Kahu and I sleep together on a large memory foam mattress. He doesn’t seem to mind I take up more space than his skinny body that lays as straight as a barn plank while my legs remain akimbo and twitch on occasion from chasing a rabbit down its hole, all taking place in my nighttime dreams. Occasionally, I dream of catching one but feel guilty when looking at its frightened face and remembering my sacred guardian loves all beings and wouldn’t dream of hurting one, his adopted canine included. There’s no explaining my natural inclination to enjoy the smell of our neighbor’s sirloin searing on the grill next door but am reluctant to take a small bite from the corner not wanting to upset the Kahu trusting his dog to be a ‘good boy’. He never joins us on the dog grapevine and doesn’t know humans used telepathy as their method of communication for thousands of years before being able to string a few utterances together to make a sentence. I’m no expert on language but do know humans got it into their heads animals don’t understand a word they’re saying, which the rare animal communicator knows couldn’t be further from the truth. We do have opinions on human behaviors and aren’t as slavishly devoted when subjected to their ill tempers over having a bad day at the office. Mostly, we hide until they pull themselves together and remember the dog may be the only one in the house who loves them unconditionally. The need for unconditional love is very important to the male of the species, and I may be giving them too much credit here, but I believe it’s due to their testosterone levels needing adjustment to somewhere near manageable allowing them to control their rage index. They could learn this on the dog grapevine, but as mentioned, a human’s ability to communicate on a silent current is limited. 

Seconds after this last thought, Charlie jumps on the dog grapevine and begins a monologue about life in his new surroundings and all the peculiar behaviors that go on inside a house ten times bigger than the kennel where he spent his early years. “I got lost last night when on my way to the water bowl three stories below the corner where they keep my bed. No kidding, Dawg, I got lost in a people house with only two people and a brat who makes my life a misery. The kinda human small person being bred these days that runs rough shod over their surroundings and makes unnecessary noise, eat like they were born in a barn, and sing off key. Naturally, all the commotion sets my nerves on edge which prompts me to howl like a tenor in a flop house. So, this brat then gets his shorts in a bunch ‘cause of being blamed for upsetting the family dog which suits me fine. I enjoy watching the little shit be put in his place three branches down on the family tree. I don’t ‘xactly know what I’m talking ‘bout here but heard the ‘rents (that’s what their progeny calls them) tell their worthless offspring, he doesn’t have the sense God gave a dog. Should I feel insulted by this last remark ‘cause frankly I’m ready to pack up my belongings and hit the road. Oh, and another thing, they tell number one son, I suffer from agoraphobia and deserve some consideration for my mental limitations. If I were a bird, my feathers would be ruffled long about now, Dawg.”

Here’s where I’m supposed to dispense wisdom, but personally I think recalcitrant children should be put to work on a farm doing back breaking labor such as digging post holes and clearing the underbrush. They wouldn’t have an ounce of energy left to get up to no good.  The question begs to be answered what the boy’s real grievance is. My mind pauses on the possibility of jealousy. I can see across geographical lines to distant places bringing my dog buddy up close and personal. Charlie’s a sweet, small beagle with perfect markings and big brown eyes always casting about for a friendly smile. Dog Mom fills this role nicely, being the embracing sort, who spends most of her day pacifying Charlie’s nerves and questioning how she could have given birth to such a terror as her own adolescent son. Even Dog Dad wonders how Joey arrived in this world with a superior attitude but shows little value. Of course, it doesn’t take my magnificent brain to figure out this may be why they adopted the engaging little beagle and would be heartbroken if Charlie were to leave home.

But at this point, I would adopt him myself once Kahu signed off on adding another canine to the household, but being a softhearted Mastiff, I would also invite Otto to come for an extended stay. He and Charlie could work out their sleeping arrangements in the guest bedroom.

I linger a while on the grapevine to discuss ways Charlie could avoid the resident Ninja, but he’s skeptical despite there being three floors and a garden maze. Finally, we agree on his attempting to find his own secret hiding place where no one has any reason to go, except the cook, a friendly Jamaican woman, who enjoys singing along with the little dog not normally found in the rainforests where her family lives among the wildlife. Charlie chatters on about how good it feels to lean against the soft curves of the big woman’s body when she sits on the breakfast bench to string beans and chop vegetables, occasionally throwing him a piece of beef jerky that makes this big boy slobber from the thought of it.

Charlie ponders boarding himself under the bench inches from the sweet smell of his Jamaican fan club. He promises to hold off on running away from home before finding a comfortable secret hiding place, which he believes is an indignity and a reminder he lives in a place where he’s not wholeheartedly wanted, causing him to feel some dejection. I promise to check in once in a while. This appears to calm his nerves and prompt howls of rhapsodic appreciation. Brings tears to this softhearted Mastiff and for a moment I take stock to consider all I got to be thankful for.

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