Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Life on Mars
Then it stops. No more running. A change in the schedule. Different people. They pull you from your crate, your little apartment, and put you in a truck. The truck goes forever and when they pull you out again it's a different planet. It's cold and there are more new people. The people give you pills and shots and a bath, and then it's a different crate. That's alright, because soon there is a new routine. At least it's still a kennel, even if the turnout is bizarre, all cold and icy and this snow stuff is garbage.
But you haven't been there long, only three weeks, when they pull you again. More shots and pills and suddenly you're waking up and something is gone. Something you liked, a part of you. Your belly is upset too, gurgly and unsettled and you know something is wrong even if you don't understand worms. It's all sore and weird and not even a whole day later they drag you out of the kennel, through the snow, and there's this woman.
She's okay. Words happen between you, even if not out loud. She touches gently. She asks, you answer. She's okay. She touches the good places, finds the itchy places that always need stritching.
You lean. You lean hard. When she gets down on your level and slides an arm around you, you push into it and sigh. You lean. You nudge. There's eye contact, and you nudge her again and sigh, a long one this time. Thanks, lady, for a moment of comfort and connection.
House. She says that word when she leads you in. House. How much more will there be? There's a dog here, and she likes you well enough. That's good. And that Woman is here, the nice one hasn't left you. That's good. But so much else is wrong. So much else is terrifying.
This is the wrong crate, and the wrong food, and the wrong bed, and one of these people is freakishly small and loud. How much more are you supposed to just take? There's a noise. Bark! That shiny surface keeps showing you a dog like you but he looks scared and he has no scent. Bark! A new person came in the House. Bark! People are outside on the streets. Are they going to take you? Are they going to make you sore? Are they going to change something? Bark!
There's a limit. Small Person hasn't touched you or yelled at you or anything, but the sight of him is too much so when he walks by your bed you tell him. You warn him, and Woman removes him for you. But then later he makes a noise down the hall and even though you can't even see him you are fed up. You scramble up and snarl and Bark! Enough!
Woman has you on a leash, because she always does when you aren't in a crate, so nothing comes of it. But the leash comes off and with soft words she makes you go into the crate. "It'll be okay, Monsoon."
Now it doesn't matter as much if the Small Person is around. He can't get you. You can even sleep through his noises, except the loud ones. The Woman stays. You can see her. That's good, you like it when you can see her. Sometimes she leaves the room, but she comes back. Sometimes she leaves the house, but she comes back. That doesn't stop you from yelling for a while, but you settle. There's a soft bed in your new crate, and there's a stuffie to put your head on.
Maybe the sudden awful changes will slow down or stop. Maybe you can relax, in a while. Maybe you can settle, and learn this place and these people. There's toys, after all, and cookies. And glorious toys that SQUEAK.