It’s the first day of your life, you see the beautiful smile of your mother as she rubs her soft and warm fur across your face. You turn to your side and see a huge bubble bag with a pointy tube at the edge. You reach for it and feed on the life that you’ve been given. You drink this chance to live until you are full of life. So joyful, so tender, and so beautiful!

Those were happy times.

Times when you thought you and your brothers will live forever harmonizing upon the joys that were to be with each other. Living as if the days and nights were countless; being full of life! Yes indeed, those were the happy times.

Then came a day when everything that you thought would be forever was diminished by an exchange of your life for a few green papers handed to the man that your mother loved. I remember her crying, I remember her haunting as the master pulled me away from her breast.

“Mommy!” I shouted. She turned away and pretended to not know what was going on. She loved the master, he was her everything and so even when he pulled her son away from her tenders, she lowered her head and wiggled her tail and there came that whistle noise that she did. The same one she did the day they came in and took my sister. White fur, she was called. She had the sweetest touch and the biggest blue eyes, but all of that meant nothing to my mother as she raised her head to show her awareness but lowered it back and ignored the situation.

Those were harsh times.

She turned to look at me one more time but quickly turned to the master as he got on his knees to pet her head.
The man carried me in his arms and pet my fur as he softly spoke sweet words to me. At times he rubbed me across his face. I thought, “Is this my new mother?”.

He took me outside of the house, the house that I had come to love and appreciate with my brothers. Memories of joy and laughs surfaced as we walked by the backyard.
“You will now begin a new life son!” he said as he give me a kiss on top of my heard.
We walked into the new home, so different from the one I used to know, everything was so dark! He put me down and said to me, “Come on boy, don’t be afraid just go on and run along!”. I stood to face him as he lied on his stomach to face me. He wore glasses and had a pale face. His eyes were wide and he had huge teeth. I hated him! I turned and slowly walked away from him.

Those were sad times.

Before I could become unappreciative of his care and love for me, there he was feeding me milk. The milk was different, it was disgusting actually but I was hungry so I had no choice. He took me everywhere with him even in his sleep I was there. He cleaned up after me and played with me each day that went by.
As days went by I started to slowly forget my mother and forgiving her actions. I thought, “Maybe this was once her destiny, maybe even the journey that led us through her were in these steps. Maybe those were the paths that were drawn for our kind.

Anyway, those were happy times!

One day I came running towards a mirror, I hadn’t done so in a awhile and almost didn’t recognize the person I had become. My fur had changed, it was now darker. My tongue was a lot longer and my legs were a lot longer. I liked myself, I liked the way I lived, but things had changed.
When my fur was a lot lighter, my tongue a lot smaller, and my legs a lot shorter, he didn’t act at all. He just expressed what he felt. Then came the days when he would forget to pet me goodbye as he left the house, forget to feed me, and when he came home even pushed me away. Despite all of this, I still loved him. Why?
I remember my mother behaving the same way even when the master kicked her away. She would still wiggle her tail and make circles around him until he called upon her again. At the time, I wondered why she even bothered to care for him as mean as he was to her…now I understood.

Those were different times.

He was now a bit older I supposed since his younger brother would now pay attention to me. He was a nice human, but I didn’t care for him as much as my master. My master took care of me and protected me from the obstacles brought upon by life…well once.
He started to care for others like him. Many of them came by the house and the all would get excited about standing directly into the square box. I suppose the light that it projected did them some good. Sometimes I would stare into it but there was little to comprehend about it. It was just a damn box that lighted up. I would get close to him and rub my fur on him and he would push me away. Sometimes he would even take me outside and lock me in the backyard so I wouldn’t get anywhere near him. He would yell, “Vasco you stay boy! Stay!” I of course did as he wished. I would stay outside in the cold for hours and would often bark at a passant to keep myself busy. I knew they would eventually leave and he would love me again.
Just as expected, they would leave. They yelled, laughed and often kissed goodbye as they left the house. There he was, he would come along and get me out of the cage and lead me to the house where I would lay by him on the couch. There was very little to understand about our relationship as these moments did not last.

Those were awkward times.

I would sit by the terrace at times and wondered what I was missing most about life. My brothers…where were they? White fur, my sister with the big blue eyes, what had happened to them all? I had high hopes for them, I’m sure white fur was somewhere living a very satisfying life with plenty of children to remember her by. I wondered if they thought of me sometimes, I wondered if mother was still alive. As times went by in my sad and ordinary life, I realized that she didn’t have much to offer us but love. Her master complained about food already so she basically had no control over our lives. I still loved her and appreciated the times spent with her. I still tried to uplift myself and think that there had to be something more to my life than this. There had to be a moment were I was happy again!

