Hastings Moves Three Times in a Year, and Suffers Greatly

Let sleeping dogs lie. For when they wake, their sufferings at the hands of the humans begin. 
My dear, darling daddy and provider of food (though never enough) and I were both given writing tasks this week. I was thrilled to be able to finally set the record straight on my circumstances, so sat down with alacrity to tell you this tale of suffering. Dearest darling daddy has, understandably, due to the vexing tasks that are always before him, fallen behind on his post. It is my duty to fill in.

The Truth of My Life

I began writing this dispatch some time ago. I was being unceremoniously carted down the dock when a neighbor said “When I die, I want to come back as Hastings” I kissed her in an attempt to impart the truth, but she kept going “He just has the life of Riley”. Sigh. All humans seem to be inflicted by confusion about my life and the constant agony I endure. A full look at my sufferings would tax the comfort food section at Wal-Mart, so I will attempt to give only a partial look at the many trials and tribulations that I bear on a daily basis. It is my fervent hope that you will come to see what has previously thought as being “fun” and “adventure” is actually “bad times” and “extreme horror”. What you see as sufficient provisioning is scant and barely enough to keep a fly alive, let alone a 30 lb dog, who would prefer to be 35 pounds.

Wonderful, Glorious Air Conditioned House

We used to have a house. I didn’t know it at the time, as most lucky bastards don’t know what heaven is until they have been introduced to hell, but it was an oasis. This house had Air Conditioning. This is a wonderful invention that makes a house a normal temperature. In the way of my life, I have noticed that the long haired interloper (more on this later) is a miser. When visiting a dog friend, I became aware that most people use the amazing Air Conditioner to make their house cold. Wonderfully cold! Cold enough that the weak humans are enshrouded in blankets, but the quadrupeds are perfectly content.

In this world of my youth that appears to me now like a dream, a vision, the humans would entertain themselves by swimming in their pool. This caused me great consternation, and I would have to supervise. No splashing, no going under water, and they’d really be better off not to go in at all, but cool down by turning the air conditioner colder. After a requisite show of supervision, I could retreat to my house and pretend my humans were normal. I have an inkling that every once in a while, they went off on more worrying adventures, but I was upgraded to Grandma’s house where I was fed pizza and chicken, so that was OK. Grandma also had Air Conditioning at a normal level. How I loved Grandma’s house!

The Humans Sell Our House

Then one day, something happened. People arrived and moved our stuff, and we were in an apartment and not a house. I suppose if I was honest with myself, I had noticed changes afoot, but I had tried to ignore them. Months before, a bizarre pattern began. The phone would ring, the long haired interloper would march around opening blinds, turning on lights, and sweeping up. Then she’d gather me, and we would walk around and around the block, staring at our own house from many houses down. On good, blessed, wonderful days, she would put me in the car, turn the air conditioning on, and sit at the stop light. She’d mutter things like “What on earth are they doing there? It’s a house! It has a kitchen! Are they making tea?” I always thought this was funny. Poor long haired one doesn’t understand that this is America and we don’t drink tea. But, she is an interloper, and I’m sure has faced many trials that have affected her common sense.

We did this little ritual possibly hundreds of times. The person that would remain in the house while I was shuffled off said he’d never shown a house so many times with no offers. The Long Haired Interloper, aka, Miser in Chief, after much consternation, consented to turning down the air conditioning to a normal level, and voila, the next strange stage commenced.

Random people would turn up to the house and knock. Sometimes I would get shut in the bedroom and be forced to howl my extreme disapprobation at dangerous things happening without my obviously much needed supervision. I was right, of course, to be concerned. For some reason, my humans were allowing other humans to cart off our stuff. The dining table and chairs left. This seems foolish, for the humans eat there; however, if they are now going to eat on the floor with me, this does make my #1 mission in life (to eat more chicken) easier.

