• Dick Dixon

The Day of the Dog (Part 2)

To continue the curious tale that I am relating with some trepidation: it does seem, to me at least, that nowadays dogs have evolved into a new type of animal – one with what seems like a single-minded purpose. Hardly do they seem to fight now, but often just gather in circles by a sun-kissed riverbank or behind an unkempt hedge, making low groans and whines and nodding sagely to each other with quivering whiskers, from time to time emitting a woof of approval. Occasionally one will get up and wag its tail in a certain fashion, and even have a little wee on a convenient tree stump, presumably signifying particular agreement for some point just made by a fellow canine. Just why is this, do you think?

Well, the other thing about the riverbank, especially near the litter bins where ice-cream cartons are frequently discarded, is that you usually see an enormous number of wasps, and this has led me to another singular observation. Do forgive me by the way, for lapsing into the vernacular of Sherlock Holmes for a moment but that is someone, even though fictional, whose persona I seem to have taken on for a while.

In any case, whenever one of those buzzing yellow-striped monsters appears, I have noticed, a dog will rise stealthily from the circle – they have a pre-arranged scheme I think – and simply snap the poor beast from the air with flashing teeth, whirling tongue and apparently gallons of saliva. Now I feel sorry for it, I suppose. Down into the Stygian gloom of the canine interior it is swept, doing its mysterious work, though quite dead of course.

For a while now I have been marvelling and pondering on these things, but after about a month of looking, listening and thinking, after my daily walk by the river, I have noticed something else. I had a feeling that these dogs appeared altered somehow, though I was unable to put my finger on quite what the nature of the alteration was. At first, nothing much came to me, but then something struck me right between the eyes, which is they say the best place.

This realisation was so striking that just thinking about it causes my hands to shake so much that I cannot go on for the moment. The final conclusion of the matter (Part 3) looms large – next time, when I hope I shall have regained some degree of composure.


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I don't know about you, but I have been thinking about dogs a good deal recently. Walking along the banks of the mighty river Adur, I have seen so many of them, accompanied by their various humans, wh