Oh, for God’s sake.
Doesn’t anyone here realize that I am The Wolf King?
I am majestic. I am proud. I am the ruler of all I survey.
So it’s been a rough few weeks.
I knew that Miss Sadie was heading out of this world. I have known it for many, many weeks.
My humans are, of course, less intuitive than I am. It took them almost too long to see that she was fading, and that only her thinnest shell was left here with us.
At last, though, they heard her, and they let her go to rest.
I miss her.
She was calm. She was quiet. She pretty much followed my orders. She used to look at me with her big golden eyes and say, “You are the Wolf King. I am not worthy.”
I liked that a lot.
Then she was gone, and the Woman Who Feeds Me was often quiet, and I could smell the sharp iron smell of sadness coming from her, even when she took me for easy walks along our street.
Man Who Walks Me smelled different, too, but with him it was harder to know what he was feeling. I know that I wanted to lean my head on him more often. I wanted to rest my noble chin on his bare foot.
He seemed a little lost, to be honest.
And so it went, for a few short weeks.
Then everything changed. I had noticed that both of my humans seemed a little more like themselves. As if a shadow had passed over. Happier times seemed to be at hand.
One morning, very early, both Man Who Walks Me and Woman Who Feeds Me woke up early. I could smell nervousness and eagerness on them both, like a field of grass burning far away. Their voices were tense, their bodies alert as they petted me good bye. I watched them go, the Wolf King left in charge.
I settled myself to guard the castle from my comfy perch on the couch. I dozed, but only because everything seemed pretty safe.
Then I heard the car. I slowly got up from my resting spot, stretching my spine as I made it to all four feet. I made my way to the top of the stairs, clearing my throat so that I would be ready to give the traditional Wolf King Howl Of Welcome.
Man Who Walks Me came inside. He smelled odd….he smelled like a strange mixture of happiness and guilt.
Hmmmm. I was suspicious, but I am loyal. I am the Wolf King, but I know who fills my kibble bowl. I let him attach the leash to my collar.
He lead me outside.
And there I was met by Woman Who Feeds Me and……What was this? Could it be?
A Little Dude was there, dancing on the end of his own leash.
He smelled like faraway places and chemicals and fear and loneliness. I did NOT like this smell.
I stood stiffly, the regal crest of my neck fur standing up with electric fury.
“STRANGER!!!!” I barked. “RED ALERT!!”
Every one of my aging muscles was rigid with warning.
“Woman Who Feeds Me,” I howled in warning. “Watch out! A stranger has come to our home!”
Woman Who Feeds Me was looking kind of goofy. She had a big smile on her face and her voice was high and full of false promises. I heard her use my name, and then the tone that made me think of bath time and nail clippings. Or worse.
I was alert. I was not going to fall for the soft sound of her voice.
I looked at the stranger who stood in our midst, in the place where Miss Sadie has stood so recently.
He was tiny. He was vibrating with the energy of youth that makes the old want to simply sleep. His eyes were bright buttons of curiosity and his smooth golden fur was shivering with excitement.
I got tired just looking at him.
I groaned and growled and barked to show my displeasure.
“I am the Wolf King!,” I cried. “I will not tolerate a wild hippy child in my kingdom! Get this Little Dude out of here!”
Nobody paid the slightest attention.
It was a long, strange day.
The Little Dude repeatedly peed on the floor. I knew that this would be a Big Problem. I settled my chin on my paws to wait out the reaction.
But Woman Who Feeds Me just kept cleaning it up without a word. She even scratched the head of the Floor Pee-er.
The Little Dude raced around the house, banging into walls, bouncing off of furniture. No one complained.
He tried to sniff my royal butt. I barked so loud I hurt my throat. That made him back off for about a minute.
He tried to lick my face. Are. You. Kidding. I barked even more loudly, using my best Kingly voice.
That hurt my throat even more. Little Dude danced around my face until Woman Who Feeds Me got him to follow her down the hall.
At last, after a long and confusing day, we all got ready for bed. Man Who Walks Me and Woman Who Feeds Me filled their mouths with the sweet minty smell of bed time. They put Little Dude into a crate in our living room, and the three of us went down the hall to our beds.
Wouldn’t you know, though? That little golden furred, energetic annoyance kept whimpering and crying. I knew the sound of sadness and loneliness; I recognized it from the time when my litter mates and I were lost in the woods.
I waited a few minutes, safe and warm on my bed next to my humans. But the sound of Little Dude all alone down the hall pulled at my heart in a way that I wouldn’t want to make public.
I stood up slowly, grumbling the whole time. I made my way down the hall to the darkened living room.
“I’m scared!” I heard from the crate. “I’m not sure where I am…”
“Oh, be quiet,” I grumbled in my most royal Kingly voice. “You’re with us now. You’re safe. Stop making that ridiculous noise.”
I heard a whimper, and then the sound of a baby dog settled onto a bed. I laid my head on my royal paws, snuggled down on my lovely leather couch, and thought about what the future would bring. I fell asleep remembering what it was like to race around the yard with the wind rushing through my fur.
Life is sure an interesting journey.