Part i i : The Great Dane King

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    The Great DANE that became a King.

    PART II: THE GIFT OF THE CANINE.... THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP...

    DOG TRIALS,TRIBULATION AND DOG PARADISE.

    By: Wily Geist

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    Dad and Mom now had one of their meetings after dinner to discuss the dog

    plan. Thegift for the Musefellar's must be special and of course, a pedigree dog, notjust your average mutt. Well, we must have an honest dog breeder and make sure the

    dog has all the correct papers.My parents last adventure in dog ownership was a smart, but slightly neurotic

    Cocker spaniel, named Buffy. Buffy was a bronze golden bundle of both joy andnervousness that was known to be caused by over breeding.This lesson about the choice of a pedigree, sadly my parents didnt remember about the

    problems with such a refined dog with papers. Most mutts are more even tempered andless prone to physical and mental defects then the expensive pedigree canine.

    During this time, I wanted my own dog. But for now, I would be only be involved in

    looking at pictures of dogs. Granny and I were only allowed to make suggestion.

    It was confusing process as there are so many dog breeds even just when whittlingdown the category just too large dogs.My father now went reading aloud the list of dogs and put down a check mark by theones he liked:

    Oh look at the Bullmastiff, certainly big enough but they slobber all over the place.

    Dogue de Bordeaux, strange French dog, who seems to have many French type problemnot terribly obedient and will most likely give up once invaded by a German dog. FredsGerman so will pass on that one.

    Great Dane, Look at the Great Danes. It is HUGE but GENTLE and lovingdispositions,making them excellent family companions, My father announced so far thiswas his favorite. Nothing really wrong with the dog except that it is the size of a horse.

    Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: The dog wants to be in the pull things and hoard bones,but accepts large interest payments. Dog poops out chocolate and eats cuckoo clocks.

    We laughed as my father was now joking about all the dogs.Come on Fred. We have to pick the dog and have to be serious, as a dog is a big

    choice for a family. My Mother always had to keep my Father focused upon the task onhand.

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    Ok, I will just finish up with the last breeds.

    Next dog on the list is the Great Pyrenees: Not easy to train and lots of hair.

    Next choice the Mastiff.Boy this dog is a lemon, health issues and the largest one grew to three hundred

    pounds. GONG! My mother shouted.

    Okay, what dog seems to work for a large family?Mom asked the most poignant questioned that had plagued families since the caveman

    made a deal with the wolf to live together.

    Dad reread the dog book containing the description.

    Well it looks like it would be the Great Dane, since it is typically a gentle giant,easygoing and mild-mannered.He needs only moderate exercise, but does need space and shouldn't be cramped intostudio apartments and postage-stamp yards. Above all, this sociable breed needscompanionship.

    Yes, this dog seems perfect. The Musefellars have a big backyard with a fence, and

    there is always somebody in the house.

    My Mother chimed in that we should get their approval before this purchase, as younormally cant return a pet.

    Father called the Musefellar home and Mrs. Musefellar; Nora answered. Hello Fred, how is the new garage holding up.

    Great,but Fred mentioned that the family wants a D. O. G.

    Yes, we want a D.O.G, BUT FRED SOME OF MY KIDS CAN SPELL, SO I willjust say Yes or No to your questions.

    Okay, Nora. How about a Great Dane? Nora paused then said let me confirm this theBoss Fredrick. Silence then Fredrick Musefellar got on the phone. The DANE is ago Freddy. I looked up the breed before this, and it is perfect to use as a pony or a dog.

    My Father chuckled. Okay, Fredrick will call when the Dane has been picked up.

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    The dog finding mission was on. I was shut out of this process until the day theyactually picked up the great Dane pup. It was a Saturday when they brought the puphome.

    It was raining that day, so my Father carried the pup into the living room to keep himfresh looking and not end up looking like a pig that was wallowing in mud. The puppyran around happy and greeted everybody with boundless energy and licks. We give himsomewater and food before he was going to travel to his new home in Foxlake.

    Now dont get attached to this guy, since he isnt our dog.

    I was petting the puppy when the puppy noticed Granny, for some strange reasons

    most every dog loved Granny. Now the puppy made a mad dash for Granny and jumpedinto her arms. Lucky for Granny the great Dane was still a puppy. Granny beamed andhugged the puppy. Now the puppy cuddled with Granny and fell sound asleep.

    Well, we'd better get going up to Foxlake as it is a long drive.Granny, Mom and I got jackets and Dad put on his rain hat. Granny carried the sleeping

    puppy with her and me into the back seat of our car.It was a long drive, put the puppy stated asleep until we reached Grayslake, and then hegot excited looking out the window and barking at cars that passed us. Granny petted

    him, and he sat down and behaved like an angel.Entering Fox lake a town that catered to drinkers and boaters we turned intoMusefellar subdivision. Drinking and boating are weird since it led to a lot of neardrowning and fisherman hanging onto cases of beer while fish secretly laughed at them.

