My name is Marty. I’ve got blue tag on my collar that says so. That’s me up there on the right. I didn’t come out of my mom’s belly, and I don’t look much like her or my dad, but I do have mom’s big brown eyes, and dad’s cowlick. It’s pretty rough goin’ here.
I remember the day I found my family, but I’m not sure exactly how long ago it was because I’m not very good at judging times. Like when my mom and dad leave, I’m not sure if they’ve been gone ten minutes, a day, or month in people times. No matter how long it is, it always seems like too long.
I guess if you think about it, since one of my years is like seven years in people times, if I don’t see them for a day, it’s like a week to me. Anyways, dad says July 23, 2004 was the day we found each other at the dog jail. I still don’t know why I was there. I can’t think of nothin’ I did wrong.
I don’t remember much about my life before I met my family. I do remember that I lived outside, and was kind of free to do what I wanted because no peoples were hardly ever around. And I remember being hungry a lot.
One day, I was walkin’ beside the road, and I stopped to sniff a flat racoon, or maybe it was a possum that wasn’t moving. Then a man with a pole came up from behind me and looped some thing around my neck, put me in his truck, and took me to the dog jail. I didn’t have a collar back then, so nobody could tell who my peoples were.
The only good thing about dog jail was I got to eat at the same time every day, and I wasn’t so hungry all the time. A few days later, a family came in and said they wanted to take me to live with them. Before I left the jail, though, one of the jail ladies poked me with a sharp needle, and the next thing I remember, I was wakin’ up and was all sore down around my wainer. I wouldn’t wish that on a dog, whatever that is.
When the family took me to their house, there were two boy peoples there for me to play with. One of them was just a little bit bigger than me, and when we played, I would jump up and put my hands up on him, and he would fall down. Sometimes he would cry, but I was only playin’ with him.
I liked it there. I was glad I wouldn’t have to eat off of the road no more. After a few days, I got in the car with the mom lady and we went for a drive. I thought maybe we were going somewhere fun, but then we turned in to the parking lot of the dog jail. Thought maybe she was gonna get me a friend to take home and play with. But she put me on my leash and took me back inside. When the jail lady asked her why she brought me back, I heard her say I was too rowdy, whatever that means, and kept knocking their eight year old boy down.
So, the jail lady put me back in my cell. I thought the family would be back to get me after they sent the cryin’ boy off to live somewhere else, but they never came back.
After a while, a man and a woman and a boy came in. I could tell the second I saw them that they were my real family. The boy was a lot bigger than the little boy at the last family’s house.
They looked all around, and then stopped in front of my cell. The boy slipped his hand into my cell through a gap between the gate and post, and I stood up and wrapped my arms around his hand. I heard him say he liked me because I looked like a regular dog, whatever that is, and that if you looked up “dog” in the dictionary, my picture would be there. I don’t remember authorizin’ such a picture, but he said so, so it must be right. My family is right ’bout most everything. The jail lady told them I costed thirty-five dollars, so they paid it.
Anyways, we all got in their car and went home. That’s where I met my sister, Macy.
We figured out that, in people times, Macy was two years old, and I was eight months old. We had a big back yard and a tall maple tree that we used to chase squirrels up. Every Sunday my dad would take us to the big, empty park in a place called Tornado, and we’d wade all though the river and run across the field.
My mom used buy big bones from the butcher and cook’em for us every week. And even though I loved my back yard, I liked to dig under the fence and run all through the neighborhood. I know I only costed thirty-five dollars, but I think my dad spent a whole lot more on new fence and other things to try to keep me from getting out. Macy would always tell me not go, saying we’d get in trouble. She always was worried about followin’ the rules. But everytime, she would follow me out through the hole I dug, and we’d have a great time. Outside of my yard is where all the peoples were. I love peoples more than anything.
Me and Macy lived there together for eight people years (56 for us), then moved to a place called Note Caliney. It was good, though, because we lived across the street from my mom and dad’s girl. Sometimes we got to got run on the beach, but it was too hot there. Not the place for a fur coat. After a few people years there, we moved one more time to Indiany, is what I think it’s called.
It doesn’t really matter, because wherever we are, all together, is where home really is. Plus we have the same things in our house, like the same soft couch where I like to nap, and the big brown napkin that I rub my face all over after I eat. Mom don’t really like that much. She calls it a chair or somthin’ like that. But sometimes I’m think I’m some help to mom and dad, though. Dad wrote a story, and I heard him tell mom that he was kind of thinking of me when he wrote about someone called Otis.
After a while here in Indiany, Macy started not feeling good a lot of the times. Her belly hurt real bad and she couldn’t stand up very well anymore. She was almost fifteen in people years. We all used to take long walks together, but then I started going with dad on the sidewalk by the road, and Mom took Macy on shorter walks on the golf course behind our house. I always liked it that, from a distance, I could look over at the golf course from the road and see mom and Macy. They would wave at me and dad.
Just before last Christmas time, one morning my dad cooked a big foot-long piece of sausage for Macy. That was her favorite. He gave me one little bite, then fed her all the rest. Dad had never given her that much before. Then he carried her over to me, and we touched noses. Her nose smelled like sausage. Then they got in the car.
Dad got home a while later, and came into the house. I waited and watched the door, but Macy didn’t come in. I figured she must have went in the back yard. So, I went out my little door onto the deck, but didn’t see her there, either.
Mom and dad tell me today is my fourteenth birthday. I haven’t seen Macy in about a people year, I think, but I’m pretty sure she’ll be back soon. Since she’s been gone I do a lot of the same things me and her used to, but it’s just not the same. My mom and dad try to make things fun for me, but it was better when Macy was here. She understood how I felt ‘bout things – dog things. I guess I probably do know what a dog is. My mom and dad always treated me and Macy like peoples, which is nice, but it was good to have someone around that was like me, and really knew me. I miss that.
Now days, I like to lay on the deck, but mostly I just look at the squirrels instead of chase them up the tree. And I’m too tired now to dig under the fence any more. My mom and dad still take me for a walk through the neighborhood every night, and dad has to pick up my doody in a Kroger bag. Heh. I still get a snort out of that.
Some days, dad still takes me up the sidewalk by the road. Every time, I can’t help but stop and look over at the golf course for mom and Macy. But they’re never there. Dad always lets me stop and look for as long as I want. I think he’s watching for her, too.