tagNovels and NovellasEarth Day is the Name of My Dawg

Earth Day is the Name of My Dawg


This is a Earth Day contest story. Please vote.


A man and his dog have an Earth Day tale to tell, but now with a happy ending.

This is my dawg, Earth Day. Yeah, I know, she's a little funny lookin', but I love her just the same. Man's best friend, I'm never without my dawg. She goes ev'rywhere I go.

"Woof," barked Earth.

"She's a good girl. She's a good dawg."

She likes it when I rub her head like this and ev'ry time I lean down to pat her side, she licks my face. See? Oh, yeah, she's a face licker and if she was smaller than the 130 pounds that she weighs, she'd be a lap dog, too. She's always tryin' to get up on me, but she's just too dang heavy.

Yep, Earth Day is her name and this is her story. It's a true story, but you don't have to like dawgs to like this story, no Sir. It helps if you like an'mals, though, whether it's dawgs, cats, or horses, it don't matter none. Likin' an'mals will help you to relate and to apprec'ate my story. With all them unwanted an'mals in the world, it's uncommon for an'mals to have a story with a happy endin' but this story has a good one. Score one for the an'mals over the humans who mistreat them.

Ev'ry time people ask me 'bout my dawg, 'specially her name, I tell them it's Earth Day. Always, when I tell them her name, they ask me the same dang question.

"Roy," being that's my name, "how'd your dawg get that name?"

Even if I tell the story a hun'red times, they ask me to tell the story again. I reck'n they must really like my story.

"Roy, tell them how Earth Day got her name," they ask me over and again.

Then I tell them again how Earth Day got her name. Maybe 'cause it's such a good story, even if I told the story b'fore, they ask me to tell the story again, 'specially if we've had a few drafts at Big Bubba's Bar and Barbeque, and 'specially now that the story has a happy endin'. Yes, Sir, all folks love a story that has a happy endin'.

Now that the story has a happy endin', those who haven't heard the happy endin' and who weren't in town to see the happy endin', when it happened, want me to retell them the whole dang story all over again, from the beginning, as if it just happened. Tarnation. We have a lot of an'mal lovers in town and they all love Earth Day's happy endin' and I do, too. The only one who likes the happy endin' more than me is Earth Day. She loves the story now with the happy endin' we have and she always listens to it, as if hearin' it for the first time.

"Don't ya, girl. She's a good dawg. Okay, okay, I'll rub your belly, but I have to tell ev'ryone your story first."

"Woof," barked Earth.

"Good dawg. Good girl."

See? She's waggin' her tail. She loves it when I call her a good girl, just as much as she loves it, when I rub her big ol' head. Always, she gives me a face full of dog spit, but I love the affection she gives me. I don't know what I'd do without her. She's my dawg.

To be honest, I got so tired of tellin' the same dang story that I figured I'd put it to paper. Yet, no matter, even when I handed them my story to read, I still ended up tellin' the story anyway. They don't want to read the story, they want me to tell them the story. It's not the same, when they read the story, I guess, maybe 'cause most folks 'round here don't read so good and/or don't like to read. Besides, I left out some of the good parts, when I wrote it. Writin' doesn't come as nat'ral to me as talkin'.

I reck'n, in the way that I get excited, when I'm tellin' the story, talkin' with my hands and with all my facial expressions adding to the story, my excitement doesn't show through when they're readin' the story, which may be why they'd rather I tell them the story. Besides, I'm better at tellin' somethin' than writin' somethin'. Like most folks 'round here, too busy with other things, than readin' and writin' and cipherin' for that matter, I don't rightly know how to write so good anyway. Yet, people love a good story 'specially one that has a happy endin' and 'specially people who love an'mals.

No matter where I go, 'specially if I see someone who's heard me tell the story b'fore, but they're with someone who's never heard me tell the story, they stop and ask me to tell the story.

"Roy," said Slo Joe. They call him Slo Joe 'cause he does ev'rythin' at slow speed, 'specially makin' love and the women love a man who has a slow hand and an easy touch. "This is my cousin Jasper from outta town," he said lookin' around, as if watchin' for his wife, which I reck'n he was.

"Hi Jasper," I said shakin' hands with her and not believin' for a minute that this young, pretty, little thing was really his cousin or that her name was really Jasper.

Knowin' what the rest of his kinfolk looks like, he'd have to think me a fool for me to think that he has such a pretty cousin. Besides, I've met all of Slo Joe's kinfolk and he never mentioned he had a cousin named Jasper, 'specially one so good lookin'. I wonder if his wife knows Slo Joe's kin is in town.

