Tico — Chapter One (A Preview)
Over the last year, my dog (or I through my dog) have written about her life. This is how the book “Tico” opens.
I was born somewhere around the turn of the century. I don’t remember much of it. An example could be a mother with seven babies…she’s not going to be close to them all. From the outset, I chose to be independent. I’d wander off and feel that vaguely familiar jaw around my neck to bring me back home. Home. We didn’t have one…just a simple box. I came from humble beginnings. My mother was a full bred Chihuahua. My dad was some stranger she found on a Friday night downtown. I don’t know anything about him other than he was a terrier of some sort. I also know that from the beginning, it was an absolute certainty that I would not be winning any beauty contests. The first time I saw myself, I was repulsed. Mom was cute, and I…well, I wasn’t. Perhaps that’s what led to my decisiveness early on that I was going to be independent. I didn’t need anything or anyone. It was just me, myself and I.
I had four brothers and sisters. They were all a pain, constantly clamoring for attention. I mostly kept to myself. I was and always have been independent and low maintenance and I’m pretty sure they all thought I was dumb, but I spent a lot of time daydreaming…what was it like outside this box? Have you ever wondered or dreamed about a place you knew existed but had no concept of what it looked like or how it would be?
One day, mom got up and we all followed her. It was the first time I’d ever seen her move more than a few feet outside the box. The box I speak of was in the middle of a wooded area…she probably didn’t make it but it was a convenient enough place where she wouldn’t be seen and we’d be relatively safe. I was bor in the month of November somewhere in Arkansas. If you don’t know anything about November in Arkansas, well I’d love to tell you, but the rest of this story would be all about those scenarios and not about me…and since I think my life is more interesting than temperatures and precipition, let’s just suffice it to say that it “varied.”
We followed mom for about twenty steps…long enough for her to realize we were following her and she turned around almost as if to say, “what are you doing?” She yipped a mean yip and we all put our heads down and walked back to the box. As she walked away, my brothers and sisters seemed oblivious to anything else other than this little game they played. One would lay down, flip over on their backs and move their four limbs as fast as they could. When they were tired, the next one would repeat the same process…what a stupid and foolish game. I never understood what the point was. Like I said, I wasn’t especially close to them and now you know why…I’m way more beautiful and talented and smart than they are.
I really didn’t pay that much attention to the day, as I was dreaming of happier times, which I”d never seen but convinced myself I had. The sun went down and mom wasn’t back. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but my siblings were freaking out. They woke up from their nap (which they always took after their stupid game…the lazy bastards) and began whining. They didn’t move, explore or walk around…they just whined. Inbreeds.
Have you ever tried to think happy thoughts, get lose in thoughts or daydream when there’s any crying going on? It was not the crying of puppies in peril or dogs in immediate danger. It was the incessant whining of a bunch of dependent, foolish whimps. They whined for hours. I blocked it out for as long as I could until I couldn’t take it any longer. Finally, I had a revelation. Looking back, maybe I got my brains from my mother I hardly ever interacted with. Maybe that was my way of justifying what I knew I was about to do. I looked at them, and while I should have felt remorse, pity, a sibling closeness, I didn’t. I just started walking until those whines were at a less and less volume. Eventually, they ceased to be heard.
Truth be told, I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going or what was going to happen next. I just knee anywhere would be better than there…but oh was I so, so wrong.