    The rain pelted down heavier, and we pulled into a muddied driveway of theMusefellar mansion, which was always under construction with holes being dug foranother addition being thrown onto the original house. We parked in the driveway, andGranny was struggling to get out of the backseat, so Dad picked up the Puppy from her.Carrying the puppy, Dad and all of us walked up to the Musefellar front door. Fredrick

    Musefellar came to the door with kids in followed by Nora, who looked frazzled andtired. Even my little brain said maybe adding a puppy to this mix might be a bad idea.

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    The puppy was slightly overwhelmed by all the kids, but then got into the spirit andran and played excited by this whole new event.We all gathered around as new joy seemed to be given with great gift.Little did we know, but the dog would cause such havoc and mayhem that the gift

    would be like eating, farting, pooping Trojan horse that we just carried into their livingroom.

    It took a while and everything thing seemed peachy keen, as the Musefellar wouldbring the dog over to our house. The dog was named Duke and would sit mildly in thecorner, but it did have some strange behaviors and foibles. Duke, although was still

    puppy, but a rather large puppy wanted to always be carried inside. No he demanded tobe carried in and out of the house. If he was not carried he had to be dragged. The onlytime he would leave on his own, would be if all the kids were in the front yard, andthen he would immediately run like manic to be with his peeps. For some strange

    reason,the dog seemed always in need of company.

    When the Musefellars arrived, Duke would come in our house and sit quietly in thecorner and behaved like he was on Valium. Then time passed, and the Musefellarsstarted not coming over to our little abode for hamburgers on the grill. No longer werewe invited to their parties. My parents now were stunned, as they believed in friendshipand didnt think that they had committed any sort of fau paux that would destroy theirstatus as friends. The truth trickled in like a leaky faucet. Fred Musefellar was now

    running for Sheriff, as Republican in his county. He was a successful businessman it allseemed to fit. It also was obvious that my parents were now too democratic and workingclass to be listed at the top of the friends list. As a politician, you have to have the rightfriends who have status and connections. My parents now kept up with the Musefellarssporadically, as they had built a fancy in ground pool, and hosted shindigs to get theright people to come to their parties.

    Instead of being invited to these parties, they got to see the home movies of these bigblow outs. Both Mom and Dad were confused that they were now on the D list offriendship. My parents were both stunned and searching for the reason behind that

    change of status.Now reports came back that the gift dog, had not been a blessing, but had become sort ofan eating, pooping, hulking, and a clumsy clown of a dog that when left alone would go

    bonkers. The doggie gift now was no longer special and may have led to the downfall ofthe friendship.

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    Nora Musefellar did call to inform them that they had left the dog in the house, and

    all had gone out to visit her Mother. Upon their return, the dog had literally eaten thecouch, chewed off the legs off the dining room table and left poop bombs all over the

    living room. A great Dane is a dog that should have now seemed too big for any space,too large for its own good.Duke's tail would knock off plates and china from any surface; his head now couldscoop food off the table and into its large mouth with ease. Most of Noras kids lovedthe dog, except for Skipper, who was now frightened of the gentle giant who wouldknock him down with his playful nature.

    Fred Musefellar now had a dilemma on his hands, the dog was now part of the familyand his German upbringing implicating that he could solve any problem. This made hisGermanic stern side, authoritarian personality and his love of efficiency models take

    hold. As if he needed to create the perfect dog or at least a dog that would not eat thecouch. Mitt Gott, and Gutt in Heiml thats it: Musefellar knew he had to go with a

    professional, the renowned Willie Necker, dog training expert specialist from StuggartGerman. According to most Germans even though they lost two Wars, the Germans are

    better than anybody else at everything, which also includes dog training.

    Writer Kate Kelly noted that the Fred Musefellar was not alone in his belief that oneneeds a German expert. The dog expert Fred Musefellar chose was very famous andlauded for his brilliance one, Willy Necker, a German immigrant who found his

    American dream, he took pride in.Therefore, according to Necker it was the largest canine training camp in the country.

    Most of the training at that time was for guard dogs and field dogs, but Necker alsoaccepted whatever challenges were presented him. One fellow from Virginia, ahorseman, arrived with two Dobermans. He wanted Necker to train the Dobermans toaccompany him whenever he rode. He wanted one dog on each side of him, and theywere to jump fences, retrieve dropped objects when necessary, and hold the horse by thereins when the fellow dismounted for a time.

    Fred Musefellar had to carry the now large Duke to his truck. The dog still thought hewas supposed to be carried in and out of every doorway. It was now becoming a pain inthe ass, as Duke would be over one hundred pounds shortly. The dogs brain had kepthim locked into this ritual that locked him into be carried into homes. Once outside thedog became normal, running and playing, but once he saw a doorway he stopped dead inhis tracks and had to be dragged or picked up. He thought now that the dog could befixed. Duke you are going to learn how to behave.

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    Duke looked back at Fred and seemed to even smirk Fred patted the dog and drove onuntil he finally reached the famous dog trainer who had even been featured in the

    prestigious New Yorker magazine.

