By the time I woke up, I was already in the crisp, sterile veterinarian office. My head still felt woozy, and the prodding hands only made it worse. The human, seemingly finished with his examination, removed the thin blue coverings from his hands to reveal the dark skin underneath. He took a look at me again, patted my head fondly, and stepped outside to talk to my humans. Their furless faces looked concerned, and the small human kept glancing at me. Maybe I’ve had too many steak bits, I thought to myself.
Days later, I was driven to a place far from home. I could smell the other dogs. Everything was so unfamiliar, but before long, I realized that we all had something in common. We were all fat. The female human led me up the brick steps, and another female human came out to greet us. She smelled like dog. My human dragged the conversation on and on, but it was nice to know that she didn’t want to leave me. Before long, she had run out of things to say.
I was left in that place full of dogs and humans that smelled like dogs. All of a sudden, the female human took out a carrot stick. If dogs could scoff, then I definitely did, but my stomach growled on cue and forced me to take the carrot. The human chirped out the familiar “good boy” and led me to a room down a hall filled with big machines. I had seen them before, on the “TV”. It always showed humans running on them, but I didn’t get the point since they never got anywhere. What’s the point of running if you’re stuck in one place?
I ran and ran, but not because I liked it. It was because there was a bone tied to a string right in front of my nose, but I couldn’t reach it unless I ran. When I was just about to exert the last of my energy to at least lick that bone, the human took it away and turned the machine off. Again, I pulled off a human face: the glare. I kept that glare on my face – using facial muscles I didn’t even know existed – until the female led me to another room where humans were prodding dogs in strange ways with their arms, hands, and fingers. Little did I know how good it would feel. Later on, I learned that this prodding was called “massaging”.
My life continued like that for a while, but I can’t say that I hated it. Some days, I went swimming, other days, I ate gourmet “healthy” dog food. I felt better and better, and the other dogs definitely looked better and better. Some days I would marvel in the mirror at the reclaimed definition across my leg fur. My handsome features returned to me and I held my head higher than ever before.
My departure came sooner than I expected it to, but being around my humans was comforting and familiar. They seemed so happy to see me that their cheerfulness was infectious. For the first time in a long time, I felt happy with myself.
At home, the older humans disappeared into the kitchen to prepare a meal, and the younger human dug out a frisbee. We traveled to the backyard, and I passed a healthy, fit golden retriever in the mirror. The small human threw the frisbee, and like old times, I ran after it with my ears flapping around and my tongue hanging a mile out. Time slowed, and I leaped to catch the disc in my mouth. All was well again.
This story is a continuation of Frisbee Days (part 1)
Words by Sophia Wu, Image by internet, Editing by Jon