Okay you, be cool, and no funny moves. I need to check you out even if Mike did just introduce us. I do this with every new person he brings home. Names escape me, but I never forget how people smell. Hmm, a city dweller…your apartment plumbing could use some work; you ate chicken curry for dinner last night and…oo, nice, do I smell collie? I’ve got a thing for them—like poodles too, although I think some of them look like topiary rather than dogs. No offense, but you humans can pull some really weird shit, sometimes.
Oh, a biscuit! Thanks. My favorite flavor, beef. Look, don’t take the inspection personally. It’s just part of my job as Mike’s watch dog. I am a purebred Rottweiler, after all. You want laid back, get a Golden Retriever! I’m not assuming you would try to sneak in here late at night, I’m just telling you why that would be a bad idea. That “Beware of Dog” sign on the gate isn’t just there as a vanity plate. I have a bad-ass reputation to uphold in this neighborhood.
I’m Caesar by the way and--sorry, do I make you nervous? Any friend of Mike’s is a friend of mine. Between you, me and that fence post, I’m not that scary. Off duty, I love to chase balls and Frisbees at the beach and play in the surf with other dogs. I love lying on the sofa after supper and watching TV with Mike—my favorite part of the day after supper itself. Oh, you've heard about the mail carrier episode? I can explain about that. I admit mail carriers and UPS delivery people bring out the worst in me—I just go postal and that I can't explain. Since you’re not here to deliver the mail you have nothing to worry about, do you?
Fine, fine so we’ll talk about that mail carrier business. Just remember the facts don’t tell the whole story, and that wimp really dissed me in the incident report. I think it’s only fair I should have a chance to tell my side of the story, don’t you? Let’s just say that when it happened, if I’d been a human, I’d have been in my late teens, and probably would have had a major attitude, too. I was pretty macho and still pretty green, then. So every time a stranger passed the house, I’d bark myself silly even when I knew they weren’t dangerous. If they put a toe onto Mike’s property, I’d start hurling myself against the fence, too. Mike says when I used to go into my big act, it was enough to make people think of primeval wolf packs before dogs were domesticated—I just love it when he respects my work, that way!
Mike’s mailbox is right near the gate at the corner of the house, so the mail carrier heard me carrying on back here every day. I knew he was terrified of me even with an eight foot fence between us—I could smell it and I enjoyed scaring him. He’d cram Mike’s mail in the box and then hurry off to the next house as fast as he could. That day I got out, I was leaping up and I hit the fence particularly hard—maybe I hit the gate latch just right, or hit a weak point—I’ve never been able to do it again, but suddenly the gate burst open and the mail carrier and I were standing face to face on the driveway, both of us totally shocked for a second.
Then he screams “Shit!” and takes off running for his truck which was a few houses down the block. Naturally, I took off after him. When I caught up, I knocked him down. Okay I did bite him, but mostly I just barked loudly in his face a couple of times. He of course claimed that I’d ‘worried at his throat’—talk about slander! He couldn’t have talked to the police and animal control if I’d ripped his throat open, now could he? I bit him in the calf twice, but that’s the only place, I swear. That guy would have been scared of a Yorkshire Terrier.
I ended up spending that night in theVicious Dog tank in the slammer--the dog pound, I mean. The other guys in there really scared me straight—I realized just how sheltered I was and how lucky to be owned and by Mike. They were all scarred and bitten, they smelled like dirty streets.They had awful teeth, awful breath, bad limps, parts of their ears missing—sometimes their eyes, too. I got a good look at what abusive people and the mean streets can do to a stray dog, and it scared me but good.
This one old mutt in the cage next to mine—Alfie, he wasn’t so bad. After hazing me for a bit, he gave me some good advice that night. Told me he’d give all the dog years of his life to trade places with me. He was old, dirty and judged too vicious to be adoptable after an early life with an abusive master. He was headed for the gas kennel, soon. Alfie told me I had it as good as any dog could hope for, so I shouldn’t blow it by getting a reputation for viciousness. It could come back and bite me in the ass when I least expected it. Being a big breed dog only makes the problem worse.
After spending the night in there, I was soo happy to see Mike when he sprang me the next morning!Mike was furious with me, though. I’d embarrassed him and had cost him a couple hundred dollars—he was going to have to add two feet to his fence because of me and both of us were going to have to take some remedial obedience training. I was so ashamed to have let him down, I felt punier than a Chihuahua. That was the worst part of it. However, I really enjoyed our obedience classes together . I’ll do almost anything with Mike or for him. The classes were great because Mike and I were together and he was totally focused on me—that’s no punishment as far as I'm concerned!