Those were hopeful times!

There came one night that changed everything that I had based my existence on. You think you know exactly how your life will turn out to be and then you realize that you are wrong.

They came in a large group, master was very excited to see them all. The usual, they come in, sit down, order food, play video games, I get kicked out and then it’s another night. Actually, this time it was different, the night was different. This time it was special. I did my usual routine of being a nice dog and started barking in the front yard of the house.

“Vasco what the hell is wrong with you?” master asked and I sort of went into hiding.

“What the hell is wrong with YOU yelling at the dog like that?” asked a girl who was with them. I ran inside the house and they followed each other in.

“Oh shit I’m so excited yo, I’m gonna punish y’all man! I’m gon kill ya’ll niggas man!” said my master as I saw him shake their hands with excitement. They all proceeded to the same routine of standing in front of the lighting square case and played it for few hours. I decided to come out of hiding and see if anyone noticed me, wanted me around.

“What’s that?” asked one of the men.

“It’s obviously a dog sweet face!” replied the girl sitting beside him.

“Jay you have a dog?” asked the man.

“Eh yeah been had it for awhile now!” replied master.

“What the hell I love dogs! How come you never told me you had a dog?” asked the man.

“Because you never asked bitch now shut the fuck up!” replied master as he tried to concentrate on the box.

“Come here doggy, what’s his name?” asked the man.

“Vasco, his name is Vasco!” replied my master’s younger brother.

“Come here Vasco, does he bite?” he asked as I approached him.

“No but that fucker pees a lot!” replied master.

“Whatever, I’m sure he won’t pee on me!” he said as he picked me up.
As the others went along and played in front of the square box, he completely ignored them. He paid attention to me only, I had never been petted continuously for such a long period of time. I didn’t understand. Even as his conversation went by with the woman by him, he continued to pet me. It was the most fun I had in awhile with someone. I kept thinking that he would put me down and kick me away after awhile but he never did! I liked him. He brought his face towards mine and smiled at me.
“You know I had a dog once when I was a kid? His name was lucky, unfortunately he got hit by a car. The driver said the dog committed suicide by literally jumping in front the car. Can you believe that?” he whispers softly to me. “I wish you were my dog!” he said as he lied on his back and continued running his fingers through my fur. We both fell asleep in the couch, at least I did but I could still feel his hands sliding up and down slowly on my back.

“Hey man, you sleeping over right?” asked master. My eyes were closed and I was halfway still in my sleep but I could hear them.

“Well I guess…where is everybody?” he asked.

“Hmm…you mean while you were making love to the dog? Gone!” said master as he walked away.

“Bring me a cover I’m taking the couch!” he shouted. I realized that this was it, he was definitely kicking me to the curb to get his night of sleep.

“And you doggy, you’re staying with me!” he said as he lied comfortably on the couch and put me next to him.

“Here’s your cover bitch!” said master.

“Hold up motherfucker, are you taking about me or the dog?” he asked.

“The dog is a male…hey, what that on your shirt?” asked master. I thought, “Oh shit, fuck I wet his shirt, oh shit!”.

“What the…” he said as he sat up to check out his shirt.

“Stupid dog! Vasco get the fuck out here! Get out!” shouted master.

“No! Hey I remember now, I spilled some soda on it earlier. It’s not te dog, it’s me!” he said to master smiling.

“You sure man, because this dog…” explained master.

“It’s not the dog, he’s been a good boy the whole night man…this one’s on me!” he said giggling. I couldn’t believe it, why would he cover for me? Why was he such a sweet man? Why was he so kind and wonderful?

“Alright then good night. Vasco, watch yourself!” said master as he walked away.

He held me tight in his arms and pet me throughout the dark night even as he fell asleep. Every time he turned or found himself awake he would still pet me. I couldn’t believe the experience. My master and I had never had anything like this before, I felt the same way as I did when I was younger. My brothers and I would find ourselves lost between the sheets of my mother’s breasts and comfort around each other. Maybe it was my mother reincarnated, I’m sure she had to be dead by now. It had been many years since I left the house and her master complained that she was often sick. Maybe this was my mommy, or maybe these were the actions of a great human being completely different from my master.

Whatever it was, those were great times!