    Those Dobermans were easy job in comparison to the Grand Dane named Duke, asWilly Necker had met his match and never even in knew it.It was weird, but the dog appeared totally normal around people and other dogs. Once

    alone it went into a near chaotic breakdown.

    Willys assistant Gus stood at attention when Fred dropped the dog off with a listof complaints about why the dog could not be left alone.The dog also stood at attention, and Willy's assistant smiled and spoke in German,this is going to be an easy piece of work. Duke wagged his tail, as he loved people

    or any sort of company. Duke now as lead to his new doggie home, which was in a cagenext to other dogs. If the dog had been alone he most likely would have tried to chewthe metal cage to pieces, but since there were other dogs, he merely fell sound asleep.

    The training started which found that Duke could sit, heal and follow most basiccommands. When Duke led back into the doorway, he immediately dropped down andstopped moving, he just sat there. Gustaf the trainer was puzzled and spoke sternly inGerman:Mach Schnell. Up.

    Nothing happened but just a strange look of pleading from the Great Dane.Like just pick me up you strange German man.The trainer now tried different methods to get the dog to walk and not be carried likea baby.

    First, the choke collar, next a treat of liverwurst, then a female dog, but nothingworked as the known desires of every beast threat of choking, or rewards of food nor sexmeant nothing to Duke.Duke just sat and stared like he was the dog emperor who had to be carried upon hisroyal entrance. Gus tried this for over an hour, but finally gave up and picked the

    large puppy dog and carried to his new home, next to all the rest of the caged dogs.Damn it, now Willy will have to get involved with Duke.

    Next morning Willy arrived and did his check on the problem dogs. Duke wasnumber one on his list. Willy had instant chemistry with the dog, but noticed that it wasnot going to walk out of the backroom and still waited to be carried. He tried the normalthings once again, and he chuckled.

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    Willy then reached into his briefcase and took his secret invention, the trainingcollar he devised when working with the Army for training dogs and certain humansduring World war II. The collar had an electronic shocking tip that would give the dog a

    gentle zap and causes most subjects to move. Willy had trained dogs for the USA, andthe collar was actually used on certain human recruits who were deemed un-trainable.

    Willy looked at Duke and started toward the dog with the collar in his hand;Duke sensed that he would certainly not like this new collar and backed into his cage.Willy cursed, Sie jetzt Hurensohn which is basically come here you son of a bitch.Duke growled and backed up further in the cage. Willy now pulled out a dog treat madewith the best sirloin steak. Duke held his ground, but was weakening. Tangling the Beefin front of his nose and the dog couldnt help but lick his chops. Necker now talked

    with gentle tones and sang his secret German love song for dogs. Duke now cameforward.Willy stroked Dukes head gave him the snack and quickly put on the collar.

    Duke shook his head and came forward. Now Willy headed for the door and keptcalling for Duke to hurry up, schnell kommen In the doorway Duke stopped and satlike he was protesting a war. Willy took out his remote from his pocket and pressed the

    button. A shock and noise that only dogs hears reverbs through Dukes neck and ears. Heimmediately got up and walked out the door. Necker now thought he solved the biggest

    issue with the dog not realizing that its great phobia was the one that would lead toDukes strange future. Duke now was led out to the work area and went through rigorousGermanic training. Willys assistant brought out his clip board that had listed the gradesand problem areas of the dogs.Duke now was right on track to graduate early.

    Willy had to go but looked at the unresolved issues with all the dogs.Herr, Willy this dog, Duke has issues of being alone. How should we handle this?Hmm, put him in the store room with a blanket and make sure he can see no otherdogs. Wily thought his German genius would test the dog thoroughly. Only would a

    strange little creature keep Wilys perfect standing as the greatest dog trainer in America.

    Duke now was fed and then locked in a storage room, and he was in his initial panicmode. He looked around and started to cry and whimper. The handler looked on to seewhat happened next and then left.The room had a few items on the shelf and old couch. Dukes mind said to chew up thiscouch to relieve his stress. Dukes big mouth was just about to encase the arm of thecouch, when his dog supersonic ears picked up a rustle, a noise and a squeak.

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    Weirdly, the dog smiled and felt peace.His dog brain now said: Good, I am not alone and boy is that a small dog.The mouse who resided there was not scared, as he had seen many dogs, the big ones

    usually were the friendly ones.

    He could have scuttled off to avoid the big hulk of a dog, but he knew that it was thesmaller nippy dogs, your fox terriers that were the most trouble.The mouse stood his ground and watched as Duke woofed and acknowledge his rodent

    presence. When Duke wagged his tail, the mouse moved forward and approached thedog. Ironically, the mouse sniffed the dog, and the dog sniffed the mouse. Duke thenlicked the mouse, and the mouse disappeared in that giant tongue. The mouse wasshocked, but fear or faith kept him standing right next to the dog. Duke was now calmedand laid down. The mouse decided also it was time to take a snooze, so he crawledagainst Dukes shoulder and laid down. It was now peaceful and the dog no longer

    needed to chew up the couch or any other items that humans possessed.The next morning the mouse heard the handler come in to open the cages, so hescamperedoff the dog's shoulder into his mouse hole. It was now feeding and cleanup time, so thehandler Gus was pleased to find that Duke didnt rip the places to shreds.

