…we should have listened to Boromir
New, pre-Death March Doclopedia entry! I actually cried a bit writing this one.
The Infinite Doc: Doc Cross, Canine Hero
I wasn’t always a dog, you know. Five years ago, I was an ordinary suburban homeowner, just about 4 months past my sixtieth birthday. Life was good, if not as financially stable as I would have liked. Then one day, while I’m standing in my own front yard, two teenage gangbangers driving at high speed and being chased by the cops lose control of their car and crash right into me. I was tossed right through the front window of the house and onto the living room floor. The gangbangers, not wearing seatbelts, only made it through their windshield and onto the outside wall.
So I’m laying there, all busted up and shit, and I have just enough time to tell my sweetheart that I’m sorry and I love her and then everything goes black for a few moments. Then I’m standing there, looking at her and the dogs and the cops coming in the door and I know I’m dead.
Oddly, I was not freaked out by this. I was, however, pretty pissed off at those dickheaded teens who killed me, so I stepped through a wall to kick their asses. I saw the cops kneeling beside the bodies, pronouncing them dead. A few feet away, the gangbangers were well and truly freaking out. They were crying out for Jesus to save them and all that sort of stuff.
I was about to tell them they were about one car crash too late, but a woman popped into existence between us. She was young and pretty and smiling and smelled like freshly baked bread. Well, at least, that’s how she looked to me. To the two unfortunate dipshits on her other side, she must have looked pretty scary, because now they were screaming and trying to crawl away. She waved her hand and both of them transformed into flies, which buzzed off in a big hurry.
Turning towards me, she said, “Now they must spend a very long time as flies, but fully aware that they were once human.”
“That’s really going to suck come dinner time”, I replied, somewhat bemused by how little I was affected by seeing all of this. “So, is this Judgment Time? If so, I’d just like to point out that in my youth, alcohol was often tied to my assholish behavior.” I took it as a good sign that she chuckled at that.
“In a way, you will be judged now, just not in the Biblical straight to Heaven or Hell sense. It’s all about reincarnation, Doc. Depending upon how good you were, you get to come back higher on the ladder. If you were really bad, you get to repeat your initial reincarnation form over a few times. Adolph Hitler is still a tubeworm on an undersea volcanic vent at this point.”
About then, I was figuring I might get used to being a chicken, provided it was free range. I had not exactly been a saint. Mammalhood did not seem likely, although I might luck out and come back as an echidna.
“So, what will I be coming back as? If I get a choice, a wild macaw would be nice, but I wouldn’t sneer at a few decades as a duck.”
She chuckled again. “Oh, you weren’t quite that bad, Doc. I think you’ll enjoy yourself for the next couple of decades.”
And then my next memory was being born in a nice warm pile of blankets. My memories of being human were very dim as my mother licked me clean. After that, somebody picked me up and put me near a nipple and it was chow time.
I was a puppy. To be precise, I was yellow Labrador Retriever with four sisters and a brother. The next few weeks flew by. It was a pretty sweet life, mostly because we were pedigreed show dogs. Luckily for me, I was not quite of show quality, so I was going to be sold as a pet. That would have been cool, but at the tender age of 12 weeks old, the Reincarnation Lady appeared. Somehow I knew that my life as a pampered pet wasn’t on the agenda.
Sure enough, she told me that my destiny lay in another direction. I was supposed to roam around as a stray and help humans and other animals. With a wave of her hand, the breeders forgot all about me. I found that I had aged a couple of months and was standing in a lightly wooded area near a creek. The Lady was nowhere to be seen, so I went over to the creek and sniffed the water. Smelling no bad stuff in it, I had a good long drink and started trotting west. After about an hour, I came to a road sign saying that I was 35 miles west of Cody, Wyoming. I could easily hear all sorts of things around me and smell about a zillion more. Ok, I could dig this new assignment. Could be fun and being a dog with a mission beat the hell out of being a fly eating shit.
It took me the better part of two years to get back to Sacramento. Along the way, I helped lost children, saved the life of a trucker after a wreck, woke up two different families when their houses caught fire and helped the police catch a few dozen fleeing fugitives. Don’t even ask me how many animals I helped. I carried one poor injured cat in my mouth for 15 miles until we got to a vet’s office near Reno. I hung around until he got better (avoiding animal control pretty easily and eating food the vet put out for me every night) and then I helped him escape from transfer to a shelter. His name is Al and he travels with me now, often riding on my back. He’s a really good friend.
When I got to Sacramento, I went home, just to check things out. I had thought about doing it for most of the last few months, often nearly backing out on the idea. In the end, I just had to know if things were ok.
The house was fully repaired and repainted. The yard looked great. Grace wasn’t home, but The Girls were. They were pretty surprised to see me as a dog, but got over it pretty quickly. They were more surprised to see me consorting with a cat. We chatted through a window that was open about an inch. They told me that Grace was doing alright now and had used my insurance money to pay off all the debt and buy a new car. They had been doing a fair amount of traveling recently and all of them were in good health, although Winker and Lucy were pushing 13 and 14. They said Grace would be home soon, but I decided to move on. I said my goodbyes and then Al and I headed down the street.
I’m not sure where we’ll head next, but I do have some friends on the East Coast that I’d like to check up on. That can wait a bit though, because it’s looking like that guy up ahead is following that woman and she smells like fear and he smells like crazy person.
I am SO going to bite him.