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Dog Thirteen

June 4, 2023

By Morgan LongfordPublished about a month ago 7 min read
Top Story - June 2024

Dog Thirteen

June 4, 2023

Today was different. To be fair, all days are different now that I am a new dog. Every day I seem to be able to do something new- open my eyes, stand up, hobble around, wag my tail. Every day I get stronger and more comfortable in this body. It’s not bad, being a dog. Not so far, at least. I never have to go hungry, although we are feeding from our mother less and less and trying new foods that come out of a bag and a can. It’s a mixture. I wish I could tell the humans that I prefer the food from the can. I try to show them by picking out the kibble pieces and spitting them onto the ground, but they just laugh and think I am being cute. That feels frustrating, to not be understood. But I cannot stay mad for too long because the humans pick me up and pet my head and body and it makes me feel happy inside, and now that I know how to wag my tail, I try to do that a lot.

Since I can’t use my words anymore, there are only a few ways I know how to communicate: with my voice by way of whimpers, whines, yelps, and the tiniest little barks. I try to make them loud, but I think my body is just still too small. I can wag my tail. I can use my paws, I can use my eyes, and I can bite. These are my new means of communication. Not as effective as words, but it’s all I can do. Sometimes, I can’t even do that. My brothers and sisters and I all like to play- we have just recently started to be able to tumble around and wrestle. We can climb all over each other and hop and chase each other but if we get too rough, our mother comes in and stops us. She shows us we cannot bite too hard. Sometimes it is hard to remember because we are having so much fun, but I try. I add that to my list: be gentle with my teeth.

Other things on my list of how to be a dog: let the other puppies eat first, this way you don’t get trampled; sleep in the corner so that the other puppies come and surround you and keep you safe and warm; do not poop next to where you eat, although some of the other puppies do not understand this rule and it is quite frankly, disgusting. I wonder if the other puppies were humans before, but I have no way of asking them, and based on some of the indecency they show with reckless abandon, I am inclined to think that they were not. I think the most important rule of all though, is to always try to look cute. This is best done when you make your eyes look sad but also wag your tail at the same time. The humans are suckers for this move, and we all know it. Every last puppy in the litter knows this. Well, except for Number Eight. I don’t know what his problem is, but he does not know this trick, and he tries to eat everyone’s food and he is much bigger than all of us, and he doesn’t seem particularly concerned with whether or not the humans like him.

Number Eight wears a red collar. That is something the humans did- put us all in a collar and they are all different colors. Number Eight is in red. Number Two is in yellow, and is the most excitable of the bunch. Number Six is in pink… you get the idea. I can’t see my collar, but I saw when they were putting it on, and it was blue. I have no reason to think it isn’t still blue. I am smart enough to know that these are all the ways they identify us- by our color and our number, but no one calls us by our number anymore. Not the humans, at least. But I still do. Each dog has a number and a color, and I like keeping us organized in that way.

But today, the humans went and did something that I didn’t particularly enjoy, and they went ahead and gave us NEW names, just when I had us all sorted by number and color, and to be honest, personality traits. Not only that, they took us one by one into a new room with white walls and treated us horrendously. I can only assume that my experience was the same as everyone else’s, but not only did they take me away from my brothers and sisters, they jabbed me in the leg with something sharp and pokey- a needle, a presume, and then proceeded to make me sit on a stupid little carpet and squeaked a toy in my face and expected me to like it, and then flashed a box in my face a bunch of times. I have some memory of what this thing was called, but my memories of life before is getting really foggy. Most days I can barely remember anything anymore. I think my name was George before it was Thirteen, and Blue, and now… I’m so embarrassed to even say it… Eeyore.

Eeyore. Apparently, that is now my new name. And once I got back to the area with all my other littler mates, I realized we all had new names, and I don’t know who came up with such ridiculous names when numbers and colors were perfectly fine, but here we were: Mickey, Tigger, Daisy, Goofy, Tinkerbell, Minnie, Nemo, Simba, Peter, Wendy, Woodie, Buzz, and Eeyore. What kind of names are these?? To show the humans how I felt about the indignity, I did not wag my tail for the rest of the day. I did not even make eye contact. I went to take a nap in the corner and hoped that when I woke up, that I would go back to being known as Thirteen. Or even Blue would be fine. Anything other than Eeyore. I decided that I would not respond to that name, and I fell asleep. That is when I had the strangest dream.

**************************************************

I hear something in the distance, a voice calling from a very long way away and I twirl around to see where it is coming from and- wait! I have legs! Human legs! I stretched out my arms and they are my human arms again and my fingernails are diamonds and I start running towards the sound and as I do, the sky turns purple and blue and yellow and it full of light and sparks that look like fairies dancing and then it is pitch black and I am floating in space, weightless- what is that? A shadow? I try running but I am in the same place, and I can’t get to the shadow, but I know that the shadow is friendly and nothing to be afraid of. It feels like it is calling out to me. Since I can’t run I try swimming through the space and now there is a tunnel of light I can swim through, and I do somersaults in the space and on the walls of the light tunnel there are portraits of me as a human and my mother and father, and our living room and there is my childhood bedroom, I can see all the books on my bookshelf and I can hear my mother humming a tune I don’t recognize, and everything is still for a moment so I can see everything very clear- all of my classrooms as a child are here, all of my artwork I made in school, my report cards- then I can see myself in the corner next to my bed, reading a book and I remember that it was my favorite place as a child to go, I felt safe and protected in that corner and I whispered to my young self to find adventure, explore and don’t settle, and my younger self looked up and around the room like he heard me which of course is impossible but I hoped he could anyway and that he would listen and as I floated further down the tunnel of light my I started to see portraits of people I didn’t know, framed photos of a woman and a man and a dog and a house I didn’t recognize and then I heard the voice calling again in the distance but this time it felt closer and I couldn’t quite hear what it was saying but it sounded like “early” or “partly” and then I could do this thing where I could push myself forward through the air like the scene in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie and his grandfather are floating with the bubbles and I remembered the song “I’ve got a golden ticket” and understood that was the song my mom was humming and then I heard the voice calling again and this time it sounded like “Charlie” and

***************************************************************

I woke up with a start. I looked around to see who could have called out “Charlie,” but I was surrounded by dogs. I closed my eyes again, and hoped I could go back to my dream. It felt so safe there, wherever I was, and it felt like someone was looking for me.

Young AdultMemoirFictionCliffhangerBiography

About the Creator

Morgan Longford

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (12)

  • Antonella Rubini6 days ago

    My rubee looked just like U a birthday gift I adored each night and day off it's living life there'll not be another. Rubee my best friend she ate with me slept with me we slept peacefully in the car together I'll remember her she'll remember me .my dog rubee..

  • Daily Read24 days ago

    This is nice

  • Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Johnpaul Okwudili about a month ago

    Incredible!!

  • Darkosabout a month ago

    So amazing Love it 🩷🌞🌷😊 Congratulations on Top story !

  • MrZabiabout a month ago

    Great

  • CHRISTIAN Pabout a month ago

    Fine story

  • Jaye Poolabout a month ago

    Great story - fascinating take on a young doggo's life.

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! 🥳. Loved your dream world. Lovely descriptions of dog life especially.

  • TahimaAniabout a month ago

    excellent work

  • Sweileh 888about a month ago

    Interesting and delicious content, keep posting more now

Morgan LongfordWritten by Morgan Longford

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