A Day In The Life Of Toby

They have locked me out again. Everyone left for work, for school, for the spa, and not one of them thought to bring me with them. Not only that, they had actually locked me out of the house. Nobody trusted me after that salami incident, but ya know that was two years ago, I’m a different man now.

I sit down on the porch with a sigh, knowing I will be stuck here several hours before anyone comes home. I watch the squirrels for a while, they scold me like it’s THEIR yard and I have no right to it, the bastards. I hate squirrels. After a while I do my rounds; the raccoons had been back during the night, despite my clear posted warning on the fence post. MY yard. NO raccoons. They pay me no more heed than the damn squirrels. A man gets no respect.

A breeze kicks up and wafts city smells into the fresh cut grass of the lawn. It sure seems like more interesting adventures can be had elsewhere, so I decide to ditch my post on the back steps. The fence was much too high for me to climb, but there was one corner with just enough room for me to wiggle under. It got me very dirty, but if you’re gonna play hookie a bit of mud is a given.

I head down the road, one mile to Jessica’s place. She is kinda my girlfriend but we haven’t, ya know, DONE anything. She is a long legged blonde, and frankly a bit out of my league, but we grew up together so it isn’t awkward. I reach her back yard fence and peer between the cracks. I see her sunning herself on the lawn, and for a moment I am struck by her beauty. When did she grow up so much? Those curves, where did she get those? And the athletic ripple of muscle that could be seen even while she lay at rest, how long had she had those? For a moment I hesitate, feeling awkward of a sudden, and very aware of my dirty appearance. She is a lovely creature, had what her father called “good breeding”, something I most certainly did not have. The first time he saw us playing together he beat me off with a stick, like my mere presence could sully her good reputation. It was well-known that he planned to hook her up with Oscar when she came of age, another blonde well-bred pile of crap. Rich folk don’t care who their daughter chooses for herself, it is all about appearances with his kind.

Myself, I was adopted. My parents didn’t want me, brought me to the local institution for other unwanted get like me, and there I spent 2 years. I had gotten so tired of putting on a good show for prospective parents that when Steve and Allie came I just sat there and looked at them hopelessly. Go ahead I thought at them just keep on walking, nobody wants little Toby, I don’t have good breeding and nobody likes the scar on my face. Who wants a package of damaged goods? But they surprised me, and brought me home. I was so happy, I ran around the house inspecting everything. A real house! A home! I never dreamed there would be a place in the suburb for little ‘ol me. They had two boys and a girl already, so overnight I had inherited a family, me, the gangly brown haired kid not even my own mother had wanted. I was even willing to forgive them for having a cat.

I thought of that day as I looked at Jessica through the crack in the fence, and was once again grateful that the Johnsons had opened their hearts, for without which I never would have met such a lovely lady. I saw the big black SUV in the driveway and knew the old bastard was home, so I didn’t dare call out to Jessica. Instead I tapped lightly on the fence, and she looked over immediately. A smile bloomed on her beautiful face, and she stretched with an exaggerated casualness, made her way slowly to the fence. Hey I whispered Wanna go to the creek? Her answer was to turn away, heading back toward the house, and for a moment I thought she was ignoring me. Then quickly she turned, racing toward the fence like an arrow shot, those well-muscled legs pumping, blonde hair flying out behind her, she leapt the five foot high pine fence with six inches to spare. She had done it with such grace, every line in her body clean and beautiful, landing lightly in the clover next to me, and I was momentarily out of words. What are you looking at? Let’s go! She said with a grin, and raced into the woods across the road. I followed behind her with a bemused smile, what a gal.

When we reached the creek, both of us out of breath, we tumbled into the moss to wrestle. Chase me! Chase me! She called, and ran through the ferns. I ran after her, laughing, How did you jump that fence? I called after her. I’m just that good she replied with a toss of her head, and I laughed again.

We spent the day playing at hunting squirrels in the wood, stalking them from tree to tree and imagining that we were wild and free. When we got overheated we went back to the creek, sipping the cold, clear water and splashing after minnows in the shallows. Several times we heard her father calling through the trees, and she would look guiltily back for a moment, but was not yet ready to relinquish her freedom. It wasn’t until the sun had crept low on the hills that she finally turned to me, I should really go home now. She said reluctantly. I looked at her disheveled appearance and couldn’t help but giggle. She looked as ratty as I did, burs and leaves tangling her long hair, legs muddy brown, out of breath and panting. You look like a wild woman I said. She laughed and shoved me. My dad is gonna be SO mad at me, it’s all your fault. He’s right, you’re a bad influence. This comment hurt me, I didn’t want to get Jessica in trouble, and I didn’t want to be a bad influence. I’m sorry I said morosely, I wont come to your fence anymore if you don’t want me to. She looked at me for a long moment I enjoy our time in the woods, and I look forward to seeing your face peering through the cracks. Come anytime, Toby, I love you. She said this in a bashful way, planted a quick kiss on my cheek, and ran off toward home. I was on cloud nine, to be kissed by such a beautiful girl, and wondered what would happen NEXT time she leapt the fence. I smiled all the way home.

I was still grinning as I squirmed under the back yard fence, and was so preoccupied that I failed to notice Mother’s car in the driveway, and her standing on the back porch with her fists planted on her hips. “Well, look who decided to come home, did you go out and get Jessica in trouble? Her dad called me you know, I know where you’ve been. You should be ashamed of yourself Tobias, now you get your brown scruffy butt in this house right now, you need a bath.” I wagged my tail at her and gave her the cutest “aw shucks” look I could muster, which made her laugh. “Oh no you don’t.” She said, smiling “Don’t you give me those big brown eyes. Get in here.”

I obediently did my walk of shame all the way to the tub, but refused to feel contrite. I had best day of my life today, because the beautiful Jessica had kissed my cheek, and I simply couldn’t contain my joy. When Mother leaned in a bit close, I gave her my own sloppy kiss on the cheek, so grateful and full of love for the woman who picked shabby little Toby from his concrete cell at the shelter. She laughed and swatted me playfully, and it felt good to be home.



4 thoughts on “A Day In The Life Of Toby

    1. Thanx John, I’ve been thinking of this dog story for a while. I imagine Jessica as a pretty little golden retriever and Toby as a hound mix with big brown eyes. A while back I was at the doggie shelter here on the island and it was so hard not to come home with four dogs 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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