The day came and I woke up alone, no one by my side…he was just gone. I searched throughout the house all around. Upstairs, downstairs, then I saw the car he came in leave as my master waved goodbye. He had came in this same car with the woman who stood by him the whole night. He left without saying goodbye, how could he? After the night we spent, he just left! I thought I was his best friend, I thought he cared a lot for me. My master took a seat on the steps and I approached him but he didn’t pay me any mind. It was at that moment, that exact moment that I realized that we would never be the same again. He was an ungrateful and selfish bastard and I would stop trying and pretending to love him. I will not be made out the fool that my mother was, I shall rise up1

Those were very regretful times.

I waited and waited for him in the next days, I wanted him to come by and take me with him. I wanted to go away to wherever he was and be by his side. HE was now the new master in my life, Jay was just someone that I shared my living with.
Unfortunately for me he didn’t come as soon as I thought he would.
Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and months turned to years. Life went on, I thought maybe he had died. Maybe he and Jay were not friends anymore. Many of Jay’s friends came by about 4 years later and spoke barely of him. I did overhear one of them said that he was engaged to the woman he came by the house with and now they had moved to California. He said they had a dog.
Regretful times indeed my dear, as I knew that things would remain as simple as they were. Jay was now a man, he was past the age of 23. He had gotten me when he was just 17 years old. He had done nothing with his life and stayed in the house most of his days obsessing about the next time some friends would come over to play with the square box. His little brother had now moved out and his parents had died in a car crash a year ago. Times were tough for him and he regretted not doing many things. He missed his parents and cried at times but I was a bad dog. I never comforted him or wiggled my tail as he fed me. I took it personally; he took me from the warm breasts of my mother and so I was his responsibility. As times went by we ignored each other even more. My old days had started as well. I was beginning to feel weaker as I approached my tenth birthday.
We went to see the animal doctor and he told us that I had some tumor inside my head that they could not get out. I was sick, I was dying and he was still bitter at me. He never bothered to look at me even after the doctor told us the news. I was becoming weak at times with frequent headaches and spent most of my days sleeping. My days were numbered and I prayed that I would see his face once again…my real master! The one with the sweet eyes and large smile. The one with the tender hands and big heart, my true master! Where was he? Why wouldn’t he come visit?

Those were desperate times!

My tenth birthday came and instead of feeling sick, I felt better! Master took times out of his miserable life to actually walk me more, I guess he thought that any day now, my heart could just give up! He was wrong, the tumor had miraculously gone, I didn’t have headaches anymore. Funny thing was I didn’t even feel most things anymore which was a great thing! Whenever I accidently ran into the door, I didn’t feel the hurt, I knew that I was becoming young again. I wanted to be as healthy as I could if I was to see his face once again, I wanted to hold on a few more years.
27 years old, that was his age; many of his friends came by as they did every year and he tried desperately to look happy. He was depressed; his parents had a lot of money and he wasted life away from them when they were alive. When they died he realized what a worthless piece of human he was and blamed himself for it.

“Happy Birthday!!!” shouted everyone as master got a big hug from his younger brother.

“Hey where is Vasco? This is pretty much is birthday too you know? How’s that tumor going?” asked younger brother.

“Well he’s been great lately…he had it pretty bad at first but this year has been especially miraculous and he’s as great as he looks!” explained master.

“I don’t know man he’s pretty hot!” said younger brother as he pet me. “Have you seen the animal doctor lately?” he asked.

“Give me a break alright, the guy’s ten years old, looking great despite having a large tumor, what more can you…who’s that?” asked master heading towards the window. I didn’t care for anything at all, anymore guests of his. I knew that one day my master would come again and that would be the only time for myself to get excited about a guest.

“Is that Mike?” asked younger brother.

“Holy shit that is Mike!” shouted Master as he ran out the house. Dressed in a nice suit accompanied by his fiancee who looked stunning, Mike made his appearance after so many years.

“You fucking bastard!” shouted Mike.

“You little bitch!” said master excited to see his long time friend. People came by to say hello to the newbie and gave each other hugs and kisses. His fiancee and himself were very successful business people who had been making a great living in California. The party went on.

“Hey man, can you make you another drink?” asked Mike.

“Of course man, follow me to the kitchen.” replied Jay.

“So how have you been man?” asked Mike.

“Great! I’m starting to get pissed, I mean this is the 6th time you asked me that already.” replied jay.

“Why do I keep asking? I don’t know, maybe because you’re still living here!” said Mike.

“Well, it’s my parents house…” said Jay.

“Today is your 27th birthday, don’t you think it’s about time you moved out?” asked Mike.

“My parents died, what do you want me to do?” asked Jay.

“What you mother always wanted you to do Jay, get out and get a job!” replied Mike.

“I’m fine, I just need a little more time. Besides, why work when you have all of this money?” asked Jay.

