Boomer, Boomer Ang, Boomer, Boomerang. I love that name I love that name because it is my name because I love to wag my furry tail back and forth like a boomerang! Or is that a yo-yo? It’s okay because I am a happy dog with not a care in the world.
My master, he’s also my best friend gives me treats and feeds me and gives me bowls of fresh water every day. He smiles at me and says nice things to me though I really don’t know what is said. I don’t quite understand human talk. They of course haven’t advanced to my level of intelligence yet. They don’t even know how to sniff the air, for crying out loud!
But I digress. I was talking about Bob my master, who is so loving and caring to me. He’s the one who named me Boomer Ang. It has such a lovely ring to it, don’t you think? I smell something, Excuse me a moment. “Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff…Woof, Woof! Woof, Woof, Woof!” I sounded my alarm of impending danger.
A man approaches and enters my territory where Master Bob has a lovely house that he lets me come in and visit once in a while. Did I mention I’m a mutt, a Heinz-57 variety of everything from a long and distinguished line of mutts starting with my great-great- grand father Custer? He was an Airedale who fell head over heels in love with a German shepherd named Molly. Eventually they had my granddaddy who impregnated a Collie named Lassie and then my dad came into the world and got Mom pregos. She was a Chocolate Lab named Daisy. Now you know my pedigree.
“Woof, woof, woof,” I barked at the man from behind my dog kennel. If I could get out, I would bite his heels to let him know he’s trespassing on my territory. He makes me so angry! He’s purposefully ignoring me! I jump up on my hind legs and growl and snarl at this intruder.
He goes up to the door and rings the bell that makes that ding dong sound. Master Bob opens it and he talks to this intruder. I sensed he’s not a good person, but I’m locked up inside this kennel and can’t defend my master or my territory like I would prefer. Don’t let him in! Oh, Bob you let him in, how disappointing.
I stopped barking for a while and wait for that strange man to come back outside so I can tell him off really good. An itch, I got an itch. I squat on my butt and scratch behind my ear. I don’t know if it’s a flea or other parasite that is gnawing on that sensitive part of my anatomy but, oh yeah, that’s the spot. Master Bob is a master at hitting that spot. He is such a good man.
I hear the two talking inside. What does Master Bob do? I don’t know to be perfectly honest because he hardly goes anywhere, yet people like that man just now, pop by and then they leave a little bit later. Master Bob seems happier after they leave and then we go and play fetch the round red rubber ball. That and fetch the Frisbee at the nearby doggy park are my favorite games.
My ears perk up as I listen to the strange man speak in a loud and angry voice. “You got my money for my dope I fronted you?”
“Yeah, but I’m a bit short, okay?”
“No, it’s not okay, but I’ll take what you got!”
Why is that stranger so angry at Master Bob?
“I’ll have the rest tonight, I promise,” Master Bob tells stranger man.
“You better,” he tells Master Bob. I heard the front door open and close and the stranger leaves, stuffing those green things Bob calls bills into his pocket and gets in a truck, then leaves quickly down our street. Master Bob says the street name all the time when he is on the phone and then a short time later a strange man or woman appear in their small car and deliver something Bob calls pizza but I call delicious. He gives me the leftovers but I don’t care, he still loves me and cares for me.
Master Bob isn’t his usual happy self now, after the stranger man left. I can sense his mood a mile away. He is thinking and it shows in his face. It is bearded with a reddish color that goes down to his chest. He wears a cap outside, but inside the house he takes it off and reveals no hair on top of his head. He has kind and gentle blue eyes. He never yells at me but rubs my ears and belly with affection.
He comes out to greet me and though he smiles at me with his reassuring way, something is bothering him and I whine to him that I understand, though I honestly don’t totally understand. He lets me out and I run with abandon for my reprieve from that kennel. I immediately go to my tree, a Maple and hike up my leg, and release a copious amount of pee over its bark. Then I run to the center of the back yard where I squat and unload last night’s dinner of kibbles. It’s quite stinky.
Oh, he has the red rubber ball! I go after it after he tossed it into the air and lands near the end of the front yard. I give chase and dive onto it and bring it back to him, my slobber all over the ball. He seems to have relaxed and is more like his old self as we play this wonderful game together.
“I need to give you a bath and good brushing, Boomer,” he tells me as he throws the red rubber ball back to the same spot as before. I don’t particularly care for baths as a general rule, except in summer when it’s so hot I’m panting just to keep somewhat cool. Last year, or maybe it was longer before, because dog years and human years are so different; I was shaved nearly as bald as Master Bob. It was an exceptionally hot summer that year and I enjoyed not having all that fur on me for a change.
