Boomer, Hamish And Gigi

Putting My Feet in the Dirt December Writing Prompt# 7 : Casual Injustice

Pascal Campion

Boomer, Gigi and Hamish are neighbors.

Sometimes they go for walks together, sometimes they sit out on their decks and talk to each other late at night until their other neighbors start pounding on their shared floors and walls  and sometimes they meet up at the mailboxes and complain about the cars that drive to fast through the parking lot and the kids who throw sticks and balls over the fence or up a tree and ask them to get them back for them.

Last Christmas something unusual happened, it snowed on Christmas Eve and everyone was out of their minds with excitement.

The sleds came out, the winter coats went on and Boomer, Gigi and Hamish raced outside with everyone else to have a little fun.

I should probably mention, if you haven’t caught on that Boomer, Gigi and Hamish are dogs.

So you can imagine their disappointment when their families sent them to the fenced and locked dog park with a ‘sitter’ while they all took off for the fields and commons around their apartment complex.

When dogs are disappointed, their ears droop, their tails swish with no enthusiasm from side to side and their hearts break.

Unless you’re Gigi.

Gigi would take down a Saint Bernard and send it packing for the nearest mountain range,  but not before drinking their little barrel of bourbon  in front of them and possibly eating their snacks too.

Boomer and Hamish were always suspicious that little Gigi was more of a cat then dog, but that was more feeling then fact.

So, after packing the three forlorn friends off to the park with their sitter- who immediately headed for a bench, swept off the snow, sat down and started to play on her phone the three friends lined up at the fence and pointed their noses and pushed their ears forward and backwards and caught the scents and sounds of their families having fun.

” I’d like to put them all up for adoption. ” Gigi growled.

Hamish and Boomer shook their heads and the tags and bells on their collars  jingled, but not merrily.

” Maybe they’ll take us out later. ” Boomer said.

Hamish agreed and Gigi told them, ” and maybe if we dress them up in cute Santa hats and take their pictures we can get them new homes with other dogs before New Years. ”

From across the park, two voices carried on the chilly winter air said gently into their ears:

” I can imagine this must disappoint you all very much. I mean to say, this is  cruel, unkind and very Un- Christmas like behavior. In fact, if you were on Santa’s Good list I think you should be struck off post haste.” they heard a sweet, low and very happy voice say from across the park.

” Don’t tell them that. ” they heard another voice say- and that voice didn’t sound  like words as much as it richly  smelled-

it smelled like cookies,  beef flavored cookies.

They trotted across the field to  the two  figures standing under a tree.

The two humans ( or were they Hamish wondered  ) were dusted with snow- one was wrapped in red and his companion was as dark and sleek as a Halloween Cat, he had a tail too and it was wrapped around his arm like a snake.

” Tell me my friends, my poor neglected and betrayed friends. Do you think it’s fair that you are out here not having fun- ”

” When Finnley gets off of her phone, she’ll play games with us. ” Hamish said.

” You’re an idiot. ” Gigi told Hamish.

Boomer drooped his head and his ears flopped over his eyes.

” You see, we are here because  kindness puts you on my list”  the man in red said

” and not being kind, especially to individuals such as yourself will get you on mine in a flash. ” The Dark Man snapped his fingers, sparks flew from his finger tips and his eyes flared up like flames. ” If you’re on my list I will pop  you into my bag, and drag you up to the Northwoods and-”

” Krampus, read the room, will you? ” the Man in Red said.

” That sounds like a pretty bad list. ” Boomer said.

” Well. Don’t put yourself there.”

” I think he’s talking to you Gigi. ” Boomer warned his friend.

” He’s not taking you anywhere. ” the Man in Red assured them.

“My Red and Cheerful friend is right, you’re not going anywhere with me- ” Krampus, who’s ears and eyes were as sharp as Hamish’s, Boomer’s and Gigi’s- ” But your humans-tch tch tch.”

Hamish backed away from the fence, and for the first time in his six years of life he growled just a little.

” My Mommy and Daddy are not bad. ” Boomer said.

The two boys looked at Gigi. ” Whatever. My Dad is okay, most of the time.”

The Man in Red  kneeled down. ” Do you know why we are here? We heard you. We heard this sound like a little glass ornament falling from a shelf and shattering into a million pieces.”

” Is he really going to take our Moms and Dads to the Northwoods and- ” Hamish looked into Krampus’ eyes and all he could see were dark trees with long, sharp arms.

” He could. Right now. And I’ll be honest, for what they did tonight they do deserve it.”

Boomer and Hamish looked down at Gigi, fierce little Gigi and Hamish said, ” You better not take them. Gigi would eat your faces if you took her Dad. Really. She’s pretty mean. ”

” Yeah ” she said.

“Plus” Hamish said, ” My Mommy really does- ”

And from across the field he heard her, Hamish heard his Mom, Gigi heard hear Dad and Boomer heard his parents- ” Okay guys, let’s go, wait till you see the snow fort we built for you!”

The two figures stepped back into the Shadows and Hamish’s Mom was there first opening the gate. ” Nice job at doing nothing Finnley. I hope Krampus isn’t around. He’d bust you for not listening to your elders. ”

” I’m not old”  Boomer’s Dad insisted,

” You’re hella old dude. ” Gigi’s told him.

Gigi looked into the shadows and she winked.

And from the shadows a little red flame winked back.

Dogs on a Sled with Holly

The Day After Halloween

Photo AM. Moscoso

This morning when I was feeding my dog, he did something a little strange.

I’ve taught Hamish to sit and wait while I put his food dish down . Then I point to my eye and say, ‘look’.

He looks me right in the eye. It’s a focus  routine I’ve taught him because when you have a high energy and enthusiastic dog, you really do need a way to get their attention back in a snap.  I’ve found that ” sit and  look” works well in a lot of situations where his ability to focus may go sideways on us and I need to get it back quickly.

After we do the sit and look routine I tell him ‘dinner time ‘ and he dives into his dish and chows down like he hasn’t eaten in about 100 years.

Everything went the same as usual as I got his meal ready- he tried to dive into his food bag, he tried to counter surf, he ran into the living room and found a couple of toys and dropped them at my feet- I think it’s to reward me for feeding him FASTER.

When I went to put his food bowl down he sat on his own, which he does sometimes. But when I told him to ‘look’ he looked over my left shoulder instead. So I pointed to my eye and said ‘look’ a couple of times.

He kept looking over my shoulder.

I tried again and he looked at me and I said ” dinner time ” but he didn’t move. He went back to looking over my shoulder and he did not move a muscle.

Hamish doesn’t refuse to eat unless he’s sick so I was concerned for a moment about that.

I kept trying to get his attention and he kept his eyes locked over my shoulder

Were his hackles up? Did he act like something out of the ordinary was happening?

No, he was fine.

The fact is, as he went through his routine I had the feeling he wasn’t doing it for me.

We got back on track and he wolfed his meal down as usual.

In all, this  wasn’t an unnerving experience, but it was a curious one.

A curious incident, a day after Halloween.