Where was his Man? He had assumed they were going for a walk.
He had smelled the predisposition of sex on the Man but clearly the Female who smelled like coffee and strong soap was not ready. There had been loud talking, then they’d gone down the side stairs, he and the Man, past the sneakers and the bag with the leftover salmon and the hamburger wrappers into the yard.
He’d stayed by the man’s side, waiting for a walking connection to be established. They stood this way, side by side for a few moments which was confusing. There were no breeding females in the area for the Man. There were no breeding opportunities for him, either. He’d licked the Man’s shoe in solidarity. Big Mistake. He got a mouthful of lawnmower oil for his effort. He’d had to chew some grass just to get rid of the taste. The man had given him a pat on the head which was usually the signal they were going so he had gotten back up to his feet. But the man had moved in the wrong direction, which had been confusing. As he’d started to follow, he’d heard the Man go in.
He remembered thinking that maybe the Man had forgotten the ball. The ball was good. He liked the ball. He’d shouted to the Man, to make sure he’d bring it down. “Ball!” he said. “Ball, ball!”. He’d waited a while, thinking happily about the ball but then, the Man hadn’t come back.
So he’d called out a few times to the Man to remind him he was waiting. “Walk! Walk, Walk!” he’d shouted by the gate. Sometimes, the Man would forget they had things to do, places to smell, people to greet, particularly when there were breeding females around. But his Man’s female was not breeding.
He’d heard the gate open and thought the Man must have come out from the front of the house. He hoped he’d remembered the ball. “Ball! Ball!“ he’d reminded him, excitement barely disguised in his voice. “Ball!”
But someone else had grabbed him by the collar and tugged. He’d only resisted because he was confused. It wasn’t his Man, it was another. This one smelled of earth and cheese and feathers and pigeon blood. He hated pigeons. He really hated pigeons. He also hated squirrels. He used to chase them when he could see. Now he had to tell his Man where they were although his Man was no hunter. His Man had never caught a single one.
The Man who was not his Man had tugged again at his collar. This time, he followed in the hopes of having an adventure.
Next week: Getting Help