I’ve been trying to get more disciplined about my writing and improve my very rusty writing skills. The following is a piece that I wrote for MyDogSpace.com. A lot of folks there write in their dog’s voice. As an exercise, I decided to write the life story of our dog HERCULES in his voice and from his perspective. I’m not 100% happy with the result, but it certainly was a cleansing exercise. So without further ado, in his own voice, here is the life story of HERCULES.
My name is HERCULES and I am a special boy.
My first mommy bought me at a big fancy pet store. She paid big money for me. She had just had a bad divorce, and she had two little girls. She told the man at the pet store that she needed a big scary dog to protect her and the two little girls in case her bad ex came back to hurt them. I was just a little puppy, and not the least bit scary – but I knew I would grow up to be big and strong and I promised to protect the little girls.
She took me home and gave me my name – HERCULES! I did my very best to live up to such a special name. I grew up to be very big (100 pounds) and very strong. She didn’t know how lucky she was, and how hard I worked, to have me grow up so big and strong and healthy. Not every pet store puppy can do that.
There was nobody in charge at our house, so I took over. I was in charge of everything. I marked my territory all over that house so that everybody would know it was mine! If that bad ex guy ever came over here he would smell me everywhere and know not to mess with my family. For some reason mommy wasn’t happy that I was in charge like this. She was mad at me all of the time. But still, I herded those little girls into corners and kept them safe. I loved them very much.
She told all of her friends that I was a terrible dog – and that I was too friendly to ever scare anybody away. What did she expect? I am a Golden Retriever and I do like everybody, as long as they understand that I am in charge. One of her friends told her to call Mel (soon to be my Dad) because if anybody could fix a broken dog it was him.
Dad came over and took a look at things. He asked her lots of questions about what she had done to train me. He told her that he would have to take me home with him for a couple of weeks if he was going to “fix” me. Boy, was he ever a smart man.
He took me home and introduced me to my Irish Setter sister MOLLY. MOLLY was a very smart girl. Together they taught me to always go outside to do my business, and I only ever had one accident in Dad’s house – and that came much later. Dad taught me to “sit” – especially if I wanted a treat, and lots of other things. At first I didn’t really like that Dad was in charge instead of me, but I got so much love and care that I got used to Dad being in charge.
After two weeks Dad, who if you will remember is a very smart man, called my old mommy and told her that there was nothing he could do to “fix” me. He asked her what she wanted done with me. She told Dad that since I couldn’t be “fixed” maybe he should just take me to the Humane Society and be done with me. See, I told you Dad was smart! I got to live with Dad for the rest of my life!
MOLLY was a great big sister, and she taught me a lot, but she was old and didn’t have enough energy to play the way a big boy like me wanted to. So pretty soon, Dad brought me a little sister, a one-eyed Irish Setter girl named SUE. SUE had lots of energy and we PLAYED a LOT!
Not too many months later a very sad thing happened. MOLLY, who was 14-years old, got very sick. Dad took her to the vet’s and they took her to a very special place called Rainbow Bridge. But MOLLY couldn’t come back to Dad’s house anymore. This made Dad very sad. It made SUE and I sad too, but we had a job to do, we had to help Dad be happy again. We worked very hard, and with time Dad got happy again.
Then another bad thing happened. Dad got kinda sick. SUE and I were worried that somebody might come and take him to the vet’s and send him to Rainbow Bridge too. Dad had a hard time being in charge of everything while he was sick, so I took charge again. It was a good thing that I knew how to be the top dog.
Then Boy came to live with us. At first I didn’t like Boy, because he didn’t think that I should be in charge of things. But eventually I learned to like him and let him be in charge – although we all pretend that Dad is still in charge of everything. Dad got better and now he really is in charge of some things again. And Boy took SUE and I for walks every day. Boy also learned to play with us. Things were very happy in our house again.
I made up a silly game for Boy and I to play. Ever since I had to protect those two little girls, I liked to herd people around. So we made up a game where I would herd Boy to a particular place in front of the sofa in the living room. If I managed to herd him into the right spot, then he would sit down on the floor. This would make me very happy and I would sit in front of Boy and wag wag wag wag wag my tail. See, I told you it was a silly game.
Things were very good at our house for a long time; at least it seemed like a long time because things were so good. There was a lot of love for everybody, lots of play and walks, lots of treats and good times together. Sure it took some time for SUE and I to get Boy properly trained, but he turned out to be my bestest buddy. Things were very good. I was part of a family that loved me very much – and I loved them very much too.
Then one night a very strange thing happened. I didn’t feel good and would not eat my dinner. I would not even drink any water. The only thing I would eat were ice cubes that Boy gave me. The next day Boy took me to the vet’s office. It was pretty scary. They poked and prodded me. They took special X-ray pictures of me. They made me drink some yucky stuff and took pictures of the yucky stuff as it ran through me.
Finally they figured out that I had something called a clot. They gave me medicine to dissolve the clot and sent me home with Boy. As we were walking in from the car, something really bad happened. It made me hurt a lot in my brain. It made me lose my balance. I could only walk if I leaned on Boy. I hurt a lot, and that made me grouchy. I even growled at Boy.
Boy slept on the floor next to me that night. The pain kept getting worse. Boy gave me ice cubes because that was the only thing that felt good to me. I kept getting dizzier and dizzier. At some point that night I lost the ability to stand up on my own. I even had an accident in the house, because I couldn’t get up. I was very sorry to have had an accident, because I was very proud of being a good boy and I didn’t want that to happen.
In the morning Boy picked me up and carried me out to the car. This was pretty hard for Boy because I was a big 100-pound boy and I was so dizzy I couldn’t help Boy. It also hurt a lot. The vet said that the clot had “slipped” and gone into my brain. No wonder it hurt so much. The vet said that there was nothing they could do for me. They gave me some medicine to make it stop hurting. Boy drove home quick and brought Dad to the vet’s office.
Dad sat down in a chair and they put me on a big fluffy blanket right in front of him. Boy lay down on the floor and hugged me and kissed me and told me that I was the bestest boy ever. I wagged my tail to let them know that it was O.K. and that I didn’t hurt any more. I even managed to lift my head up and kiss Dad’s hand to tell him how glad I was that he let me be part of his family.
Then the vet stuck something in my leg. I was warm and safe and happy. I was a good boy and I was loved. Then I went to sleep.
Now I live at the Rainbow Bridge. There are lots of special dogs, and some cats, here. My friend MOLLY is here. She is young again and can play with me. Other dogs like KERRY, SCARLET, KOOF, and JOJO are here. They all belong to Dad’s family too. There is even a boy named John who looks in on us here. He is Boy’s brother and he’s part of Dad’s family as well. We are all healthy and safe here. And we know that one day we will all be together again.
My name is HERCULES and I am a special boy.