The least he could do is come up with a better name than Jasper. Jasper is a man's name and not a name befittin' such a good lookin' woman. Ain't no one in town gonna believe that Jasper is his cousin, 'specially with Slo Joe's rep'tation for foolin' 'round with women and cheatin' on his wife, but don't get me started. That's another story for another time.

"Tell us the story, Roy, 'bout how you and Earth came together," said Slo Joe. "I've been tellin' my cousin, Jasper, 'bout Earth but, now that she sees the dawg with her own two eyes, I wouldn't do the story justice comin' from me."

Even Earth Day loves it when I tell her story, 'specially now that she has the happy endin'. Ev'ry time, I tell her story, she just lies at my feet and listens, as if this is her first time hearin' her story and as if she understands ev'ry word, which I think she does. She's a smart dawg.

"She's a good dawg," I said rubbin' her big ol' head again and leanin' to pat her side, while gettin' ready for another face lickin'.

They never tire of me tellin' that story and ev'ry time I tell it, the story gets longer and better. Tellin' someone the name of my dawg and how she got that name always gets me to talkin' and them to listenin', 'specially after I tell them that 'cause of my dawg, Earth Day is my favorite hol'day, too, even better than Chris'mas.

Most folk 'round here don't even know that there's a hol'day called Earth Day. Well, maybe 'cause it's not a real hol'day, where we get the day off from work and go to our kinfolk's house to eat, drink, dance, fight, and eat and drink some more, b'fore we all pile in the back of the pickup and head home. Hol'days 'round here are always a good time. Not much else happens worth talkin' 'bout, 'cept for when that stranger came to town, which is now a big part of my dawg story and the reason for my happy endin'.

Yes, Sir, b'fore that fella came to town, not knowin' how my dawg got in the predic'ment she was in, when I found her, I just had a story of how I found my dawg and why I named her Earth Day. My story always felt as if it was an unfinished story and a story that needed an endin', 'specially a happy endin'. I love a story that has happy endin'. Well, now, because of that stranger, my story is complete with a happy endin' and this is Earth Day's story.

So, there I was mindin' my own business and sittin' out front of Harley's General Store, which is what I norm'lly do at this hour of the day. I'm a people watcher and being that Harley's store is in the center of town, I get to see people comin' and goin', mostly the same people, mind you, the town folk. Harley even built a wheelchair ramp, just for me, so that I can sit up here on his porch, instead of out in the street in front of his place, which is where me and Earth Day used to sit b'fore.

For sure, now that I have the ramp and can get up on the porch myself, I see more sittin' up here, than I ever did sittin' down there. B'sides, a few times, I nearly got runned over with people not payin' attention and not seein' me and Earth Day sittin' there in the street in front of Harley's General Store, which is another reason why Harley built me this here ramp. Not to mention, he was tired of lugging my chair up the steps, ev'ry time I wanted to go in his store to buy whatever I was needin' and haulin' me down the steps, when I was fixin' to go home.

"Hey, Harley, can you give me a lift up them steps?"

Harley ain't as young as he used to be and now with his bad back, I guess he figured with all the handicap laws, even though I'm the only handicapped person in town, this was a good time as any to build a wheelchair ramp. He also put one of them handicap signs out front for me that he made himself on the computer. It's not an official city sign, of course, but it looks like the real McCoy and will do for now.

The parkin' space is a blessin' on those rainy days, when I drive my truck to town. It's real conven'ent parkin' my truck in front of his store. To be honest, I hate crossin' busy Main Street. With all them trucks we've been gettin' in town lately, sometimes, they don't see me in my chair and Earth walkin' beside me crossin' the street. Trust me, I'd rather have somethin' happen to me than to my dawg. I'd be lost without my dawg.

"She's a good dawg. She's a good girl, aren't you Earth?" She just loves it when I gives her attention and affection.

We're too small of a town to have a traffic light. The town council is takin' that up for another vote at their next meetin', but it always gets turned down with somethin' else more important that needs fixin'. Like ev'rything else, it will take for someone to get runned over, b'fore they install a traffic light. Now, with my wheelchair ramp, my handicapped parkin' space, and my handicapped parkin' sign, there's less of a chance that it will be me and Earth gettin' runned over. Still, since I knowed ev'ryone in this small town, I'd hate to see anyone get runned over.

The old folks in town would never think to park in a handicap spot just 'cause they're old. The old folk 'round here don't think of themselves as being handicapped, just 'cause they're old, in the way that people who live in the cities think themselves handicapped, just cause they're fat. The old folks in our town are doers, not sitters, talkers, and thinkers. After they've finished their chores, there's always plenty of time left for sittin', talkin', and thinkin'.

