That’s My Dog

February 28, 2015

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They didn’t have to say it but often did: Herb, you’re awfully lonely here; why don’t you get a dog? He knew what they meant. They might as well have said, Herb, you’re chubby and balding and rather shy; we don’t think you can keep a woman.

Herb agreed. That was the rough part. He wanted to do the big time stuff but couldn’t. Instead, he looked in the want ads and got a German Shepherd pup. His two brothers and their wives and kids came over to see the new roommate. So did a couple of guys from work. A few neighbors also stopped in.

Were they reading from the same script? What a beautiful animal. Look how outgoing he is. He loves everybody. So cool. And only several weeks old. Come here, let me hug you. Want to come home with me? That’d be okay, wouldn’t it, Herb?

Naturally, most insisted on taking pictures of Herb with Alexander, and posted them on Facebook. Herb cringed how much prettier and more congenial the dog was than he. He wished he could be like Alexander and suspected the dog knew it.

Alexander, Herb said, you can’t stay by yourself in the backyard thirty minutes without crying, so you’d better get house trained fast. This place would be a pig sty if I didn’t take care of everything. Can you get water for yourself? How about food? You want to take care of that? What about those expensive shots at the vet. Everyone there raves about you, too. I’m tired of it. Alexander dog-smiled and put his front paws on Herb’s thighs and licked his hands.

Herb tried to accept his dog’s popularity but that wasn’t easy. After a while it became impossible, and Herb yelled, why don’t you make a living since you’re so wonderful? It’s your turn to bring home some money for me. Alexander, now a strapping hundred-ten-pounder, rose and put his paws on Herb’s shoulders and licked his face.

Damn you, Herb said. You’ve gotten my shirt dirty again. Come here.

Herb grabbed his collar and pulled the perplexed dog outside into the garage and back seat of his SUV. We’re going to the pound, Alexander. By this time tomorrow you’ll get the needle and go to dog heaven.

When they entered the pound several patrons and employees said, what a great looking dog. Can’t believe you brought him here. I’ll take him home today.

Herb said, you think I’m an idiot? Alexander and I are here to find his mate. And she better be a looker.

German Shepherd Puppy

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George Thomas Clark

George Thomas Clark is the author of Hitler Here, a biographical novel published in India and the Czech Republic as well as the United States. His commentaries for are read in more than 50 countries a month.

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