004 – Poodle at the Park

My humans come home to find me sleeping in my favorite spot on my favorite couch. I am not really supposed to be on the couch at all, but I’ve trained my parents well and they know that rules are not really my forte. They make a big spectacle of pretending not to notice while I slide off the couch and slink over towards my beautiful, unused dog bed; I make a big spectacle of stretching on the floor as though just waking up from a long nap on my bed. Many words of praise follow, and I offer my humans many slobbery kisses in return. Did I mention that I love my family?

I have been practicing my Basset-Gaze since I was a young basset. I’ve only recently learned that I am a spy from another planet, but I’ve always known that my soulful eyes possess some kind of magic beyond the human comprehension. It is a little bit hard to explain, but if you stare into a basset hound’s eyes long enough, your brain becomes very susceptible to ‘suggestions’. I’m not saying that I can control the human mind (otherwise I would eat ten steaks a day) – but if I could control your mind- I would tell you to keep reading.

Today I use the Basset-Gaze to convince my humans to take me to the dog park- it is not difficult to convince them, it’s a lovely day outside. I enjoy it when we all go together, our pack feels complete and we’re all happier after some exercise. The park is close enough to walk to from our house, not even ten minutes away, and my humans let me slowly sniff my way towards the park. Sniffing is my way of reading the local news, and I find everything to be satisfactory: the neighborhood dogs are all smelling well, and the local wildlife is keeping to their territory.

The dog park is one of the most amazing places in the whole wide world. Humans bring their pets of all shapes and sizes, and we all get to romp off leash with the grass under our paws and the sun on our backs. My first order of business is to mark my territory at the front gate- it’s a constant battle with so many different dogs visiting the park, but I always like to stake my claim. Now that I am a spy from another world, territory marking may be a little unnecessary, but old habits die hard.

I expect to see my Commander. I’ve practiced delivering my first flight report for such an eventuality, but my Commander must have opted for an afternoon nap instead because I do not see him anywhere. My humans encourage me to go off and play, and with my duties forgotten I begin frolicking with the normal dogs.

One of my favorite games is to chase after another dog’s ball (it’s so much more satisfying than chasing my own ball), and I do this for a little while to run off some excess energy. I very rarely catch the ball before the other dogs do, basset hounds are not known for their speed, but the diversion is very satisfying. Everyone at the park smiles at my wild abandon, and I know my humans are pleased to see me having so much fun.

At last, I locate the long, leggy husky that I’ve been crushing on lately. Her fur is a gorgeous shade of grey and I’ve dreamed of doing naughty things to her, if only I could catch her! As a general rule, huskies are fast and aloof, but this girl is especially fast. Some days she slows down a little, so that I can almost catch up to her, and I get a glorious whisk of lady husky- but today she is on a mission to tease me. I spend about ten minutes trying to chase her, sneak up on her, and cut her off, but eventually I decide that she’s in a bad mood and is not worth the trouble today. Tomorrow, she’ll be fair game!

I am heading back to my humans when, out of nowhere, a giant white poodle crashes into me. I am knocked over and stumble a little before recovering my paws. We exchange a few hasty butt sniffs and I’m about to continue on my way when she growls to me, ever so softly,

“Beware the Doberman.”

I must be rattled from our collision, because I can’t even form the words to reply and ask her what she means before she is gone.

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