This is the time of year after the snow melts and the leaves on the maple have returned. It is the best time, though I get hay fever and sneeze constantly after sniffing the pretty flowers in the neighbor’s flower beds. If he intends to bathe me, then it will be inside the house because he doesn’t like getting me wet outside when it’s not very warm. Today, the clouds hide the sun and a breeze blows just enough to cause my fur to blow about. I’m not cold but I sense that Master Bob is because he is wearing his favorite black jacket.
The game of fetch is over and he calls me inside the house. He keeps the blinds drawn down and it smells of many pleasant and unpleasant odors. I sniff and sniff and sniff the air: cooked food, stale smoke from his cigarettes and dope he likes; the floor’s rug: his scent, my scent, stranger’s scent. I follow the scent on the floor to the place he calls bathroom. It has another unpleasant smell, the same as when I squat and do my duty outside. Does he do that inside? How disgusting!
He slides a plastic curtain to a side and reveals a tub. There are two metal faucets that he turns and runs his hand over the pouring water, filling up the tub. I smell soapy odor coming from a bottle he is pouring into the tub. I laid on the tiled floor. It smells of bleach and pine cleaner.
“Okay, Boomer, it’s time!”
He seems so happy at my misery. I whined in protest as he grabs me and lifts me into the tub. It is wet and slippery beneath my feet. I slide and feel helpless as he pours water over my coat and begins scrubbing me all over, including behind my ears on my belly. He has me in a perplexing situation, while I enjoy the attention, I don’t like the water, the smelly soapy stuff he pours so liberally over me and then rinses it off with that picture of cool water. I shiver and whine in protest.
I’ve had enough of this and attempt to jump out, but he holds me fast and his strength is quite impressive considering how thin he looks. I sit and endure this torture a while longer. He then pulls me out of the tub. I hear the water draining while he throws a white cotton towel over me and vigorously dries me. My instinct tells me to shake the water off, but he doesn’t allow me this option. The more he dries me the more I protest to him to let me be a dog and shake off the water. I smell different now. I smell, what is it that I smell? It’s awful!
He finally lets me out from the bathroom and I run down the hallway and into the living room where I promptly roll on the rug that has mine and Master Bob’s scent all over it.
“Boomer! God, you drive me crazy sometimes,” Master Bob yells at me. I smile at him with mischief as I continue to roll on the rug. I tell him through my mind to be thankful I wasn’t outside or I would roll on that fresh pile of manure I just made, just so I could smell like a dog again. But humans, like I mentioned earlier are not as advanced as us dogs are in communicating.
I’m done and go over to the couch where he is sitting, placing plastic tube to his mouth and lighting a flame over a brass-like chamber. Smoke suddenly appears and he inhales it into himself. I don’t agree with this thing he does to himself just so he is happier. He coughs out the smoke it smells odd: pleasant yet unpleasant at the same time.
I placed my muzzle onto his lap and look up at him, begging him to stop doing that, but once again he doesn’t understand what I’m saying to him. He places the tube thing back on the end table where a lamp is, it’s light casting a glow on the otherwise dark room. He lights a cigarette. That too is offensive smelling but I love my Master Bob and only wish that one day he will stop killing himself this way.
He absently scratched my head and ears. I thump my tail on the floor telling him that it makes me feel good. I smelled someone outside and heard odd-sounding footsteps of a stranger approach. Master Bob looked distracted. I arose and went to the door. “Woof, woof, woof,” I announce to Master Bob. I turn my head to him and wag my tail warning him of the danger on the other side of the door.
“It’s okay Boomer.” He tells me as he get up from the couch and answers the door just after the bell ding dongs from a box inside this house. “I got this.”
A strange man is standing at the door. Master Bob pushes me away. The stranger pull something out. I cower away from the long dark object and a flash of fire and loud boom come out from its end. Master Bob looks sad and frightened and surprised all at once. “Woof, woof, woof.” I bark at the stranger who closes the door abruptly just as I leap up at him. I heard him run down the cement walk to the sidewalk and down the street. I smell his scent fading quickly.
Master Bob closed his eyes as if he fell asleep. I smell his blood. I bark and howl and whine and whimper. I lost my friend. I sense he has left me and his spirit has gone to the other world. I howl mournful and sorrowful into the air.
Nonetheless I lick his still face. The blood that pours from a hole in his shirt. I don’t hear his breath. I don’t see his chest move. I don’t smell his life force. I am sad and lonely. I go to the door and scratch at it. It is closed and I don’t understand the mechanism of this door Master Bob calls a knob. Try as I might, I can’t turn it the way I see Master Bob does with his hand. I place my teeth firmly into the knob and twist with all my strength. It won’t budge. Is it locked? I don’t know.
I looked down at Master Bob. I wish this was all a dream and that he’s just playing with me, pretending he’s dead. I lay my muzzle on his still belly, hoping, hoping he isn’t dead, though I know he is. Tears wetted his shirt. I closed my eyes and hoped this was all a bad dream.