“What was the Best Time of Your Life?”
Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

A TGB READER STORY: Furry Manipulation

By Karpagam “Jeeks” Rajagopal

It is a near-perfect day, with a benevolent sun and a gentle breeze riffling the surface of the pond. A couple of hundred geese mill about on the shore, perforating the ground with their beaks.

A tattooed young man carries a Frisbee as he walks his dogs off-leash. He seems torn between tossing the frisbee for the dogs and finding someone with whom he can play. One of the dogs is a rambunctious golden retriever, the great weather a catalyst that kicks his natural exuberance into high gear.

He does his business on the grass, and earns a “Good boy” from his dad who bends down to scoop it with a plastic bag. He is fit to explode with pride at his accomplishment and a gleam appears in his eye.

While his dad is distracted, he spots the geese and the progression of his thoughts is evident. He charges down the gentle slope towards the smallest gaggle of geese, convinced that even the landscape has every intention of enabling his escapade.

Warned by their lookout, the geese take flight in an explosion of feathers and squawks, indignantly levitating and splashing down in the water. I hear his dad telling him, “Don’t go in the water”, and he reins himself in, braking hard on the verge, caught on the wings of this dilemma.

The gears are clicking fast as he assesses his distance from his dad and the expanse that separates him from the remaining scores of geese. He sees a shining opportunity and seizes it. He runs headlong towards them, euphoric, his fur flying, his tongue a pink flag declaring his exultance. Almost as one, they take off en masse as he chases them into the pond.

This time around, he doesn’t even pretend to stop. He splashes in with abandon, paddling after the geese. Heedless of his dad’s whistles, he tries to herd them to the center of the pond. Now that the geese have quieted down, he can clearly hear his name and the command to return to shore.

Reluctantly, he turns around and it is clear that his heart is not in it. Or maybe he is using the time to strategize. Even though there is no current to battle against, he slowly makes his way back to shore, sodden and chagrined.

As he emerges from the water, it is clear that he knows what to do. He skulks out, tail drooping, the very image of abject chagrin, regret and apology. To see him you would think he had been forced into the pond under duress. He shuffles towards his dad, trying to ingratiate himself by crawling on his belly.

A few feet along, he can sense forgiveness and the change in his posture is so marked as to be unrecognizable. He has realized that apology is far better than permission, and that he does not need to sacrifice fun for good behavior.

The tail springs back up, redemption is at hand, and life is good once again as he goes tearing off through the park, unbridled joy in his every muscle. Through the rest of my walk, I have a smile in my heart and a spring in my step.



Comments

What exuberance you gave me with this story. Shifting my mind from being "dad," then feeling more aligned with the dog and his derring-do, I felt like I'd been the one who wanted to go for the geese, jump into the pond, race back to dad.

This was a delight to read. Yes, keep writing!

A perfect story of a dog and his joyful excursion in a day in the park. Your description was so vivid that I could easily visualize the entire scene and it was a delightful one.

I fully agree with Darlene. Thank you for sharing your story.

The stories Ronni posts are always delightfully written and I look forward to the Tuesday postings with anticipation. Today's, though, was particularly absorbing. I agree with the others that it really evoked the dog's antics. What fun!

This story was absolutely perfectly written. It created a visual for me that made me smile , so happy for the geese, the dog and his master who has trained his dog well.

Lovely, vivid story. It was a joy to read this...a talented writer and storyteller. Thank you!

Well done! (both the storyteller and the dog).

What a happy and well-told story. Thanks for the smiles and vision.

This was so much fun to read... beautifully written. Thank you! You have a great skill with words!

Sublime!

Thank you all for the lovely and encouraging feedback. I am very grateful for the kind words and hope to continue to contribute and bring joy to the folks who read my stuff.
Sincerely, Jeeks

Enjoyed every word! Thanks.

I have never owned a dog---that's a story in itself. But this delightful story made me feel what it must be like to have a dog AND to be the dog! Just a total joy to read. More, please.

Loved it!

Well put together Karpagam! A very interesting and pleasant read. Congratulations!

I was completely absorbed from beginning to end. The pictures all in my mind of this scene. I smiled throughout, thank you.

What a lovely story, and so beautifully and eloquently told. Thank you!

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