The Iron Doberman

  By: Cody DiCavalcante

My name is Alto. I’m an Afghan hound and I’m here as an intended narrator because the other dog was fed about a hundred chocolates by his diabetic owner who couldn’t have such delights. I have chosen to do this because I’m currently out of a home and my owner is outraged by the price of beef and was planning on using me as dinner. Now, our story begins.

There in the corners, under an A-frame of firewood in the den and creeping in between the golden pot roast and ladles of black and blue, stood the iron Doberman. Well, he wasn’t really made out of iron, but he shared a similar molecular build up. He was strong, independent, and silver; silver in most yellowed light because he was by this time of the story mildly aging in his 70’s. He was the dog of all dogs. He didn’t give two corn cobs what anyone thought, two corn cobs that nestled sweetly in the bottom of a sugar shadowed cauldron; diametrically absent of basic spices and shy of the salt secrets. This specific Doberman was named Carter. He spent his days trotting away in the fields, curious as that pompous chimp George, trying to catch glances of refined human newspapers and the smoke that billowed out of wooden pipes. The owners would usually find him a tad annoying, always putting his snout into things that weren’t of his concern. They found that he could gain nothing from their own affairs and agendas but Carter carried on despite what they thought, despite what his own kind thought as well.

Carter grew up in a family of eighteen. He had two parents and 16 siblings.  His parents liked to shag. According to The Doberman Power Struggle: Guarding a Bunch of Rich Wimps by Creed Coots, the biography of Carter’s father, Otis admitted with intense admonishment that he loved to shag. Carter’s father was a guard dog for a wealthy family of very unhealthy potato chip producers in Wales and his mother, Daphne, was a vixen to the four-legged world. All thought she was beautiful, even the birds and bees. She was always getting stung by bees as Carter recalls because they wanted every chance they could get to be around her without looking like bumbling fools (there is rumor to have been circulating in Carter’s childhood days that she had gotten very frisky with the Bengal bad boy, Julius the Bulldog which gives the hint of his widened nose, quite different from his other brothers and sisters. But that is neither here nor there).  Carter was the last of the lot. He was the baby boy, the last paratrooper out of the hanger as they say in the wooded areas of Gaggenau, the town in Germany where Carter has grown up. He was looked at constantly by his father, who ruled him with strict discipline. While the others were out chewing on each other’s ears and chasing tennis balls, Otis stood next to his youngest pup, observing him. Otis’ eyes were as quick and unpredictable as fiery flames, holding enough fire for all twenty fireplaces in the mansion where he kept guard. Carter’s father kept him busy, leaving slobbered-on books by Nietzsche and poetry on the floor in front of him. He would silently look at the books, head cocked to the side, slightly ready to be taken out for a quick soil on the grass. His bladder wasn’t ready for such a test but he trusted his father’s belief in him and stuck to it, even though he didn’t know how to read. After a while, Carter began to attend to the books without his father asking him. He sat there every night looking over them, getting them taken away by his human owners after an evening search through the halls and forays with cursing suspended on chains, dancing like the moonlight on ripples of water.  His brothers and sisters would mock him, telling him he needs to quit putting his nose in books and barking out loud to analytically go over what he looked over. He was a sucker for books with a lot of pictures.