“Jay you need to get a…” explained Mike.

“How are things with you and Angela?” asked Jay to change the subject.

“Switching subjects are we? Things are fine!” replied Mike.

“I heard you two are expecting!” said Jay.

“Do I look pregnant to you?” asked Mike.

“That was kinda lame but I’ll let it slide!” said Jay.

“Yeah, she is about two months in now…I’m taking off work for a year to spend time with her.” said Mike.

“A year? What about work?” asked Jay.

“I’m the boss Jay I can do whatever the fuck I want, besides, that’s why you have managers, supervisors, assistant managers, etc…” said Mike.

“Yeah you right daddy, and I wish you the best!” said Jay handing Mike his drink.

“Same here man, God knows you need it!” said Mike.

“Nah man, don’t worry about me!” said Jay.

“I can’t help it man, leaving here in the big ass house…by yourself? You need a woman man! Or perhaps…a man?” asked Mike.

“Fuck you man!” said Jay as the two laughed.

“Hey, all I need is a few more weeks and then I get a business started, I ‘ve got a few ideas!” said Jay.

“Yeah well as long as you do it outside this house man, it can’t be right brainstorming in here all alone.” said Mike.

“I’m not exactly ALL alone you know, I mean I still have my dog.” said Jay.

“You have a dog? Since when?” asked Mike.

“My dog, you know…Vasco?” asked Jay.

“Va…you still have that same dog? You mean to tell me he’s still alive?” asked Mike shocked.

“Yeah, Vasco is this year about ten years old now!” explained Jay.

“Oh man I remember that dog, I loved that dog! I wanna see him where is he?” asked Mike excited.

“Somewhere in here, look him up!” said Jay.

Mike rushed out the kitchen and started asking people if they had seen the dog. He looked everywhere until someone directed him to go upstairs. He rushed to every room until he saw the dog laying on the bed of one of the rooms. He slowly walked in and laid next him. He started to pet him softly.

“Vasco” I softly heard someone say my name and I turned to see and there he was. My master! The one I had spent all of my days waiting for, I wanted to jump with excitement but I couldn’t. The headaches had came back that same night and they were heavy. I didn’t want to waste any time and I went into his arms. He was still the same, he had that same large smile and I could hear his big heart thump loudly. His fingers were still as tenderly and his voice spoke but sweet words. I was glad he was there with me, I started to fall asleep in his arms but my eyes didn’t close up. I wanted to live life with him. I wanted to see him leave the house this time and I wanted to remember every detail of this day. The perfect day had come, I knew this was the one I had dreamed of that day when I was sitting on the steps. The day that I chose my own destiny, this is it. My prayers had been answers and so…I could let go.

“Hey sexy, what are you doing here?” asked Mike’s fiancee Angela.

“Sh! Remember the dog that used to be here?” asked Mike.

“No way, that’s him?” asked Angela.

“Yeah…he is the nicest dog ever, I mean you have no idea!” said Mike.

“Aw you so sweet! I’m the luckiest girl ever!” said Angela as she laid behind her fiancee to pet Vasco.

“Wow why is he so cold is he okay?” asked Angela.

“What?” asked Mike.

“Baby, the dog, is he okay he’s kind of cold!” asked Angela.

“It’s a dog and he’s sleeping!” replied Mike.

“Mike get up! Get up baby!” said Angela.

“What is it?” asked Mike as he watched Angela trying to wake the dog.

“What’s wrong, why is he not moving?” asked Mike. Angela keeps trying but the dog is hard and his bones seem frozen. Angela searches for a pulse but there is nothing.

“I think he’s dead.” said Angela moving away.

“What…what do you mean? How do you know that?” asked Mike.

“I’m a doctor Michael, I think I know when someone is dead or not!” said Angela.

“Yeah but this is a dog Angela, maybe we should call an ambulance or something!” said Mike distraught.

“He’s dead!” said Jay.

“How can he…” said Mike shocked.

“He had a large tumor in his brain, the doctor expected him to be dead two years ago. Any day now his heart would have let go!” said Jay.

“No, he was just fine, I held him in my arms and everything!” said Mike tearing up.

“Funny isn’t it, How he just now decided to die in your arms? Like he was waiting for you…I’ll get a bag.” said Jay as he walks away. Mike all teary looks at his fiancee before bursting into tears and crying. She gets close to get a hold of him.

Cry not good man with the big heart, the wide eyes and large smile, cry not for I have spent the best times of my journey in life with you. Those were great times. I hope to see you again in another life…MASTER!



Lcharles DeGreat

Silver Spring, United States

  • Artist


short story

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