VIII: Man’s Absolute Worst Friend

They say a dog is a man’s best friend. I’m pretty sure my neighbor’s dog is Brutus to my Julius Caesar.

I seriously hate that dog.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate all dogs. There are a lot of dogs that I really like. Most are cute and friendly and generally nice to be around.

This dog is straight up stupid.

Actually. It is the most unintelligent canine I have ever encountered. And since I have no idea what its name is, I have seen fit to nickname it “Derp.”

Derp does have a strict daily routine, although this routine seems to lack any semblance of logic or reason. Every day at two o-clock in the afternoon, he jumps into the lake behind my parents’ house and viciously attacks a small buoy anchored near its owner’s dock. He seems to believe that this buoy is some sort of malicious sea-being who daily threatens his very existence. Derp somehow believes that he valiantly vanquishes his sea-going foe each afternoon and it somehow reanimates by the time the next afternoon rolls around. And if you’re in the water at two o’clock, you’re an enemy too. I learned that the hard way.

Derp also seems to have no concept of what swimming is. Most dogs are naturally able to do some sort of doggy-paddle in order to keep themselves afloat. Derp uses his hind legs to walk upright along the lake bottom with his head above water and his front legs flapping around like he is way too good for this lake.

I kid you not.

Derp uses this strange method of aquatic locomotion to propel himself several hundred feet out into the lake until the water becomes too deep for him.

And did I mention that throughout all of this, he is enthusiastically eating seaweed?

He doesn’t just eat the seaweed like a normal crazy dog would, oh no. He slurps it. He inhales it into his mouth while making these weird noises. Imagine the sound that would be made if you opened a little plastic container of apple sauce, put one side of your mouth into the apple sauce, and attempted to drink it without closing your mouth.

That’s kinda what it sounds like.

Derp’s sounds are not only limited to seaweed slurping. When night falls and he is finished with his marine nemeses for the day, he likes to have a nice howl. He howls and barks like dog noises are the new renewable energy source we’ve been waiting for. His owners have never once attempted to stop him. I’m starting to think they actually enjoy it.

Naturally, Derp is having himself another nice little howl right now, and it makes me want to go all Van Gogh and cut my ear(s) off. The man who lived in that house before my current neighbors was a talented banjo player, and would often strike up a lively rendition of “Oh Susanna” at eleven or twelve at night. I never thought I would find myself missing him. At least he was on pitch.

There is no Ten Minute Ordinance in my hometown, no guarantee that after a certain time of continuous barking, my neighbor will be issued a citation, no reassurance in the back of my mind that the torment will all be over soon.

There is no escape for me tonight.

And so Derp howls away, hour after hour, in his idiotic dream world, where buoys are sea monsters, seaweed is prime rib, and Derp is the Beyonce of house pets.

I am not getting any sleep tonight.


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