This is from the canine chick lit novella, SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES. Talisman is a prissy, pampered show dog who has been mistaken for a cowdog and has to work on a ranch for the day. Her learning curve is, um, steep. She has just been herded by a flock of geese.
Herded by a flock of geese. I was totally mortified.
I lay down, rested my chin on my paws, and tried to stifle my whines. Life had been hard lately, and this was just the gravy on the meatloaf of my life. I closed my eyes and decided to go to my happy place.
I had once won Best in Show at Westminster. Me. Spiritsong's Lucky Talisman of DeMitri. I inspired, entertained, and was the best damn Australian Shepherd in the world at that moment. I did it for Val, and I did it for my breed. I was an awesome Aussie. I reminded myself I still was an awesome Aussie; I just had a learning curve to navigate.
Being a show dog had provided me many admirable qualities: discipline, spirit, charisma, and charm. Those in my profession were representatives of our breed, destined to pass on our special traits to future generations. I was proud of my accomplishments as a show dog, and I was determined to finish this day proud of my performance as a stockdog. It was in my genes and in my ancestral soul. I'd figure out a way to figure it out.
The sun was warm and I dozed—I dreamt of dancing with Val. He and I had a tradition of starting every single day performing our daily rousing celebratory tribal dance of success together. The ritual was designed to build our confidence and ready ourselves to face the day. We shook, shimmied, and pranced, and it really was rousing.
The dream image of dancing with Val shifted to dancing with Angelina. Angelina had already known a hard life, full of tragedy, and she needed all the celebratory confidence-building she could get. As I had told Maddie, Angelina was now my purpose in life. I needed to show her that she could rise above her circumstances and be more than she imagined. It was a lesson I hoped to help her mother learn too.
I dreamt that I was a show dog tragically mistaken for a cowdog, and I did such a heroic job that I inspired both Angelina and Molly. I had my very own ticker-tape parade down Main Street as a marching band played "We Are the Champions." People threw dog treats as I passed. It was glorious!
I woke up to find a tiny kitten nursing on my ear. It was a major letdown from the epic experience I had just been having.
I opened one eye and saw her clamped onto the tip of my ear, sucking away, purring her heart out, tiny paws enthusiastically kneading with eager hope of coaxing milk. Sky blue eyes the exact shade of mine looked at me adoringly. Her sweet-smelling fur had shades similar to my own hair—she could have been my daughter, if I had been a cat.
Geez, so what was I supposed to do now? I might be beautiful, but I wasn't heartless.
Before I could sort it all out, a really big Siamese cat leapt onto my bed, hissed at me, took a wicked slap at my nose with angry claws, grasped her baby by its scruff, and carried her away. Little Blue Eyes watched me all the way down the hay stack.
Ouch! My paw swiped the blood off my nose. This really was a dangerous place—the way things were going, I'd be lucky to get out alive.
Well, I certainly was wide awake now. I got up and stretched, then climbed down off my perch. Thirsty, I tried to figure out where to find a bottle of water. I had brought my own, but it was in the house. Perhaps Maddie had been able to explain things to Cheyenne, so I headed to check the situation out. I climbed up the porch steps and peered in the window.
Maddie was lying on the couch atop my super plush throw—she looked so clean. Was that a pink bow in her hair? It was the exact shade of pink as my nails and would have looked very nice on me. I raised my paw and tapped the window.
Maddie looked at me, leapt off the couch, and raced to the window. Her eyes were frantic. Get me outta here!
Let me in! I replied.
She stood up on her hind legs and started pawing at the glass as if she were trying to dig through it. So, I stood up on my hind legs and pawed right back at her. I really don't know what we hoped to accomplish, but desperation can cloud the mind.
"Stop that, Tali!" Cheyenne yelled. The cowgirl marched over to the window and gave me an irritated look. "Git, Maddie, you two had your fun. Go on now. It's time for Tali's lunch." She carried a bottle of my spring water in one hand and a bowl of my special kibble in the other—my organic turkey and sweet potato, apple, and cranberry kibble that Molly bought for me at The Back to Eden Tree Hugging Organic Granola Shoppe.
My stomach growled. I really wanted that kibble.
Cheyenne stuck the bottle of water under one arm so that she had a free hand with which to draw the drapes closed.