"Never seen 'him' before... 'He's' not mine... How did the blind lady know you were a boy dog?" the master announced from nowhere and to no one in particular.
We both looked at one another, wondering where this line of conversation might go. Then he shook his head, unlocked the back door to the house and let us into the kitchen. Instinct took over and I rushed inside to stand beside the cupboard door, behind which sits the Bonio box. Rizza entered too and sniffed around, checking out his new surroundings. He settled in my bed and gave me another wink.
The master called the mistress and continued his examination of Rizza's body, still unable to find the damage the car had inflicted. I barked my annoyance about not being given my Bonio immediately. He should care for his own dog first I repeated.
The mistress came through to see our new guest. I got my Bonio and took it to the living room to devour. I needed to be quick because this was a critical moment. The mistress wore the trousers in any dog discussion. If she said Rizza had to go, Rizza was gone. Fortunately, having checked him herself, she suggested we keep him overnight and contact the police in the morning. Rizza tried to lick her face and wagged his stumpy tail in joy. Jealous, I pushed in, demanding a share of the attention, which the mistress took the wrong way.
"But they're not sleeping in here together. She's far too interested in him."
I blushed at her remark, not that you could notice under my brindle coat. I was given the living room, while Rizza got my bed in the kitchen. Later, when the humans retired for the night, I sniffed loudly at the kitchen door to attract his attention without alerting them upstairs. Rizza's paw nails clicked as he crossed the wooden floor to the other side of the door.
"I bet you never thought I'd be sleeping in your bed tonight!" he remarked.
I could hear the smirk in his voice.
"Keep it down."
"How can you tell which way it's pointing? Do you have surveillance? Are you 'watching' me?"
"I mean 'shush'. If you disturb the humans you'll be plonked in a police cell in no time."
"Do you want me to use my low, sexy voice?" He growled softly to demonstrate.
"No, I just want you to whisper, and tell me about your book, 'Fifty Shades of Brindle'."
"That's not possible. It's still a work in progress."
"Rizza! I can make a lot of noise too. If they think I'm not settling, they'll have you out of here so fast you'll think you're in one of those Fast and Furious cars, rather than under one."
"Are you blackmailing me?"
"I would call it 'brindle-mailing'."
And so he told me his plot, without the need for any confidentiality agreement. I won't spoil all the details but I will say I was glad we had a chastity door between us. I wanted to know how he'd come up with such a racy subject matter. I mean, I knew he had doggy on the mind 24/7 but this had imagination and leashes and dog toy ropes and a ball in my mouth. He explained how the blind lady liked to listen to audiobooks and one she particularly enjoyed involved a Mr Gray. "And I thought, He's just like me. Damaged youth, dashing good looks and a vigorous sexual appetite. I could be Mr Brindle. Then I thought of you and the story just... flowed. Pun intended."
"You know what a pun is?"
"She also listened to Radio 4."
"So are you going to get it published? Sell it on Amazon?"
"Nah, I think I'll distribute it the old way, like they did in ancient times. By word of mouth."
"Because you can't write, right?"
"I'm glad you shared it with me first. I'm flattered."
There was silence.
"I was the first, wasn't I?"
"You were my inspiration."
"You're sidestepping the question. Have you told anyone else that story?"
"Strictly speaking, no, but there may have been... a few, previous drafts."
I didn't know what to say. I felt betrayed, cheated, disappointed. And confused. We were only friends. We weren't a couple. It was a story. So why was I angry? I humphed and got up and went and lay on the chair. I could still hear him sniffing apologies under the door. I ignored them all.
"Go to sleep. I'm tired. And don't go leaving any presents in my bed either."
"I'll do my best to keep my dreams dry."
I was thinking 'fleas'. What is it with boys that they always have to lower the tone? The disgust however was sufficient to bring me back to reality. And I was able to sleep.
Next morning, after breakfast, when we were both in the garden for our morning constitutional, Rizza approached me to apologise. He asked if he was forgiven with a gleam in his eye and I hastily said, "No".
"I think I am," he insisted and winked.
"Why do you say that?"
"I could hear you dreaming last night. And I think we made up, several times."
But he left it at that. He could feel the heat from my blush from four feet away.
I noticed another side to Rizza in this new morning light: the gentleman dog, the charmer; the friend that I loved dearly but I never told him (I can only admit this in print because I know he can't read).
We didn't get a chance to change our relationship status because he didn't get to stay a second night. The mistress insisted we couldn't be a two dog family. The master was ordered to take him to the police station. Fortunately, in the police station public car park, Rizza escaped, eluding the master as he reached for the lead. Rizza darted through the narrow gap in the open boot door and bolted across Mill Street and away, lead waving behind him. The master did feel a little stupid parked at the police station with an open, empty boot, watching his purpose vanishing into the distance. To the drivers waiting at the lights, it must have looked like he'd released Rizza back into the wild.
This meant he had to buy me a new lead from Pets at Home. I miss the old lead. It would have been an apt memento of that night together, both real and in my dreams. I wonder if anyone's noticed my increased friskiness.
|Fifty Shades of Brindle|