The sky is purple. The air is sweet just after a summer rain. I’m chilling at Regatta Park with my friends like I always do after a long day of work. And I am so livid that I could turn my white curly hair red with rage.
That dog is here again.
That dog with the crazy eyes and determination to remove me from my position in the pack.
That dog that tries to steal all of my girlfriends and drink all of my water.
That dog’s name is Luigi and I find him even more annoying than the small green man that I used to see racing around my mom’s picture screen when she had friends over.
I'm Captain. Captain Puppy Barnes actually. But you can call me Captain.
I run things around here. Regatta Park is a district where other dogs come and go as they please, in peace and all in good fun. I am the acting sheriff of this here district.
And this sheriff doesn't sit or stay too well with lawbreakers.
Luigi has happened to break a couple laws these past couple days and I've played nice. Only giving warnings because I've had long days of puppy paperwork at Orange Umbrella and want to relax with my friends.
But enough is enough.
This guy has been a nuisance for too long and I simply won't stand for it.
Here he comes, all cocky with his vest that has obviously been in his closet since the days of his youth, 3 weeks ago.
He circles my pack with intention for not just my girlfriends but my bros too. My bros are tough though.
Hobie - my best bud that lives by the sea - has more than a relaxed attitude about the whole situation. He focuses on his frisbee report and ignores Luigi sauntering by. That guy is always bringing work home with him, so admirable.
Oscar keeps to himself except when he uses his exercise ball. He’s an exercise fiend, that guy. Despite his fluffy appearance, he is actually quite trim. He’s the biggest out of all of us so I trust he’ll have my back.
Luigi makes his way for my girl besties, Gidget and Olive. No. Way. Buster.
I circle around him and give him a resounding warning from deep in my throat. Yeah. That’ll tell him.
He isn’t phased. He just distances himself from the girls and walks towards a ball on the ground. Wait a minute, that’s my orange ball. This guy is about to be kibble.
Once more I howl at him, “Hey! Stop that!”
I’m ignored again. He walks towards my mother. That’s it. I’m triggered.
I set a stance right in front of him. “Go away.” I say sternly.
He stands his ground and shows teeth. Two can play that game, pal.
He doesn’t back down. He sinks deeper into the ground whenever I do and his growls are getting so loud, I can barely hear my own conscience telling me to be the bigger dog and walk away. I’m sorry Mom, I didn’t want to get violent in front of you but…
GROWL! SCRATCH! BITE! SNAP!
It’s on. We roll and tumble, trying to get our digs in where we can. He’s fast, but I’m strong. He tries to go for my jugular, but I scratch him with my perfectly manicured nails. He’s done. Before I can even finish him off, he’s lifted away - almost as if the universe was trying to make me question my values before turning this criminal into yesterday’s news...
He leaves with a human whom I’ve never encountered. I’m too full of adrenaline to say anything. I’m exhausted and a little ashamed. What is my Mom gonna say? I can’t even look at her.
“Good job Captain, you showed him!” I hear.
“Way to go buddy, you were so brave!”
“Captain, you saved the day!”
The pack floods me with cheers of approval. I’m relieved.
Gidget gives me a congratulatory kiss. Man, it’s good to be a hero.
I turn tentatively to my Mom…
“You’re such a good boy!”
Pure poetry. All is well again.
“Let’s go home, Cap. We have work tomorrow and you need your rest.” Yeah Mom, you’re right.
I say goodbye to the pack, walk Mom home, have a glass of swine (or two) and lay down on my fluffy bed.
Boy, wait till I tell the gang at Orange Umbrella about this.