by Happy Spring
When his master dies, Booker is placed in a 5-star resort. Why can't he make a friend?!
|Contest Entry “Animal Mania2
Word Count: 1765
My name is Booker. Booker T., that is. I am sitting here in the dining room, with no one to hang with me. I’m a lost soul and I am very lonely.
I have not been able to make new friends since I arrived here many weeks ago. It isn’t that I’m ugly. On the contrary, I’m as handsome as any Chocolate Lab could hope to be, if I dare say so myself. Still, no one seems to like me very much. I say to myself, “I’m a friendly dog. I like to play and I’m very loyal. What is wrong with me?”
I pick up a dog biscuit and begin to munch and ponder. I was remembering my first session with my therapist, Dr. Penelope.
“Let’s start at the beginning here, Doc.” Booker’s thoughts drifted back to his former home. “My master had always loved me, no matter what. He played with me, took me for long walks and even took me to the river on those hot steamy “dog Days." No pun intended here, of course.”
“That’s okay, Booker, please go on.” She sat with pad and pen, writing everything down. I must say, I never had so much attention in such a long time. She was a lovely person, but not my type, if you get my drift.
Clearing my throat, I continued. “On the other hand, that awful woman---that he called his wife--- absolutely hated me. Because of her, I was always in trouble. Every time I came near her, she would scream, “Keep that horrible creature away from me!” My master tried to reassure her that I was a good and gentle dog.
“He cannot help it!” He would yell back to her.
“Whenever I listened to her continuous rants, I wondered why I was the cause of so much trouble. I tried so hard to be friendly to her, honest! Alas, it was to no avail,” I told her, sadly shaking my head.
Adjusting her position in her chair, Dr. Penelope urged me to go on.
“One morning, my master stormed out of the house, amidst one of her screaming fits, never to return home again. Every day, I waited and every day she screamed at me. One day, unfortunately for me, I over-heard that my master had died a very sudden death. Needless to say, I cried and whined for him for days, putting up with her to boot! After several weeks had passed, I was sitting on the other side of the library door, on purpose of course, during the reading of the will. I was to be removed from my home as quickly as possible and taken to some resort...umm here. Many times, Dr. Penelope, I blamed myself for the accident. Maybe if I hadn’t been there, my master would still be alive.”
“No, no Booker. It most certainly wasn’t your fault.”
I liked Dr. Penelope and besides, she was the only one who would listen to me. We have had many sessions such as these, since my arrival. I always left the session with hope and her promise that one day, I would over-come my annoying habit and meet new friends.
I continued, “My master had provided for me, knowing I could never stay with her, if anything should happen to him. If she had had her way, she would have dumped me out on the high way,” Booker told Dr. Penelope, nodding his head.
“My master had seen to it that I would have every comfort. My master’s wife though, was mad as hell. To think of all the money that now would be spent on little old me! I smile now, whenever I think about it! Revenge is so sweet, right Doc?” She agreed with me, whole-heartedly.
So,Doc. Shortly afterward, she shoved me into the car, and brought me post-haste to this very place. All the way here, she was wildly waving her arms and screaming at me. I stayed in the back seat, keeping my head low. I didn’t trust her one bit. She kept saying how had one lousy dog duped her out of all her money. When we arrived, she grabbed my leash, yanked me out of the car, still screaming. She was tripping all the way up the steps, as I purposely pulled and yanked her up to the entrance door. I was just as glad to part-company with her, as she was with me. “Good Riddance to you too,” I growled. With one hefty right punch with my paw, I pushed her back down the steps. She wasn’t hurt too badly. A broken ankle, nose and a bruised face. She was already ugly, so it didn’t matter much! Of course, she tried to sue me, but you know you can’t sue a dog,” I explained, laughing. So Doc, that was how I became a permanent resident here of 4-Paws Resort.”
I didn’t think that the Doc approved of this last episode. However, I thought I saw the trace of a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her cute little face, as she wrote down everything I had told her.
