A Dog’s Eye View on Golf

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‘A Dog’s Eye View on Golf’ is a work by Dashiell Doggett, as typed by Robert F. Bradford.

The General (as he calls himself since reading that every boy with a dog becomes Napoleon) took me on field maneuvers for the first time today. The Commanding Officer, as he calls the Alpha Female when she is out of earshot, has either deserted or given herself a furlough. This gives me an opening to pawnipulate the General with lonely big-eyed whimpering and implied threats of dropping a little present behind his chair if he leaves me on guard duty too long.

He took his bag of metal sticks out from under the back porch, put snacks for himself in the little pockets, and topped up what he calls the “birdie bottle” [he talks to me a lot, especially when the Alpha Female isn’t here, and I understand everything he says — I just usually don’t know what it means].

My job was to keep an eye on them to make sure we didn’t lose them in the gullies and woods into which they kept chasing a little round white thing

When the sticks come out, he always abandons me for half the day, or even longer on days when he comes back beer-stinky, but today I stood at perfect attention by the door to demonstrate my pretense of being fully trained and prepared for operations in the field. Then I whined and looked over at the corner behind his chair, so he relented and enlisted me in his expedition.

We rendezvoused with his pack, Tony and Steve. They smelled musty but hopeful. My job was to keep an eye on them to make sure we didn’t lose them in the gullies and woods into which they kept chasing a little round white thing. Whenever they caught up with it, they would beat at it with a stick, and it would skitter away – usually sideways. Then they would say bad words, usually in a growl, but sometimes in an explosive bark, and occasionally in a yip of pain.

It seemed we were on a hunt, and their talk of hooks and slices bethought me of meat, hung and carved, but it was just an imaginary safari, beating their way up a series of narrow fields, deliciously lined by trees, bushes, and flowers, until they surrounded a gopher hole with their little round white things, which they would then knock back and forth, criss-crossing the hole several times before finally making the little round white thing disappear. Then they would tell the General some made-up number, and he would make scratch marks on a little piece of paper.

Once the General saw that I had a profound grasp of our maneuvers, he unleashed me, and I was free to scout our flanks, decoding and posting numerous messages on the plant life – what we dogs call P-Mail. The General also introduced me to the spirit of a Great Dane named Rooster, who still hovers over the fields which he once patrolled in his servant’s cart. The General poured a few stingy drops from his birdie bottle (the only time it was opened all day) onto Rooster’s grave while muttering some arcane incantation.

He is utterly my creature – his emotions rest entirely in my paws – and he quickly apologized, unleashed me, and gave me a little crunchy treat.

At the end of the next-to-last field, he left me and his bag near the beginning of the following field and ordered me to Stay, but as he walked away, he didn’t keep turning around every ten steps and reminding me, like he is supposed to do. So naturally, I trotted over to encourage him, just as he failed to knock the little round white thing into the gopher hole, from a distance of about the length of my little stub of a tail.

This made him very angry at me – like it was me who missed the hole! – and he dragged me off by my halter, sputtering something about his “only blow-up hole all day.” Blow-up? The only thing I saw explode was him. He even snapped my leash back on, but that only lasted for about a minute, until I could subjugate him once again with my big mopey brown eyes. He is utterly my creature – his emotions rest entirely in my paws – and he quickly apologized, unleashed me, and gave me a little crunchy treat.

Back in the parking lot, the General scratched at his paper some more, and then told some big numbers, but he must have lost, because Tony’s and Steve’s numbers were much bigger than his, since they had done a much more thorough job of beating the bushes.
At the end of the day, the General complimented me extravagantly on my comportment and promoted me from Private to Private First Class, but I think that was just a psychological ploy to convince himself that he is really in charge.

P.s. I am thinking of writing an instructional book. He has dozens of them, but they don’t seem to help.

This is a guest post by PFC Dashiell Doggett, as typed by Robert F. Bradford. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

Dashiell Dogget’s vet guesses that he is some sort of herder, with a bit of Black Lab, and about 9-1/2 years old. He began life as a street dog in Taipei, Taiwan, but now lives a life of luxury in Sonoma County, California. He is working on a children’s book for split families called Dash Has Two Homes, and is seeking an illustrator with connections.

Robert F. Bradford’s plays have won two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards (Best Play, Fringe of Marin Festival), and been produced in New York (Midtown International Theatre Festival) and elsewhere. Stories have been published in The Raven’s Perch, Caesura, Strange Encounters, Pithead Chapel, Bohème Magazine, Wordrunner, SoMa Literary Review, Slow Trains Literary Journal, Coastline Journal, Carbon Culture Review, and Long Story Short. He is an Adjunct Professor of English and Humanities (Dominican University of California).

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