    Duke then went through the day being trained and losing all of his bad habits,another success story for Wily Necker to add to his collection. Duke had only three daysleft until his graduation and pick up from the Necker school of training. All the dogs

    phobia now cleared up, or at least that is what the Germans thought. Each night the dogwas placed back in the storage and each nice he had his mouse companion. Duke washappy the mouse was happy, and the world seemed wonderful but somehow structured

    by those German time keepers. Duke wondered why he cant stay longer with a mousefriend instead being awoken at six a.m.?

    Dukes checklist was now listed as a dog that had passed and resolved all his knownbehavioral and training issues.Willy now called the Musefellars home to say that Duke was ready for to be picked up.

    Yes, sir. Herr Musfellar Duke is now a perfect dog.

    Great, Willy I will pick him up today after work.

    Fred drove to Wheeling after a hard days work and picked the new improved Duke.Dukes brain was confused by his original owner returning. The dog brain said great. Ilike this guy but where are we going now?

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    Well Duke, time to go home. Good boy.

    Duke wagged his tail and put his big head in Freds lap.

    Glad to have you back, Duke.It seemed to be a perfect world, the great remake of the Dog by that fine German

    master of dog training. After a long drive, they made to Foxlake to the estate of oneMusefellar. The first TEST would be Duke not have to be carried into the house likealways. Fred got out of the car, and Duke jumped out right after him. Fred watched asDuke walked beside him. Now Fred opened the back door, and Duke stood for a meremoment, then remember the shock from the collar and walked in nonchalantly. Success.Fred beamed as the dog passed the first test. All that money was not wasted and Fred,who had that German cheap side was happy. The dog now seemed back into the fold,

    happy, large and loveable.

    Now the family moved on for Fred Musefellar was now going to run for Sheriff onthat Republican ticket of law and order and move up the rungs of the American dreamsrickety ladder. The myth of perfection while attaining the American dream is somethingthat blows up in a fart storm of failures, and fuckups which included your brilliant plans.The first chunk of failure was about to occur, when Fred had to travel and tout his

    perfect family to be elected Sheriff.

    Things were going swimming as the Musefellar built a large in-ground pool andhosted parties and met with all those important folk of Lake County.Fred, although a drinker kept that side under wraps and polished up the kids and theresume to look like he would be the Wyatt Earp of this drunken, boating town. Fred nowdragged the kids and the dog to his events. The crowd loved it, but would they vote fora Republican in Democratic machine run town. Things started going badly, the day theyleft the dog home to go to the first debate. It was going to be a long night, and thewhole family was there with the dog left all alone in the living room. Duke lookedaround and felt nervous, panicky. Where is my little friend, his brain said?

    Damn it, I am alone, must chew, CHEW, CHEW.

    After he finished with the sofa, he made a culinary choice of going to,the dining room table his entree would now be the leg portion his new chew toy thetable. Amazing he made quick work of the table and sacred himself when the tablecollapsed onto the floor. Just as he was picking his next choice of boredom relief, thefamily returned.

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    HOLY CRAP,YOU SON OF A BITCH!

    Fred Musefellar screamed the pain of man who worked hard to buy the sofa and dining

    room table. The family almost fell over with surprise. Duke looked back with shameand confusion. BAD DOG!

    The dog now crouched in fear and piddle as Fred went to smack the dog with his belt.It caused the dog to whimper and Fred to stop hitting him while cursing Willy Necker.OH Nora, that damn dog has to go.

    Nora looked at the kids and tried one more attempt to save Duke.Call Willy Necker tomorrow and bring the dog back for more training.

    Most of the kids wanted the dog to stay with the exclusion of Fred Jr, who disliked thedog as it stepped on him and knocked him down most everyday.

    The dog now was on Freds shit list. Willy Necker was now going to meet one of hisfailures, which he didnt think existed.Willy Necker was on vacation to his homeland of Germany when Fred called, but hisassistant Gustaf replied that Willys policy was no return of dogs for retraining unlessthe owner paid for more training.

    SON OF A BITCH, I NEED TO SPEAK TO NECKER ABOUT THAT ONE!

    Fred was now certainly pissed off and wanted to drive and punch Necker in the nose,along with dropping the dog off permanently.

    Fred looked down and threw the dog in the backyard and chained him to a big willowtree until he cooled off. He then tried to fix the dining room table and make the kidsfix the couch. Now, Fred fixed the table with his collection of leftover wood, and thetable now functioned on its new legs made out of two by fours.. Fred now planned

    somehow to get rid of the dog, but decided to give it one more chance.

