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Toby & The Door
American Dog #10
© 2023 James LaFond
Toby huddled by the door his uncaring master in his cushy, cozy bed.
Benny Bear left in the night, for love minus the bacon, Toby assumed, as he was uninvited.
Smooka Bear was in his room, headset on, conquering some planet of the violent apes or another.
James was snoring in the back bed room.
Granny was asleep in the chair.
Mamma Bear sang in her musical voice, “Mamma, time to go to bed,” and gently ushered the elder ape into her cozy wing of the house, where cats and dogs were not allowed.
“Bisquick, bad cat!” muttered Mamma Bear as she hauled the mother cat past Toby, opened the door with one smooth, apish motion of the elongated paw, and tossed out the feline malefactor.
Mamma Bear was soon off to bed with the lights out, all except the great light on the pole that glared above the flagpole on the other side of the house.
Toby shivered as the wind howled down off the mountain. Then, his blood quickened and his heart raced as he heard Izzy and Amos in the distance chasing coyotes out towards the mule field and up the mountain. A vision of Toby, as big as a truck, as black as the night, growling like the tractor that hauled the mules their hay, out in front of the pack, infused him with a thrill, raising the hackles on his back.
“Forget it, Dark One, the humans will betray you,” came the low, cruel voice of Annie as she loomed a darker shadow of night before him.
Toby covered his ears with his paws.
Annie rubbed his snout with her head, “Mamma Bear forgot to stoke the fire. Move over, I need warmth.”
Toby lay his head over against the wall and Annie climbed into bed with a purr and they fell asleep together…
A troop of Coyotes, all dressed in gray and saying “Here nig-nig-nig” as James Chosen assured him was the case, that Cedar Mountain was the last bastion of the CSA, tracked Toby through the woods of dreams.
‘Izzy, Amos, where are you?’
Toby skulked off as Captain Raccoon, his head blown half away, his four legs a rattle of hairy bones, scampered after him, ‘How does it feel, traitor!, House Dog!! Slave!!!’
Toby ran up and over the mountain, sure that his four feet would carry him far, and there they were, three towering, slanty-eyed devils, bigger than houses, taller than trees, sharpening great knives as they eyed him with more hunger than a fat human at dawn!
One great knife came down with a gleam and pricked Toby’s nose and he woke, looking into Annie’s evil eyes, “Ouch,” whined Toby.
“I am sufficiently warm. You have served your purpose and I overheat. Out on the cold floor, Black Dog.”
Toby slunk out of ‘his’ bed as tiny, cruel Annie stretched out and flexed her claws and yawned and said, “If only you could open that magic human door there that one sees through, I could slay that shrew over by the downspout, might even eat the wounded humming bird alive that yet survives clinging to the useless tree there.”
‘Then I could have my bed back,’ thought Toby.
“And,” intruded the incisive voice of Mamma Bisquick from the other side of the see-through sliding door where her eyes glowered yellow in the night, “you might also rectify the injustice that has so recently been heaped upon my being.”
Toby became animate with power, his big dog brain expanding like the sun at the noon hour, “Tobias, friend of you cats, does this thing for you,” and with a mighty crouch, and a steely dew claw, Toby bent to his task as Captain Coon had demonstrated, now that he was damn near a grown-ass dog, and he pulled, and pulled and it budged, opened a little… then a little more, then it slid free and clear and Bisquick paraded in as Annie embraced the night, “To kill before the bad sun brings the bright!”
Bisquick went over to Granny’s chair and leapt up there.
Toby recalled that humans shut this door and, feeling the cold gush in, wished he could and tried, but to now avail. The dew claw was just good for pulling. Pushing set it ajar and hurt it.
One day, as the bright of winter day gave slowly way, James Chosen rode down the driveway, something that Toby could hear before the humans. As usual, he began to bark, “James is Home, bringing food! Hugs, kisses, ear scratches and melted cheese!”
This generally brought an admonishment from Mamma Bear as Granny cringed in her chair and Mamma rose to let Toby out to greet his master.
But Mamma Bear was tired and trying to clean up a mess made by Benny’s filthy plumbing pants and simply whined, “Awe, Tobes, he’ll be through the door soon enough.”
Toby whined and Annie aimed a thought at his mind, “Idiot Dog, Black slave of men, open the door for yourself! Do something, anything other than whine and beg for human condescension.”
Mamma Bisquick squinted, drowsy in the afternoon, “Wicked child of mine, construct more useful thoughts for our idiot ally—like so.”
“You know I can hear you talk about me, right?” mentioned Toby.
“Of course,” yawned Bisquick, “but your perception is unimportant except in that it serves our desires.”
“You know I’m bigger then you, right?”
Annie tapped five of her claws upon the wrought iron chair back, “And who owns the night, black dog of men?”
“Just sayin’ alright. What, what do I do?”
They spoke as one, “Open the door for your precious human! Rush to him eagerly! Pretend you care!”
“Wow, wow, you cats are the best,” barked Toby, as he ripped open the door and charged out onto the porch and, and… ‘Oh, this bad!’ and he simply could not stop on the icy wooden porch and skittered with a scraping of paw nails out over the icy asphalt and into the crystal covered grass.
James Chosen ran to him, “My Bobo Animal! I thought that was you opening doors, but Mamma blamed it on Benny. Come here, Bobo,” and James lifted him out of the icy grass as the two cats sat cipher like on the porch and yawned…
Bisquick: “I advised you that the footing is not optimal for clean killing.”
Annie: “Mother, the demonstration of hapless canine flight was of interest. But I am no dimwitted dog,” and she leapt like a fiend for the wooden roof post, leapt across to the other, at the height of a man’s face and then back-flipped up onto the icy roof.
James Chosen hugged Toby and set him down, regarding the cats, “Evil Puddies, stop getting my Bobo Animal in trouble!”
The cats vanished as they are want to do when under the scrutiny of the Wielder of the Vet and Toby barked, “Bacon—bacon and eggs!”
“Mamma,” offered James as she flung the filthy pair of pants out the washroom door, “Toby can open doors!”
To this news she muttered, “Then maybe there’s hope that our son will learn to clean his filthy work drawers!”
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