Today, I saw a human at the edge of my yard. They seemed strange and stared listlessly at the house my human moved us to. I barked, and I barked, and for my efforts, I received a scolding and some time in that dreaded cage I hate so much. Night came, and the human appeared again. This time, they were closer than before, perhaps just a few steps ahead. I barked for my human once more. They came stomping into the living room calling my name.
“Sparkles! What’s out there, girl?” they said. They moved the curtains and peered into the darkness. “There’s no one out there!” my human said. Yet, I could still see them. This human stared at our home. They stared at … me.
Dawn came, and my human emerged from their space. They gently pet me on the head and fed me those same tiny, crunchy, flavorful bits as every day. I quickly lapped at them and chewed them. Then I heard a voice. I ran to the window to see the same human as the night before, staring at the house.
“Come here, girl,” my human said. I followed their directions.
My necklace was put on me, as was my shirt, and we walked outside. The gaze of the human in the yard fell upon me. I barked. I whined.
“Sparkles!! Come on, what are you doing?! There’s no one there!”
I didn’t understand how my human could not see what was so clearly in front of us. No matter how much I tried to alert my human, they yelled back at me as if I were the irrational one. We walked around the block; I did my business as per usual. When we returned to our home, the strange human was standing at our door.
Despite my knowledge of how things would go, I barked at the human. They didn’t react, but my human sure did; with a fierce scolding, I’d say.
“Sparkles!” they said, as they yanked me through the door. In the moment that the door remained ajar, the strange human slipped inside. They moved their gaze between me and my human. When my human removed my necklace and my shirt, I sat and said no more. As darkness grew closer, so did my discomfort, as the human gently and soundlessly shuffled around the house. They seemed to be waiting.
The hours passed, and finally, my human decided that it was time for bed. I followed them into the room and laid down on my bed, which sat nestled in the corner of the room. The strange human shuffled around the room, and when my human laid down, so did the strange human who had plagued me so. It was not as if they laid down next to my human though, no; it was as if they laid down inside of them.
I tried one last time to gather their attention, and this time I did, but there was a furor in their eyes like none I had ever seen before.
“Sparkles was your name, wasn’t it?” My human said. “You’re going to shut your mouth, and we’re taking you to the pound tomorrow. I’ve always hated dogs.”
My human who was no longer my human pushed me out of the room and closed the door. I slept on the floor of the main room that night confused. I remained confused until I remembered something I heard one of the other dogs at my birth center say.
“Sometimes, a strange human-but-not-human will wander in and change your human forever. They will become vicious without warning. Do everything you can to protect your human, but ultimately, they have to decide to pay attention to you,” I was told. I guess I failed.
Story originally published by OFM (OUT FRONT Magazine) Find it here: https://www.outfrontmagazine.com/the-human-at-the-edge-of-my-yard/