I want to say that this is the beginning of my life, but that doesn’t really do what happened justice.
My name is T-Bone. The little boy that adopted me gave me that name. To be honest, he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him. What happened was that there was this terrible storm, and I found myself footloose and fancy-free. I wound up outside on the lawn of this mother and her two sons. The youngest one took a liking to me, and me to him, so they decided to keep me. Unfortunately, the father was a real jerk and we all moved away.
That move was bittersweet as it was quite simply a new beginning for me. We moved in with this awesome couple who already had two other dogs and two cats. The first meeting with them was rough, because I just wanted to run and rough house. I had never been allowed to just run free in the yard since the mother took me in, but this house had a nice sized yard with a fence, so I ran and ran. I ran into the smaller of the two dogs, and then the bigger one tackled me.
“What do you think you are doing, jerk?” The German Shepherd asked me.
“Sorry,” I replied. “I’ve never been introduced to others like me before. I’m T-Bone.”
“I’m Oberon, and this is Momo.” Oberon the German Shepherd replied back. “You should try being nicer when you meet people.”
“Oberon, chill. I’m okay.” This was Momo the Beagle mix. “That lady with Mom is freaking out a little.”
All three of us looked over at the three women and one man standing on the patio. They were all staring at us. The lady I didn’t know looked at the other two and said, “See? They just needed a minute to get it together.”
I looked back at my two companions. “Who is that and the guy?”
“That’s our Mom and Dad. Who’s that with them?”
“That’s my owner and her sister.”
“You don’t call her Mom?” Oberon sounded confused.
I tilted my head in confusion. “No. Why would I?”
“Doesn’t she take care of you? Like feed you, walk you, let you sleep in her bed?”
“No!” I paused thoughtfully. “I mean, she feeds me, and she tries to take me for walks but I’m stronger than her so I drag her in the direction I want to go. But I sleep in the cage at night.”
“Oh, gross!” Oberon exclaimed. “I hated the cage. Mom and Dad have one but we don’t sleep in it unless we want to, and I never want to. I’d rather sleep on the bed next to Dad.”
This was news to me. I had gone my whole life thinking that dogs slept in cages, never with their humans. I said so to my new friends.
“I’ve been around the longest, besides Sagria, and I have always slept in the bed.” Momo stated grandly.
“Her Royal Highness,” drawled Oberon. “She’s the oldest and the meanest.”
“She’s not mean,” Momo said exasperated. “She’s just set in her ways.” To me he said, “Sagria is Mom’s oldest cat. She’s been with Mom since she was a kitten, and the two of them have been through a lot. She’s really protective of Mom, but can be a royal pain in the butt. Have you ever been around a cat before?” I couldn’t remember if I had ever lived with a cat. Obviously, I knew what they were and had seen them on walks so I nodded in the affirmative. “Good. If she tells you to leave her alone, then leave her alone, or Mom will get mad at you.”
“Does she hit you or something?” I was getting apprehensive about this woman and her cat.
“Only if you do something really, really bad. And even then, it doesn’t hurt but she cries like she just murdered you. Mostly, she just yells at us and makes us go outside or to another room for a little while.” Momo looked at me cautiously. “If you can be nice, I’ll introduce you to her.”
I agreed and the three of us ran towards the patio. All of the humans gave us lots of pets. Oberon kept trying to lick the two sisters in their faces but they just weren’t having it. Momo was right about his Mom, though. She did seem really nice. She got down to my level and let me sniff her face and gave me kisses on my head. This lady didn’t even know me and was already giving me love. I wanted to stay here forever.
“Let’s go inside and see how he does with the two girls,” I heard her say. Momo gave me a look.
“Remember what I said about Sagria. And watch you tail for Tatiana.”
“Tati-who-a?” I asked, but their Mom had already opened the door and everyone trooped inside.
It was really nice inside, too. The floors were hardwood, which kinda sucks because when you run, you get no traction. But when it’s hot, like today, then they are nice to lay on. The path to the couch was open, and the kitchen was to the right, so my nose told me where the food was right away. I followed the two brothers around to the couches, just sniffing everything. It smelled like them, their parents, and something else. Something I had never smelled before. And then I saw her.
Her Royal Highness Queen Sagria.
She was quite pretty, black with a couple of spots of white on her. She was staring quite imperiously at the door. Obviously, she had heard the exchange outside and was not looking forward to meeting me, but I walked up to her anyway.
“Hi. I’m T-Bone. What’s your name?”
She stared down at me for a while. Finally she said, “I am Sagria.”
I waited but she clearly didn’t want to talk, so I left her alone and continued to wander the house. I could feel her stare, though, so every once in a while I looked back. In case she wanted my attention.
There was a narrow hallway that led into three rooms and a bathroom. There were other doors, but they didn’t smell like anything. I found a bed in one that smelled like the parents, but also Momo, Oberon, Sagria, and someone else. Momo had stayed out front with the others but Oberon kept following me. I didn’t want to appear rude, but I was so busy with my surroundings that I kinda ignored him. There was someone else here, but whomever it was didn’t smell human. They actually smelled similar to Sagria.
I poked my node under the bed and next thing I knew I was being yelled at.
“WHO ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE?!” The voice was female and shrill. I jumped backward into Oberon, who started laughing.
“Come out, Tatiana, and meet our new friend T-Bone.”
Popping her head out was this white cat with slightly crazy eyes. Momo and Oberon hadn’t warned me about this one, but something told me that she was more dangerous than the other one.
“OBIE! WHY DID YOU BRING A DOG INTO OUR HOUSE?!” She really needed to learn volume control.
“I didn’t. Mom and Dad did. There’s a couple of other ladies here, too, so stop shrieking.” He nudged me, so I crept forward warily.
“Hi. I’m T-Bone.”
“T-Bone.” Pause. “Has Sagria met you yet? She doesn’t usually like strangers in the house.” Tatiana had come out from under the bed enough for us to touch noses.
“She told me her name. That was it.”
“And that’s all you’re gonna get. At least for a while. She has to decide if you are a good dog or a bad dog before she bothers getting to know you.”
We heard footsteps in the hall and then their dad appeared. “Whatcha guys doing? Being nice, I hope?” He crouched down and scratched our heads. Tatiana continued watching us.
From the front room we could hear the three women talking. It sounded like the mother, her two boys, and I were moving into the parents’ house. I walked around the Dad to peek into the other rooms. They weren’t very big, but we could make this work. I think? I headed back to the front and walked up to Sagria who hadn’t moved from her cat perch.
“It sounds like we are going to be roommates.”
“Oh, boy.” She drawled. “Just what I have always wanted. Another pest to bother me.”
“Come on, Sagria,” Momo said. “It’s not so bad with all of us. With the exception of Tatiana, we really don’t bother you all that much.”
Sagria blinked at Momo, like she didn’t hear him. Judging from the twitching of her tail, I knew otherwise.
“I promise not too bother you to much. This is a new experience for me, too.”
Sagria yawned and stretched before turning her back to everyone. “Whatever.” I thought she was being kinda rude, but I guess when you get older you are allowed some rudeness.
“Ignore her. She’s picky, but she’ll get over it.” Momo had settled on the floor in front of the couch. From the perch we heard, “No, I won’t,” but I took the advice and ignored her.
“So what do you guys do around here?” And just like that, my life started.