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    The one more chance was destroyed when Duke saw a rabbit while Nora his wife wastaking him out on a leash. Duke forgot all his Germanic training and bolted after the

    bunny. Even though Duke was the size of pony he had amazing speed. Poor Nora was

    dragged for almost a block before Duke stopped after the bunny disappeared into somebushes. Nora had yelled stop, but it was too late, and she now had a broken arm. Frednow had convinced Nora that the dog had to go, but lucky for Duke, Freds profit motivemade him want to sell the dog to recover the money lost on the couch and table. You seethe dog was pedigree and like a rich person, it was now deemed more valuable than youraverage mutt. Fred had connections since it his political rounds, he met many small-

    business owners, especially tavern owners, Freds normal weakness. That is it Nora; Ifound out how I can make some money off Duke. Nora looked on in disbelief. Fredwho is going to pay for dog that chews up everything when he is left alone.

    Fred smiled and said, he could be left outside as a watchdog.

    Nora nodded her head, Duke is a good watch dog. You did it Fred.Nora chuckled now you have to find the idiot that will pay for this eating machine.

    Fred looked at Duke, who now was over hundred pounds, big, muscular and bulky.

    Even though Fred failed to get elected Sheriff, he still had his connections,which usually evolved drinking and buying junk from other drunks. Fred had a strangehabit of getting stewed and waking up the next day vaguely remembering that he bought

    a new boat. His last boat another cabin cruiser that this time looked great, but had aengine that was held together by with epoxy once gas was put into the fuel system theengine self destructed once the engine ran for more than 10 minutes.

    Fred found his new sucker while hoisting a few cold ones at the Bluebird Tavern. Thenew car-dealer in town needed a watch dog, since he had two cars hoisted last monthone from inside the garage and one from the lot.Ludlow Kissel the owner was now desperate as his profit margins were sinking. After a

    way to many shots and beers, Kissel felt that he was business genius by taking Duke ashis watch dog. The picture of Duke being trained by Willy Necker whom Fred carried inhis wallet was a great selling point. Okay, Fred deliver the dog tomorrow, and I willgive you fifty bucks. Fred gathered up all of Duke's papers, his statement of

    pedigree, his health records and noted shots.

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    Fred had the glow of success and beer flowing through his body like electricity. Now,it was all on the dogs big shoulders.

    After work Fred had Nora take the kids to the ice cream shop, while he gathered upDuke and his leash, dog dishes and a large bag of dog food. He threw all the items intothe back of the truck, including Duke. Duke somehow sensed he was now being kickedout of the family.A pitiful sound of Duke crying, that mournful sound of abandoned pet filled Freds ear.Even though Fred could be a cold, callous German it hit him hard that Duke would begone. He drove to Ludlows car dealership and Kissel and his crew were trying to unloadan 1958 Buick road master with bad valves to a unsuspecting novice car buyer.

    After work Fred had Nora take the kids to the ice cream shop, while he gathered up

    Duke and his leash, dog dishes and a large bag of dog food. He threw all the items intothe back of the truck, including Duke. Duke somehow sensed he was now being kickedout of the family.A pitiful sound of Duke crying, that mournful sound of abandoned pet filled Freds ear.Even though Fred could be a cold, callous German it hit him hard that Duke would begone. He drove to Ludlows car dealership and Kissel, and his crew were trying tounload an 1958 Buick road master with bad valves to an unsuspecting novice car buyer.

    Fred now pulled his car into the service center in the back. Duke was stillcrying, but did stand at attention. Ludlow finished unloading the Buick, which wouldself-destruct in a month but for now; Ludlow made a short-term profit. Longterm hecreated a disgruntled ex-customer for life. Duke the future employee for Ludlow wasconfused, as he liked most people but didnt like what was going on.Ludlow came out like he was still in salesman mode, Duke growled and stood atattention.Freddy, looks like he is ready for being watch dog.

    The Dogs hair bristled. His dog mind said, this is not my home; I dont like this

    guy. Duke growled again. Fred gave the dog a dirty look at Duke, and the dog stoppedhis protest. Fred handed Ludlow the leash which was attached to a bewildered Duke,who now tried to attach himself to the parking lot. Come DUKE, YOU DUMB DOG.Ludlow shouted this while the erstwhile dog had hinged his nails into the pavement.

    Fred Musefellar gave Duke one more dirty look and Duke gave up and started walking.Freds conscience did get to flare up with a guilt about selling the dog and rememberedto issue another warning about the dogs phobia.

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    REMEMBER KISSEL, KEEP THE DOG LOCKED OUTSIDE WHEN HE ISALONE, DONT LEAVE HIM INSIDE YOUR SHOP OR HE MIGHT TEAR UP

    YOUR PLACE. Yeah, Yeah, I got it.

    Ludlow now had Duke walking behind him and tonight was the night that he wouldchain the dog inside the lot of his dealership. Only time would tell if Duke could dealwith now being a working class dog. No more kids, no more fun or backyards, if onlyhadnt eaten the couch.

    Ludlow went back to his office after he chained Duke to a drum of oil.Duke now laid down as depressed like he was forced to live on the moon, he was alone.Forlorn and dejected. Ludlow informed the staff of the new watch dog and came out togive Duke his food, and dish of water.Duke was lonely, he didnt even mind Ludlow. He licked, Ludlow and hoped they weregoing home, a home with kids and a big backyard.Ludlow patted Duke on his big head and tried to bond with him,

    NOW, DUKE DONT LET ANYBODY IN THIS YARD OR DEALERSHIP.

