Dawg Days

I live with Ike, my master, on a steep hill with a winding gravel drive:my eyes are brown, my hair shaggy, long, red and gray. Ike, stooped and old, just calls me Dawg because I chase rabbits and cars.

This morning, the neighbor, George, drove in the drive and I woke up and flew down the hill for the treats he always throws from the window. It had rained late last night and parts of the lightly gravelled road were muddy and slippery; I felt myself sliding toward the front of his car.

My out of control hairy body hit the left front tire with a thud. At first I felt a great deal of heat, then heard the crunch of my bones breaking, felt the shredding of skin and muscle, and barked out in silence at the pain of parts being separated. The car continued to move and slowly slid to a stop.

George got out and saw me under the muddy tire, injured badly, my tongue in the mud, staring at him.

Through cloudy eyes I saw Ike running down the hill with a stick; I felt searing pain as my front legs kept moving, but my back legs were gone.

Ike stood looking at me, George nodded, suddenly Ike raised the rifle just long enough for me to see the end of the barrel, not hear the sound, but see the flash. I saw myself chasing a rabbit down a long bright tunnel.