His father passed away one night. He was one hell of a fighter though. He gave death one good look in the face and said, I’m not going out without a fight or a good veterinarian if you want to be a nihilist about it. With the cash his owners had, he knew he could get some heavy damage and have a good chance of taking another walk around the block. His father was meeting with another buddy, a border collie. The Border collie, a dog who liked to hang his tongue out of his mouth, a sign of absurdity in the dog world cherished late night trouble with his father. They’d get into fights with wild dogs and go into marijuana patches, stealing the ganja in copious amounts. His father would come back, smiling. If you’re a human reading this, for a dog to smile and you feel like you’re losing your shit, this actually happens. Trust me, it surprises the dogs too. That night they had gotten too high and Otis ended up stumbling into the worst part of the woods. His friend tried steering him the other way, barking loudly, awakening other beasts unknown to the both of them, unknown to nature for that matter, supposedly they didn’t have bladders and their scents were unscented, kind of like carbon monoxide both in character and composition. Otis, black and bold, even high off his muzzle could be keen to what was around him. Otis began jumping up and down in place, trying to calm his friend down but the Border collie had become quite scared. Otis stopped playing around and eventually started heading towards his friend, going back to the mansion where Carter quietly waited up for his father. Suddenly fierce sounds broke out and a nasty cough which actually happened to be a rabid dog-beast came out of the trees, exposing itself like Chernobyl with all four horses of the apocalypse war-hungry off the fumes of this monster dog’s incredibly potent sweat. Otis one-upped the beast though, coming with the power of a tornado steam-fried on the plains of Nebraska, bacon wrapped in a hurricane on death row, with a earthquake suffering a migraine and possibly a side of schizophrenia and an incredibly dire urge to get back home and cure his munchies, he was ready to rumble. According to Creed Coots he had quoted Otis on how he would die, he hoped it would be pissing in another dog’s territory. Otis was a refined gentleman but his ruffian tendencies shone brighter than aluminum on a sunny day in certain occassions. The Border collie ran off, shaken to ruin, making contemporary Greece look like Beverly Hills on a Saturday night. This didn’t offend Otis or confuse him; he knew his friend was a frail fellow. The beast dog, snarling from ear to ear, looked deep into Otis’ eyes, exposing teeth, drool and maybe a slight hint of racketeering in his past. They growled for several minutes but nothing was louder than Otis’ stomach which hadn’t been furnished with dog treats or goat tonsils for at least 8 hours.  Otis made the first move, taking a hold of the beast’s neck, giving him an advantage in the fight, his paws digging deep into the ground—the ground ached with pain. It was said when Otis passed in the bushy woods, he had no claws because they had been so severely placed into the soil that they had broken off. Otis meant business and unfortunately so did the beast. Otis and the beast fought for several hours, well into the morning, maybe a little bit past McDonald’s sausage mcmuffin deadline, possibly a tad later than brunch but no later than noon until they both had become tired. Otis, the gentlemen he is in the day hours, decided to give up, telling the beast he had a family to take care of and gave the fight to the beast. The beast, ravenous with anger and quite idiotic, didn’t care. He bit Otis on the side, leaving him there to bleed and die.

The next day, Otis’ friend went back to the woods where they had been the night before because he never saw him that morning. He was quite unsure where exactly he left Otis because they were both high but he had a great nose and sniffed out his friend. When he found Otis, he whimpered, nudging him with his nose but nothing happened. The Border collie, tongue out and whimpering speedily through the woods raced back to the mansion.  He found Daphne and told her everything. She lost the strength in her knees and dropped down. Carter stood up, ears sky high alert and intercepting the words from Otis’ long time friend whose tongue still hung out of his mouth and bolted through the window, racing into the woods, ignoring his mother’s delirious barks. He spent four hours in the woods searching for his father until he found him. Carter’s eyes wet with salt water, laid there with his father for several hours, well into the night, a bit past the late show with David Letterman, maybe a little after adult swim, well he slept in the woods that night. That night he had a dream while he laid on his father’s side, he was in the woods and he woke up and saw his father come through the clouds, laughing on a bright mat of red and gold. His father smiling that smile, barking that bark, wagging that tail of wagging. He was happy. He told him something in that dream that he never forgot. Otis with strong will and finding his munchy cure in Heaven, said, “Carter, you are a good dog. Don’t ever forget that. I need you to be strong and carry on through this life. Never back down from a fight, even if there’s a possibility that your opponent has enough infection to kill Canada. Just go with it. Go with the flow and don’t back down my son.” One more laugh, one more lick, and one last goodbye his father turned. Otis sailed back up into the clouds, quieter than a whisper. When Carter awoke, his life was different, he was on his own. When he got up, he didn’t turn toward the mansion but journeyed through untold parts of the country, learning to become stronger but still finding human homes and continuing to look into books by prized writers and intellectuals that his father so much loved. Carter lived in the wilderness for several years, eating raw meat, getting the runs from the raw meat, cursing the raw meat, eating the raw meat again, then finally being able to handle the raw meat. He wrote a manifesto entitled, “The Rawness of Life” It contained a lot of positive sounding homilies on how to survive the cold war but eventually in a later interview, it was figured out that he was writing about raw meat the whole time. That’s enough about meat.

Carter eventually came back to live with a human couple, a man and woman who were supposedly the local band at Orton’s Black Belly Butter Kiss Pub. They fed him a lot of fish and chips, food that was over prepared by the people at the pub they sang at. He enjoyed their company but not so much their sexual intercourse which shook the pictures and turned their wooden floors inward to near destruction. On those nights, Carter would venture outside, looking into the sky remembering his father. He gazed up with his ears poking the sky, remembering his father’s bark, stature, political views, and bathroom advice. He drifted into space, forgetting the hardships, the bullshit as his new owners liked to call it. He was the Doberman with a cause, he was the Iron Doberman. As for me, I think the war is over. The beef price has lowered again and I’m off the hook. Is that veal I smell? Woof.

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