    The dogs mind must went: Oh crap! I hate this.Ludlow left, and the dog dejected looked around for companions. He just had a

    food bowland water dish. In the sleepily little town of Foxlake, he only saw a few people pass.Duke barked to get their attention hoping to get some sort of company. He was on guard,

    but really just wanted not to be alone. Duke had never been outside for the entirenight; he was a big indoor dog who was frightened by the blackness and strange noises.He had a fitful night. Duke did bark at anything that moved by, squirrel, the habitualtown drunk who stumbled past on his sojourn from the Bluebird Tavern, at 3:00 am. It

    was 8:00 am when Ludlow arrived to open up the dealership.

    Dukes dog mind said, My job is not to let anyone one in.

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    Ludlow was fumbling with the lock on the gate when Duke charged the gate. Ludlowdidnt even see the dog charging the gate. Duke hit the gate with a full body slam and

    knocked Ludlow to the ground. The gate shook with the weight of the dog, now Dukewent into full watch dog mode. Growling and foaming at the mouth. Ludlow wasshocked, but happy that the dog was effective in his new role. HEY, DUKE, IT IS ME!LUDLOW, LET ME IN!

    This just seemed to enrage the dog even more. More snarling and banging against thefence shocked Ludlow. Come on! Duke settle down and let me in. Duke now wastaking out his anger for being left outside to get even with one Ludlow Kissel. Ludlowwas now getting steamed as he couldnt get in his own business. DAMN IT, DUKELET ME IN!

    ARGHGRU Duke snarled with teeth barred. The dog started to develop foamand spittle of hate on his massive jaws.

    SON OF A BITCH! Ludlow now was screwed. He now cursed Fred Musefellarand needed to call him to pick up the dog.

    This dog was turning out to be like many of his cars he sold on the lot. It looked good,but was full problems and nightmares. Ludlow now had to get to a phone. Lucky for him

    the Bluebird Tavern opened early for the crowd of drunks who spent their lives inside abottle. Ludlow only had two blocks to walk to the Tavern. He was so pissed. He wasgoing to get a boiler maker to start his lousy day. Entering the Bluebird, it smelled ofstale beer, dirty dish rags and old crusty men whose life was a swamp of cheap booze,smokes, stale peanuts and poor hygiene. The early crowd was die-hard drunks. Theywere dedicated to feeding their addiction.

    As Ludlow entered the dank, dark place, he felt like he was inside a barrel of beerwhich housed the souls of depressed floaters.

    FRANK, GIVE ME A SHOT AND BEER AND YOUR PHONE.

    Frank was an old-school bartender and owner. He listened to your trouble andbullshit. Frank knew the fine art of pretending to care and serving you your drink ofchoice. Frank knew all the town drunks and all the gossip before even the townsnewspaper, he knew who was cheating on who, who was going broke, who had made it

    big.

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    Damn that Musefellar! That dog he sold me wont let me into my own dealership.Frank and the rest of the still cogent semi-sober barflies laughed hearty drunken laughterabout Ludlows defective watch dog.

    Frank chuckled. Heres the phone, good luck returning the dog.Ludlow dialed the phone with every number tugged with pissed-off passion.

    FRED, THIS IS LUDLOW. YOUR DAMN DOG WONTLET ME IN MY OWN DEALERSHIP.

    There was an awkward pause. Okay, Ludlow I am on my way to your dealership to

    take care of YOUR problem.Fred got into his work truck and cursed the day that Duke arrived.

    Lighting a Pall Mall, he exhaled that he might end up with Duke chewing up his

    furniture. Could he get Ludlow to keep the dog?Fred arrived at the Dealership to see Ludlow standing in front of the gate with Duke

    still growling and still keeping Ludlow away from his on entrance. As soon as Fredstepped out of the truck, Duke stopped growling.Ludlow now was amazed to see Duke wagging his tail and turn back to a loveable hulkof adog. Fred gave Duke a stern look, and the dog backed up.

    LUD, JUST OPEN THE GATE, HE JUST DIDNT RECOGNIZE YOU.DAMN IT, YOU WANTED A WATCH DOG!

    Ludlow opened the gate, and Duke ran to Fred wagging his tail and beingsubmissive. Duke sensed he had done wrong. Now, he even walked to Ludlow andlicked hishand. Fred turned to Ludlow and closed the sale once again. You see he just has to getused to you. Just give the dog some time to adjust. Bingo! Fred didnt lose thesale. Spend some more time with him, and he will do fine.

    Well, he'd better let me in next time. Ludlow shook his head and tried to bondwith Duke. Dukes brain was hoping that Fred was taking him home. When Fred left,Duke got the low-down dirty dog blues.