Even old man McGregor, over 80-years-old, doesn't consider himself handicapped and his Dad, elder McGregor, who's over 100-years-old, would never think to park in my handicap spot, whenever he drives his truck to town. No siree. By lookin' at him, you'd never think he was over 100-years-old. He looks 80-years-old and his son looks 60-years-old but it's interestin' to listen to them talk about how better the town used to be way back then, a time when there were more horses than cars. Actually, we all knowed diff'rent, that the town is better now, but old folk don't like change much.

Sometimes Earl parks his truck in my handicapped spot and, even though no one uses the space but me, Harley gets all riled up about Earl parkin' in my handicapped space, when the only handicap he has is that he's as dumb as a stump.

"Okay, okay, Harley. I'll move my dang truck. I forgot you put up that dang sign just for Roy. Tarnation, it doesn't seem fair. I don't rightly know, why he gets a special place to park, when the rest of us don't. I buy more stuff in a day from you than he buys from you in a month."

"Because Roy's in a wheelchair, you fool," said Harley.

Even though they're best of friends, they have the same dang argument ev'rytime Earl comes to town.

Anyway, I was relaxin' there with Earth, the nickname I gave to my dawg, so's I don't have to be so formal with her and call her Earth Day ev'ry time I refer to her and/or call her, when a wind blew up a big cloud of dust and dirt. I've been 'round long enough to know that nothin' good ever comes from the wind blowin' up a dirt cloud, prob'bly where the sayin' came from 'Look what the wind blew in'.

The wind scared a cat and she scampered by us. It was a good thing I had a hold of Earth's leash and had my hand brake set on my chair, otherwise she would have bolted and tore off after that dang cat, while draggin' my wheelchair behind her. Oh, let me tell ya, she's done that b'fore, 'specially when she sees a cat. She's a big, strong dawg and for a big dawg, she's fast. Without doubt, she would have caught that cat and gnawed on her some, before I'd have to tell her to let go of the cat. Ev'ry time she catches a cat, I tell her the same dang thing. It's just a silly game she plays with cats. I don't want Earth to hear me say this, but I think she secretly likes cats.

"Ya can't be gnawin' on cats, Earth. That cat is someone's pet," I said. Cat people wouldn't take kindly to a big dawg gnawin' on and slobberin' all over their cat. It's okay. You're still a good dawg."

I always rub her head and pat her, after I scold her to let her know that she's still a good dawg. Then, she licks my face to let me know that we're still best friends.

With the retriever in her, she more likes chasin', catchin', and fetchin' things and bringin' them back to me, rather than eatin' them. Don't get me wrong, she'll chow down on somethin', if I tell her it's okay to chow down, but she won't chow down, 'til I tell her to chow down. See, now that I said them words, chow down, she's lookin' at me thinkin' I'm gonna give her somethin' to chow down on. Good thing I have a big dawg cookie in my pocket to give her.

"She's a good dawg. She's a good girl. Wanna cookie, Earth? Sit. Good girl. Speak."


"Good girl. Watch this. Here ya go, Earth. Here's your cookie."

Okay, you can eat it. Go ahead. It's okay. See that? She takes it, holds it in her mouth, and looks at me. No matter what I say, she won't bite down on that cookie, 'til I give her the chow down command.

"Okay, Earth, chow down."


See that? It's gone in one bite. Now what dawg would hold a cookie in her mouth and not eat it, 'til I give her the chow down command? I've seen a dawg balancing a cookie on their snout, but never one holdin' a cookie in their mouth and not eatin' it, while waitin' for the chow down command.


"She's a good dawg."

I always rub her head and pat her, after I tell her she's a good dawg, while waiting for her to give me a lick. It's a game we play.

Never mind all that, the truth of the matter is that she hates cats, as much as I distrust strangers. I closed my eyes and put my hand over Earth's eyes, too, 'til the wind passed. When the dust and dirt cleared is when I saw that stranger pullin' up in his truck. Just as the sayin' goes, 'Look what the wind blew in', I thought of the sayin' 'Look at what the cat dragged in', after that spooked cat ran by us and that stranger appeared out of the dust cloud, almost at the same time.

He pulled up in an ol', Dodge, white pickup truck that was all dented and rusted. Since I hang around Harley's most ev'ry day, 'cept for those days when I'm feelin' poorly or the weather is foul, I'm good at readin' people and their cars and trucks. It's what I do. I read people. Part of readin' people is by the veh'cles they drive and by how they treat an'mals, cats, dawgs, horses, and chil'ren.

