Is It a Dog's Life?

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Is It a Dog's Life?

A beagle sitting.

Here we are again. Shouted at for nothing. I'm a dog, doing what dogs do. It's in my nature but no, that's not good enough. So I'm sniffing another dog's backside – that's how we ask 'Who are you / how are you doing?' We smell the air and listen to the wind, to see what kind of day it is.

Spot, get out of that garden! Spot ,get off that other dog! For God's sake leave me in peace. If you want a wind-up toy, get one – otherwise accept me for what I am.

What's with all this flower picking and sticking them in jars? Flowers are meant to be peed on, to let every other dog in the area know you've been there – that's why they are so tall. Good scent wafters and you leave them on the table until they die? What a waste and I don't think the plants are going to thank you for it either.

Get out of Mrs James garden! What is that all about? All this ownership crap. You humans are crazy! I'm a dog, a wild animal – we have no borders, no bars to exploration, unless it's defending something there and then. Even then, it's never anything more than on a temporary basis. (Next year's den could be anywhere). The gypsies understand this way of life – you tamed people don't.

Keep off the flowers. Why, you're just going to pick them and stick them in jars, aren't you?

Don't pee on the roses. Don't jobby on the path. Stop humping Mrs Jackson's poodle – why she deserves it, the bitch. Stop chasing next door's cat, Willies pit bull etc. Can't I do anything right according to you? Get off the settee! Don't roll in that! For God's sake, stop eating that, it's disgusting! Get your dirty feet off the furniture! Cleanliness is next to godliness – well dirt is next to dogginess. I feel sympathy for their kids but one day they'll grow up to be like their parents – all except Mr Kirkpatrick. Smelly Johnny, the loner, lives in a disgusting hovel, full of dogs and cats – lovely! He doesn't care about the dogs messing up the seats or cats scratching the covers to bits. Why couldn't I have ended up there? Paradise! Everyone curls up on the same dirty, stinky couches and eats out of the same bowls (a few squabbles) as well as drink out of the same water containers. Magic! Home from home. He doesn't think a dog is just for Christmas, not for life.

Instead here I am, locked in a house, lying on the floor but at least it is in front of the fire. Ah, man's greatest invention! Here I am wallowing in it. Spot, stop scrabbling your bed. But it's not comfortable? Why the fuss? Oh, you want to listen and look at your flashing box. Is that it?

Sitting there all night, except to get up and go pour boiling water of 'gag' liquid down their throats (whisky to you). Beer I can understand. Grass water – not too bad. I might even drink some myself, if given the opportunity. Then there's getting up every so often and going to the toilet. Flushing all that good stuff away, when you should be using it to mark out your territory, like drunks do on their way home from the pub. Tommy Kirkpatrick doesn't have to do this – everyone can smell where he is or has been. Disgusting old man! The frumpy ancient ladies say but us dogs say Eau De Cologne. Lovely – not like that horrible stuff you throw on yourself. Then you throw bits of cloth over your bodies, to further drown out any of your natural smells because you can't wash yourself clean , like we do (Cats are even better at it). Hey, stop licking your private parts! Why, do you want me to be as smelly as you? Humans!

Stop barking at the postie! Why, he's trying to get into the house and you're doing nothing about it. Someone has got to protect the place against invaders like him and obviously it isn't going to be you is it? Window cleaners, leaflet distributors, people collecting for charity – you'd let them all in but not me. I'm the man of the house and I've got to protect it.

There you sit, eating your corn flakes, pouring milk on them and scorn on me. And why do you spend half an hour each morning, staring at those sheets of black and white paper (coloured at the weekend)? More boiling water thrown down your throats and at night hot food tossed down there as well. Then you jump out of one square box (a house) and into another (a car), driving into work or to the shops. Meaningless rituals. Is that why you shout at us so much? Are you jealous of our perpetual childhood? Stop chewing the chair! Stop jumping up at the windows! (How else am I going to catch the flies – they're not going to come to me are they?).

Same outside. Stop chasing the birds, other dogs etc. Stop killing the voles and wasps. Stop this, stop that. My name is Spot, not stop.

Get your collar on. Get your lead on. Let me drag you here, pull you back there. Hold you back from chasing a cat. Still I got my revenge last Christmas – pulled the turkey off the work top. Got a beating for spoiling their celebrations but it made mine. Real food for once – not that dried muck or tinned stuff. Nice one!

Girls just want to have fun – well, so do dogs.

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