I’m a wiser dog, now. I suppose I'm getting on in years, too. Even though fire engines still make me want to howl, after I realized no fire engine has ever jumped this fence I learned to ignore them. Most of the time, it’s enough for a watch dog to sound scary—I get a lot of bang for the bark, so to speak. If I do say so myself, I’ve got a good, scary woof and growl—comes from being a big guy and having a deep chest. Of course, if a stranger is dumb enough to come in here and try to get past me anyway, they’d have to rob Mike or hurt him over my dead body. And they'd be in a world of hurt before they got that far.
A lot of being a good watch dog is acting talent, although not all of it. It helps that I look the part. There’s this little Highland Terrier named Ruffles across the street who tries to copy me, but all she can produce is a high-pitched “Yip yip yip!” She's too cute to be bad-assed. I give her big points for her determination, but every time she tries to sound like a big bad watchdog, I can’t help laughing. I mean, who’s going to be scared of a Westie? Ruffles the Watchdog--that is so wrong!
Oo, can you smell that? Duchess is being taken for her evening walk. She may be one stuck-up Afghan Hound but she smells incredible—makes me really miss my gonads, sometimes. Yeah, I'm one of those 'fixed' dogs. And yeah I can explain that, too.
A few years ago, Bonnie, this female collie, used to live on the other side of Mike’s back fence. I admit it, I’ve got a thing for collies the way some men have a thing for blondes. And Bonnie was pretty darned glam—she had a big white ruff and this long, sexy muzzle—oo-wee! I found her perky ears that broke forward at the tips incredibly erogenous, too. Then she went into heat in the middle of summer, and I was a goner. Bonnie exuded so many female pheromones she could have stopped traffic if humans had any sense of smell worth talking about. It drove me crazy—seemed like she was the only thing I could smell in the neighborhood for days—didn’t matter which direction I pointed my snout.
Bonnie would stand near the property line on her side of the fence and say things like “If you really loved me, you’d be over this fence by now,” and “I love big, tough macho dogs” until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I don’t know if love really conquers all, but being sex-crazed got me over this fence. Looking at it, I’m still amazed I could do it—ten feet straight up. I guess I had more spring in my hindquarters, then. That's the only explanation I've got to give.
Ooo, Bonnie was so worth it! My history of sexual conquests may be short, but nobody can say I didn’t make it count while it lasted. She was one fine piece of tail, if you'll pardon the expression. At that point, I was so crazy for her, I wouldn't have cared if she'd been a Mexican Hairless. Then her stupid owner comes home and catches us in flagrante delicto—you’re surprised I know Latin—My name is Caesar isn’t it?
Anyway, Bonnie’s owner screams her head off—throws watering cans, rakes, trowels, anything she can get her hands on to drive me away from Bonnie. Evidently she’d been planning to breed Bonnie to this dog show champion male collie. She raised hell with Mike and he raised hell with me. I can’t see that the whole situation was my fault, though. If that dumb lady wanted to breed Bonnie to some big-shot, blow-dried ribbon winning champion, why did she let her into the back yard while she was in heat? The pups were kind of odd looking—my coloring with Bonnie’s long coat. Nobody had ever thought of a Rottweiler-Collie cross before for a reason, I guess. But hell, I thought they were cute. Mike called them the Rottwollies.
Compared with Bonnie though, Duchess is like a quick whiff of nice perfume. She’s a bit too exotic for my taste, actually—if she were a person, I’ll bet she’d talk like Zsa-Zsa Gabor. Looks down on me for having to wear a muzzle in public—
The muzzle? Yeah, I can explain that, since you ask. I hate it, but every self-respecting dog would hate being muzzled. It’s all because of that damned Beagle at the Vet’s office last year. You ever meet a Beagle? All bark, no brains, that’s’ all you have to know. Mike and I were in the waiting room and there’s this pipsqueak Beagle in there too who won’t stop barking at me, trying to pick a fight. I ignored him at first—I’m big enough to take a few insults, after all. But the little dude didn’t have enough sense to shut his yap. Finally, I told him I’d had enough, and if I ever met him off leash in the park, I’d make a Beagle bagel of him. Loudly, of course. After getting exactly what he deserved, the damned Beagle slinks under the couch and puts on this big trembling and whimpering act like he’s all terrified and traumatized, and once again, I’m the one who got into trouble. Alfie from the pound was right—turns out that episode with the mailman did circle around to bite me in the ass. But since Mike says that's the way it has to be, then that's the way it has to be.
Say… you wouldn’t have another of those nice dog biscuits on you, would you?