Sorry, I don't mean to insult an'mals by callin' chil'ren an'mals. As you can see, never havin' had a child of my own because of my industr'al accident, when I lost my legs, I love an'mals, always have, always will, 'specially dawgs, more than I do chil'ren, 'especially bad, spoiled chil'ren. Don't much like a kid who disrespects their parents, 'specially in public. Even now that I'm a growed man, my Dad would take a switch to my behind if ever I disrespectin' him, 'specially in public.

"Boy, you'd better not be disrespectin' me or I'll light a fire on your ass with a switch." That's what my Daddy always says and he means it, too. Even now with me being legless and in a wheelchair, he'd still take me to the barn by my ear, if I ever dared disrespect him.

Yep, for sure, I'm more a dawg person than I am a kid person. I'm a sucker for a dawg, 'specially big dawgs. I don't have much use for those little ankle bitin' dawgs, which is how I came by Earth. Anyway, from my experience, don't rightly know why, but Dodge owners are nothin' but trouble capital T-R-U-B-E-L. Just my opinion, of course, mind you, and I've learned that my opinion, much like a bucket with a hole in the bottom with my hand over it, don't hold much water for anyone else but me.

I'm partial to Chevy's and GMC trucks myself. Ford makes a damn good truck, too, but I never took a likin' to a Dodge or to a Dodge owner, 'specially a Dodge pickup truck in such poor condition as was this one. There's just somethin' about Chrysler cars, Dodge trucks, and Chrysler people that I learned not to trust. Chrysler used to make Plymouths, too, and I didn't like them none neither. I'd take a Mustang any day over any Chrysler car. I can recognize the sound of a Mustang a mile away. Makin' all the right noises, there's not another car that growls like that, 'less it's one of those fancy Italian Ferrari cars.

Never havin' had a Chrysler product myself, I dunno why I dislike that brand of veh'cle so much, but I do. Maybe 'cause a lot of rental car companies rent Chryslers and a lot of travelin' salesmen drive Chryslers, which is how Becky, my friend Seth's daughter, got pregnant by one of them travelin' salesmen. He stopped by the barn to ask directions and one thing led to another and he deflowered Becky.

Yes, Sir, that was a sad day with people talkin' 'bout that city slicker comin' to town and suddenly disappearin' in the way he did. Seth swears up and down that he never took his shotgun to the fella and I believe him. They even had the state police draggin' the swamp, but they never found that fella. If you ask me, tryin' to sneak outta town without his car at night and not rightly knowin' the area, he fell in with the pigs and the pigs ate him. Those dang hogs will eat anything, even a travelin' salesman that drives a Chrysler.

The men folk 'round here don't like it much when a stranger takes a likin' to their daughters. Seth had a solid alibi and the Sheriff believed him, too. He said he was playin' cards with Earl, Henry, and Walter, when that travelin' salesman went missin', and they all swore to that on a stack of Bibles, but don't get me started on that story. That's another story for another time.

Speakin' of hookin' up with a woman, one time, years ago, b'fore I lost my legs, I hooked-up with a fine lookin' blonde women with tits as big as her heart and a smile as contagious as her blue eyes were mesmerizin'. She was a real looker, too, yes sir, and I was dumb to let her get away. Now that I'm confined to this wheelchair, she wouldn't want me none anyway, now that I don't have legs, don't even have a job, and can't sexually satisfy her, in the way I once did.

Yet, knowin' what a truly good woman she was, it wouldn't have bothered her if I had no legs and no arms. She'd love on me just the same, as she saw the man from the inside out and not from the outside in. I can't help but think that maybe my life would had turned out for the better with her in it. She was a good woman and, always with a tickle, a tease, and a kind word, she was good at puttin' a smile on my face ev'ry day I was with her.

Anyway, my point is that she drove one of them Chrysler minivans. She was intelligent, funny, and she could cook, too. She cooked me up some fine vittles and me and Earth were eatin' real good, all the while she was here stayin' with us, that is, until she left and returned back home to her kinfolk. It was my fault she left. I take full respons'bility, after she found me drunk and in bed with my neighbor, Sue Ellen. Even though it was my fault she left, it wasn't my fault I was drunk. Sue Ellen brought over a batch of shine that she had just cooked up and I lose my mind on shine. I don't rightly remember one day from the next, when drinkin' shine.

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bySuperHeroRalph© 2 comments/ 10266 views/ 1 favorites

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