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    Duke was now chained in the back with food and water, bored and alone.Ludlow on his lunch break spent his time eating his sandwich with the dog and throwinghim scraps. Duke was a happy for the company, but felt he wanted his freedom. Ludlow

    enjoyed his lunch, but returned to the car lot getting his salesman to push moreclunkers out the door.Just get them to sign on the dotted line. Hook with them sitting in car, and if you

    must let go for a test drive.Ludlow didnt like the test drive to go for any longer than a few blocks since some ofthe lemons could self destruct if taken for lengthy outings.

    Since all the salesmen were on commission, they would have sold their own motherthe worst car on the lot to make the sale. The day had turned warm, and the salesmanhad rolled the windows down on some of the more flashy cars to make that big sale.

    The more sporty or expensive the car the bigger the commission check.Herbie Tittweller, had been pushing a Caddie convertible with leather seats and thedeluxe retractable top. Flustered Herbie after failing to hook a sucker left theCaddies windows open and the top not locked down when he left that day. Ludlow had

    personally made three great sales and was tuckered out with days struggles of wrestlingwith customers mind to sell them a car that they could not really afford. Ludlowunchained Duke and moved him to the front of the lot so the dog could protect the

    perimeter.NOW DUKE, PROTECT THIS PLACE AND LET ME BACK IN.

    The great Dane seemed almost to nod and understand. Ludlow petted the dog.Now Duke sit and stay.Ludlow then unlocked the gate to the dealership and secured the lock. Duke looked

    on as he was now alone. Sad and stuck inside this weird sort of dog prison for hiscrimes against couches, Duke sighed. Ludlow headed to his car to exit for his home tospend his time with wife Marge and his kids, Frank and Lucy. Now Duke alone had oneof his panic attacks. He looked around for company, nothing, not even a mouse. Chew, Imust chew on something. I am nervous and panicky.The dogs brain was fired with those thoughts while he paced back and forth. Bingo, he

    found the open Caddie, a fine-looking metal object with a couch. I must go in there andchew that couch. In one easy leap, Duke was in the seat of that fine caddie with theleather couch. Where to begin in chewing? Now, he found the spot; the arm rest would

    be perfect.

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    The first bite was tougher than he thought. The Musefellar couch was much easier.Biting down harder he punctured the arm rest and pulled with his massive jaws. Duke

    had made short work of the front seat took a slight break, before jumping into thebackseat for more of late-night snack of leather. The night was falling away as Duke gotbored. The Caddie had nothing really left to chew on. Ironically, the Duke even actuallyscared a real group of thieves who had just robbed the new Italian bar/ restaurantFasicos down the block of the dealership

    Frank Ritzo and Tiny Sorrentino just broke into the store room of Fasicos and stolencases of wine and the best booze. The noisy break-in didnt bring the police, but wokeup Duke from his dreams of human company or mouse company. As Frank and Tinystarted loading the ill-gotten prized into their van, Duke saw them and ran to the fence to

    alert them. He wanted company. Tiny was big, but a nervous sort, like an elephant with acocaine addiction. So when Duke barked and banged against the fence. Tiny screamedand then peed in his pants while dropping a case of Chivas thirty-year-old scotch.Tiny calm down; the dog is behind that fence.

    Tiny gulped and mumbled, we got to get out of here, before the cops come.Duke kept barking, and the neighbors were starting to turn on lights.

    Okay, lets go. Cocking his head with confusion those guys left before Duke couldmeet new friends. Dejected and alone, Duke slunk to the corner of the used-car lot and

    went to bed. The sun rose, and Duke woke and saw Ludlow arrive. Ludlow came to thegate, and this Duke ran to him, but did let him in. He was lonely, so he decided to take achance with this human.

    Yes,Duke's dog brain and nose now remembered Ludlow, but the torn up Caddiewould make him lose his second human contact.Ludlow was walking with dog into his office when he glanced over at theCaddie. SON OF BITCH, WHO LEFT THE TOP DOWN.

    As Ludlow walked up to the Caddie, Dukes dog brain remembered that he was a bad

    dog that used the front seat as a chew toy. Duke now ran for the back of the shop.Ludlow was so engrossed in fixing the Caddies top, that he didnt realize that Dukelooked guilty as hell and ran away. Ludlow had gone to sit in the front seat to push the

    button to close the convertible top, when he saw the seats ripped to hell.

    THAT DAMN DOG!

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    Ludlow looked and saw the shredded leather seats; he actually screamed in pain.

    Now his cherry caddie was a piece of crap. Money down the drain. The front seats nowwould be costing him an arm and leg to replace.Ludlow walked back to his office then shut his door and cried.

    He paged his mechanic to his office while wiping the tears and snot from his face.CHUCK, CHAIN THE DOG TO THE GARAGE DOOR, UNTIL I CAN GET RID OFTHAT DAMN DOG.

    Ludlow now wanted to murder Fred Musefellar, lucky for Fred; he went back toGermany to see relatives, get away from his kids and play the big American. Ludlowdidnt know this, so he angrily called the Musefellar home in hopes of getting thislemon of a dog back to its original owner.

