do you think, a ghost opened it for me?”
Oh my God, she talked again! Sitting down on a lawn chair and feeling a bit dizzy thinking no one is going to believe this. If I tell anyone it will be off to the loony bin for me.
“Fido come”, slowly sauntering over looking sheepishly at me, she sits down.
“Can you talk?” I ask her.
“Sure can there Sue,” she answers looking me straight in the eye.
“How long have you been able to talk?”
“Have always been able to, just figured I would let you in on it today as I am not long in this world. You see the big guy upstairs has let me know that tomorrow is my day to move out and up.”
“The big guy upstairs?”
“Ya you know God, the guy that has the same name as me, well kind of. Anyways it’s off to doggy heaven for me and I just thought that it might be nice to have a little chitty chat with you before I depart.”
“UH, um, uh.”
“What’s wrong cat got your tongue, you have never been at a loss for words before.”
“Well uh Fido, I'm dreaming right?”
“You want me to bite you, so that you know you are awake? You’re not dreaming, honest, cross my paws, I am about to die.”
I just could not bring myself to say anything. I was in shock and after a few minutes of silence Fido continued on.
“Okay how about I‘ll start then, just a few things I want to get off my mind here. First off I would like to thank you for all the love and great care that you have given me over the years."
My eyes started to tear up as Fido was talking. It hit me that she might in fact die tomorrow. “You are the bestest dog that I've ever had, and you will be missed. But how come you waited so long to let me know that you can talk?”
“I just figured if you knew that I could talk you'd bring in the media, tell the world and my cushy life here would end. You would cash in on tons of money and my life would be pure hell. I might have to do some dog show like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin did and would have to actually work for this dam kibble. Oh and while we are talking about kibble, it really sucks. You guys sit there and eat steak, pork chops, roast beef and all that other good stuff and what do I get, kibbles and bits. You think I like that crap?"
“You're right I could be rich right now, and I probably would have told the world, or made you tell them. What is with the door, you can open doors too?”
“How do you think I get outside when you’re not home? They say a dog can hold it for what two days or something insane like that, but I figure, hey if I can open the door why wait and be uncomfortable... when you gotta go, you gotta go. If you knew that I could open the door you would just expect me to do it all the time, letting myself in and out. Closing it is a bit harder than opening it as I have to give it a hip shot to shut it, and I my hips are starting to really hurt.”
Fido continues, “If you do happen to replace me with some other dog here are a few tips for you. Name it something other than Spot, Champ or Fido. Try to pick a name that actually suits the dog. I have always hated my name. Who names a girl dog Fido! Don't bathe the dog, dogs like how they smell and when you make dogs take baths and use that smelly soap, all the other dogs laugh at them like hyenas.”
“I have a few apologies to make to you too while we are talking. Remember back when I was a puppy and I ate the buckle off your new Birkenstocks, and half of one sandal? Well sorry but I was a puppy and you did leave them on the floor. Pretty dumb on your part if you ask me, but after all you are human. That time I bolted out the front door and ended up in doggy lock up, what was that about, it wasn't like I did anything wrong. I just wanted to go for a nice run all by myself, sniff some trees and maybe chase a cat. Sorry you had to bail me out. They were pretty nice to me in there though."
Fido continued, “While we are on apologies I would like one from you. You know how you always refer to yourself as mom to me. Fido, come to mom. Well come on do you think that I am stupid or what, do I look anything remotely like you, do you have fur all over your body like I do? We're not even of the same species!”
“Okay, Okay, I am sorry that I've done all that.”
“Sue, wake up, wake up, what are you sorry about doing now?” asked Al.
© 2011 Susan Zutautas
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