I follow Kahu into his home office and watch him unload the contents of his pockets into the top desk drawer along with the business card. I open the drawer with my teeth and pick up the card and trot after Kahu on his way to our bedroom. I shove the piece of cardboard in his hand and begin barking. He appears confused but studies the card reading it out loud. “Alice Hanigan, Animal Communicator, specializes in behavioral therapy, family dynamics, lost dogs, sick horses, and other breeds depending on issues. Does not locate lost cats.”

“You want me to call her for you?”

My tail thumps against the floor making enough racket even a ferret would get my meaning. I give brief attention to her refusal to locate lost cats unless they’re not really lost but left home because they didn’t like the accommodations. Cats, unlike dogs, can turn feral in a few days and rustle up the mice population for their meals. Not dogs though, domestication suits them just fine so long as the food bowl remains full and the humans are tolerable.

“Larry mentioned it’s best to have questions, but I’m at a loss on what you want to say, boy.” He looks at me as though my mouth is going to overflow with words explaining my predicament of wanting a prefix for my name Bernard. If she’s any kind of communicator, we don’t need Kahu to interpret for us, only to dial the number and tell her about my early beginnings and current station of living in the lap of luxury without a care in the world. Except I do have cares. Three of them in fact. Right now, Charlie, Millie, and Otto occupy a great deal of head space along with my Bella living with a Dog Dad I find lacking in affection. Bella told me she sleeps in her own bed placed on the floor of a walk-through closet where he keeps her scarves hanging on a Chinese laundry rack. The man owns a house the size of a football field so you’d think he could provide her with her own room or buy a canine housemate to keep her company. Kahu mentioned it might be better for us to arrange for me to visit Bella once a week at her Doggie Day Care Center where Dog Dad leaves her each and every day. I couldn’t imagine they accept robust canines and so might object to this boy’s size. Kahu assures me they divide the dogs according to size, so I would be with Bella in the big dog unit.

When hearing Kahu respond to my concerns, this gives me even more hope my best friend’s picking up my vibe on the silent current. I can hear his mind go a mile a minute thinking up questions to ask the communicator: Is Bernard happy? Does Bernard like his new food? Does Bernard know I love him?  All this touches my heart and if I were given to girlie emotions, I might squeeze out a tear or two. The Divine Dog whispers into the ethers assuring him the sun rises and sets on ‘my one and only’ and yes, I’m finding my new diet passable, yes, I’m happy and if I weren’t happy, I would express my displeasure. All this should be obvious to Kahu, but I notice when it comes to what they call love, humans don’t believe anyone could love them unconditionally. Says a lot about the state of their inner life. It appears to be lacking what with the number of trees they cut down in a year to clear land for growing cows they’re going to slaughter for food instead of being happy with the plant life.  Maybe Kahu and his vegan friends elevated themselves by choosing not to harm any living being. A moment of guilt presses on my mind and then disappears when hearing the words, “Tomorrow, big boy!  Wanna go to bed?”

I waste no time crawling underneath the covers and laying my head on the big pillow after throwing the itty-bitty pillows on the floor. Kahu does the same and soon we’re snuggling together happy in our safe zone where nothing can interfere with our peace of mind. Yes, even us big dogs need a safe zone, especially the ones like Yours Truly who spent his first year behind a barbed wire fence along with other Mastiffs stamped ‘return to sender’. Most of us found ourselves with a group of forlorn adolescents due to our ability to double the food bill of a family of four. Usually, the first thing a human asked when choosing their cherished pet is, “How big does he get?” But not in our case, and so we got ourselves sent to ‘limbo’ where we learn to smile a lot, shake hands, and act like we got manners to fit nicely with any family who has space and enough money to keep us fed. Kahu may be a vegan but he’s a cut above the fray coming for a Sunday afternoon gander at the rejects, which caused our spirits to sag and the saliva to drip on their tidy shoes. Not exactly a selling point but anxiety has a way of turning on the wet glands of your average nervous wreck confused over what he did wrong to lose a mother and the original family who thought it was a good idea to own a prestigious dog breed until discovering the amount of food it takes to feed your average Mastiff.

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