Getting the Dog


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So you’re getting the dog.

That makes sense, and you know what? I can tell you how that goes. You can get a pretty good dog: skinny-pig-sized, warm little pizza-slice eyes both mostly looking the same way, clicky toes, some cute droops that bounce around… You might get one of those quiet watch-and-breathers (they all breathe a lot), or a little people-climber or even a bony sad-eye. You can get one that checks out stuff ahead of you so you know if it is a good idea to go there, or a one that barks at the door all the time for you.

Now that you have the dog, you can go anywhere you want at any time of day; you could solve a nearby mystery, explore abandoned buildings, trespass on land owned by rich strangers, or finally meet your neighbors and see if your respective dogs will try and kill each other. When you go places, let your dog off the leash so it can get wet in the dark. Take it to barbecues and see if any other dogs are going to fight together. Watch the dog run on the beach and jump into water you visit. The dog will make unfortunate discoveries when you visit cities or camps. Heal the dog when it attacks woodland quarry with powerful defenses. Don’t blame the dog.

You can change the tail or the ears if you want, and you are even free to remove most of the barking sounds if you don’t like them. Bring the dog in to give blood and bone marrow to other dogs. Sign the dog up to be an organ donor: they will never know. Then again, since the dog is an conscious mammal in your charge, just fix them. It is the cost of the arrangement, like how emperors had eunuchs.

When people look unhappy about the dog being so rough and needy, you can apologize, but you will secretly consider those people more weak and whiny than you did before. You can learn from the dog if you want: let the dog judge your lovers and friends for you. Some people don’t even like dogs, and they will be forced to reveal themselves. When the dog attacks someone, wonder what the person did to provoke it. When the dog attacks other dogs, run home together.

“Master” is a title you don’t hear much these days, but that’s what you get to be, if you get the dog. It is almost like you rise one notch on the world’s ladder of power, just by getting the dog. Get as many dogs as you want. People get judgmental when someone gets too many cats, but that fear does not exist for dogs. A large pool of dogs in one’s ownership denotes greater wealth and ownership. People used to dream about having a lot of dogs.

You can try to make the dog sleep in the padded circle-bed, but what they don’t tell you is the dog will come for you at night. Soon you rest and rise together, and your smells co-mingle, and you adjust your house’s temperature to fit the dog, you leave machines on just to make noise and please the dog. Now you don’t even notice the hair in all your clothes and food, or that your family is always kissing the dog on the mouth.

You like to see the dog happy, or at least smiling-looking, but at times you do wonder if the dog knows that you are what drives the car and provides the toys. Could the dog mind belonging to you? Probably not, right? For one, the dog is happy, a perpetual optimist with a constant and deep-rooted do-or-die spirit and a pure will that drives them forward. The dog keeps your secrets, and is non-inquisitive about your long-term plans. The two of you belong together and will stay that way as long as you will it. After all, it’s not up to the dog.

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