I had been wondering what was the lesser of the two evils. Living with that horrible woman or living here. I preferred the latter, of course. At least, she couldn’t get her grubby hands on a big part of my master’s inheritance. I have to smile at that one. I didn’t have to put up with her, ever again! I was in the lap of luxury, having everything that I could ever wish. If I were to be adopted one day, any future master would be grilled to high heaven. My master had seen to that one! I have my own air-conditioned room, TV and doggie door leading out to my own run. The staff gives me massages, long walks and therapy of course, daily. Dr. Penelope works with me about my...umm habit every day. I never thought it was that bad and neither did my master. After all, we had unconditional love for each other. I could not understand what the fuss was all about anyway. Evidently, everyone else thought differently. If I had any hope of making new friends, the Doc told me, I must change. Why?
I have had many therapy sessions with the Doc, but nothing has helped. The Doc tells me if I could find out why I do this, perhaps I could overcome my habit. Since my arrival, I have not made one new friend. As soon as they discover my one and only flaw, everyone walks away, yelling, “Yuck!”
So here I am, back to the present, sitting in the dining room as usual. I munch on my celery from my Bloody Mary and I begin to search for just one “some one” to sit at my table and have some intelligent conversation. It just seems useless.
My big brown eyes (I’ve been told they are big and brown) search the room. Wait! What do I see? I suddenly eye this beautiful, slender blonde thing sitting all by her self, too. My tail starts to wag. I think things are about to change. I cannot stop starring at her. She is stunning! Are her eyes brown or black? They just sparkle so much, I cannot tell.
“Mr. Booker T, you are becoming very excited,” I tell myself. I keep hearing Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” in my head. No, wait! It’s playing on the speaker system. I begin to sing along, softly of course...Oh, mercy!
“Pretty woman, won’t you pardon me
Pretty woman, I couldn’t help but see
Pretty woman, and you look lovely as can be
Are you lonely just like me”
She finally noticed me. I cocked my big, over-sized, chocolate brown head back and I gave her “the eye”. She got the message, and she liked what she saw.
“Oh, my! Aren’t you a handsome devil or what,” She was thinking. Slowly, she got up from her table and just stood there, mesmerized. Their eyes locked and her heart pounded.
She thought of how she was going to approach him. Should she walk quickly and wag her tail? No, no. She thought. That would be too presumptuous of her. She should act like a proper lady, not a street tramp! Didn’t your mama teach you anything? She reminded herself. She regained her composure and put on her most innocent, alluring, but not too sexy face. “Be careful,” she said to herself. Don’t look too anxious there, honey. She decided to give him her famous Betty Davis walk. She walked toward him, her hips swaying from side to side, in slow motion. It worked for her!
Booker couldn’t control himself. He kept on singing:
“Pretty woman, stop a while
Pretty woman, talk a while
Pretty woman, give your smile to me
Pretty woman, yeah, yeah, yeah
Pretty woman, look my way
Pretty woman, say you’ll stay with me”
Mercy! She’s coming toward me and I am beginning to drool. My bad habit is taking over again! No,no,no! This is precisely what I didn’t want to happen. Not Now! I must lick my chops so she can’t see it. She’ll hate me and find me disgusting! I think it’s hanging down on both sides of my mouth now. “I mustn’t let her see me like this!!” Grabbing my napkin, I quickly wipe the sides of my mouth. She’s coming, swaying that beautiful derierre! She’s looking right at me! Oh, Gawd. I start singing louder:
“Pretty woman, don’t walk on by
Pretty woman, don’t make me cry
Pretty woman, don’t walk away
She just walked past my table. No! Not again! I breathed a deep, long sigh. I continue to sing sadly,
“If that’s the way it must be, ok
I guess Ill go on home, it’s late
There’ll be tomorrow night”
Wait! She’s coming back! The music continued on, even louder:
“But wait, what do I see?
Is she walking back to me?
Yeah, she’s walking back to me
She's turning and walking back to my table! “Hey there, Big Boy,” She said, in her sexiest voice. “I like those bubbles you have there. You wanna pop a few together?”
I didn’t realize it but my one bad habit of slobbering had turn into bubbles and she liked them! She really liked them and she liked me!
I cocked my head back, closing one big brown eye and blew my biggest bubble for her.
“Oh, Mercy, Pretty Woman. Won’t you have a seat?”
*This story is dedicated to my kids: Chris and his girlfriend Casey for saving Booker and to Erich who volunteers his time at the local shelter monthly.
Ps. Of course, this is fiction, but Booker truly was saved and does blow bubbles when he becomes excited!
Pss. In Memory of Roy Orbison. His song "Pretty Woman" is one of my favorites!