The guest room furniture left. This was greatly worrying. The arrival of guests meant the Air Conditioning was set to a normal level, and heaps of chicken were produced, and the guests were slow and stupid and would just leave their food, handbags and clothes out for me to rifle through and take full advantage of. No guest furniture: no guests: no little semblance of fun and excitement for this poor neglected dog.

We Move to an Apartment

The day which I have previously alluded to appeared, and we moved into an apartment. This is like a house, only you can hear the next door neighbors yelling at each other and you don’t have your own yard. I felt the loss of my yard, and with it my sense of freedom, keenly. But, as I still had air conditioning to comfort me, it appeared that I would somehow suffer through this injustice, as I had suffered through many previous injustices. I, at least, was afforded a balcony. As luck would have it, this balcony overlooked a dog park. Many happy afternoons were spent verbosely and intently supervising the goings on at the dog park. I, myself, prefer the company of humans (even though they are stupid) to dogs. Dogs never have handbags with jerky, and rather unceremoniously and constantly sniff at my bum. It’s humiliating for us both, and, frankly, unacceptable.

We Move to A Boat

I thought we would live in this apartment forever. However, the humans again had other humans too and fro, carting off all the remaining furniture. Are we poor and headed to debtor’s prison? What’s the food like there? Air Conditioning? One day I was put in the car and driven to our boat, Independence, and we sailed to a new dock. I never saw the apartment again. Never again did I take pleasure in admiring the somewhat sufficient quantities of food in the normal sized refrigerator. It’s unlikely that the dog park has survived without my supervision. Now I am faced with a constant, burning worry: how we will survive on the puny rations stocked in the pathetic refrigerator? My only consolation, and it is a small one, is that the food storage is at dog-eye level, and I am permitted by the oppressors to view it on occasion.

We fell into a less than acceptable, but manageable, routine. My humans decided to carry me all down our dock and back, as apparently it isn’t polite to pee in front of other people’s boats. The humans finally noticed my knack for management, and with 25 other (unnecessary) dogs, I became a manager at Day Care. There were 5 humans who needed daily supervision. My superior skills were noted, and I climbed through the ranks to become dog in charge. The humans I was in charge of called me the best. Of course, I was the best, so they were not giving me undue praise, but merely speaking fact. I was just glad that these humans appreciated me, unlike my humans, who really are quite hapless. You may be wondering why, if conditions were so bad, that I did not run away or go home with another dog’s humans? Stupid as my humans may be, I am attached to them, and I worry horribly that they would simply die without me. I have to remind them every night at 6PM to open the cold box and start cooking. I have to implore them to do basic things, like going on a walk, or getting out of bed. How would they manage without me?

More Change, More Suffering

Now, dear readers, brace yourself. Change is afoot. First, one of my "transportation to the grocery store where all good things come from" vehicles disappeared. Then the second one sold. How will we get groceries without these important retrieval vehicles? The humans kept saying goodbye to people. They kept saying things like, "Hastings will love it!" "Lucky Hastings!" Wait, I’m lucky? Are we moving to a chicken and cheese farm? How wonderful! All my pain and suffering has paid off!! Finally, these stupid humans have seen the light and found the way to happiness!

Now, dear reader, I imagine that you have eaten through all your brownies and chicken stores in solidarity with my woes thus far. I shall leave you to restock your provisions and brace yourselves for next week’s entry. I’d go ahead and get double the usual amount. You’re going to need it. I, myself, I’m off to bark at the fridge so the humans remember to feed me.

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  1. What a wonderful tale of sorrow and woe! Poor, Hastings. Hang in there, buddy.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    1. Thanks Stephanie. Dad's been making veggie chili for tonight's dinner, so things are off to a bad start today. Veggies are a waste of space! -Hasty

  2. Oh, Hastings, you poor thing! Don't worry, we've called the SPCA and they're sending someone out to rescue you and take away from all of the horrors that these humans have inflicted on you.

    1. Thank you! Now, what is the food and air conditioning situation at the spca? Will they send someone to look after the humans? They need a lot of help! -Hasty


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