    Nora Musefeller was stuck at home with the kids and also angry with Fred for taking asolo vacation; therefore, sticking her with all the kids during the middle of summerwhen you have to watch them all day. Fred himself was watching the Barmaids andFrauliens who caught his eye. Fred was in Bavarian bar drinking and telling his fellowGermans his success in America while draining steins of beer and eyeing buxom

    barmaids with relish and gusto.

    Meanwhile, Ludlow sat pondering his problems, mulling over suing Musefellar forselling him the defective dog. Ludlow dialed Musefellar number, but was told by Nora

    that Fred was in Germany, and she would not be taking that damn dog back. Sheslammed the phone up to prove her point. Ludlow shook with anger and muttered: ThatDamn Kraut,friggin Nazi. Ludlow stormed out of the office looking for booze andfood.Bingo, Ludlow day may have gotten better as he walked into Fasco Italian Restaurant.The joke around town was Fascos was famous for nothing.

    Actually, the food was good at times great, and it certainly could beat the fast-foodjoints in ambiance and real-home-style cooking. Ludlow walked into the bar and sawthe habitual drunks tossing back their pitchers of beers and one guy trying to mooch

    drinks off the other drunks.

    Foxlake was a town that catered to this crowd of barflies not foodies, so the foodwas almost meaningless to most patrons. However, being part Italian, Ludlow hadgrown up in Chicago and had a taste for a real Chicago Italian beef sandwich. The typethat is made by hand roasted in an oven then put on French bread and dipped with beefdrippings and covered with sweet peppers.

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    Ludlow eyes try to adjust to the darkness, as Vito noticed the new customer.

    Hello sir, what can I get Uze?

    An Italian Beef sandwich with sweet peppers and a pitcher of Beer.Vito shouts to the kitchen, one Chicago special.

    Vito filled the Pitcher of Beer and brought out a frosty stein from his Beer Steinchiller. Here you go. Then Vito sighed.

    Ludlow looked at Vito and recognized a man in pain and suffering with his business.Most small businesses fail, so there is that common bond of getting your ass kicked theeconomic reality of trying to be your own boss whom both plagued both Ludlow andVito.

    Hard day? Ludlow asked Vito as Vito wiped down the bar before another drunkstaggered in for his Beer and a shot.OH a pure nightmare. Last night I got broke in and they made off with cases of wineand my good scotch. It looks like; I will have to sleep here to keep the place safe.

    Just after Vito said this, Ludlow brain fired signals that he had found his patsy toget rid of the dog. The same dog that had eaten his Caddies seat, but did look like a

    watch dog. Now being an expert salesman, who knew how to sell the rubes andhelpless,

    Vitos brain entered the sale spin zone to make the defective dog the greatest dog sinceLassie and Rin Tin, Tin.

    Well Vito, I think I have solved your problem. I have this watch-dog, Duke, whois great watch dog, but I I Ludlow, now like an actor started tearing up went infor the big lie. I hate to part with Duke. He is such a great watch dog, but I haveto find him a new home.

    You see; I keep him at my dealership, but my kids are allergic and when I comehome, they wheeze and cough and even stop breathing. Duke, is so good as a watch dog,I witnessed him stopping anybody from entering my shop. Ludlow smiled, as that partof the story was partially true, as Duke did prevent Ludlow himself from entering hisown dealership.

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    Vito, now stopped wiping. His street wise brain said something is fishy here, but

    his lazy brain said this is perfect.

    Ludlow went in for the kill with his last pitch, the most ubiquitous

    friend bit. Well, Vito since you and I are comrades in small business; I am going togive you the dog for almost next to nothing. Just please treat him like family, since Iwill miss him so much.

    Vito looked on and felt somehow better, just the concept of a watch dog made himfeel safer. Hope that dog, works since I cant lose anymore booze.

    Listen Vito, I paid one hundred smackers for Duke, and he's a pedigree withpapers. And since you are starting this place, I will give you the dog for twenty-fivebucks and throw in his leash, collar, bowls and a bag of food.

    I would say just chain the dog at your back door, and you are set to stop anybodyfrom breaking in. Vito, I will bring the dog over, after I close up.

    Ludlow, smiled that salesman smile, more of an artful smirk of passing off a loadof dog poop as chocolate. Tanks, Ludlow. Ludlow finished his food with gusto,guzzled his beer, paid his bill with a tip. He had rid himself of Duke and now was onsalesman nirvana high. When Ludlow got back, he remembered that now the Caddieneeded new seats. He found his mechanic reading a playboy, while eating his baloneysandwich.

    Chuck, get the Caddie into the shop and order new seats, order the cheaper clothseats. The end of the day came and Ludlow gathered up Duke, who looked sacred andfrighten that his fate was some sort of dog execution.He remembered that he chewed and chewed on those car toys. Duke pleaded with hiseyes, which seemed to say to give me a second chance.I will stop chewing things up. I double dog promise to be good.

    Ludlow looked down at Duke; he had some compassion and actually rememberedall the dogs he had owned. Then his accountant brain remembered the costly destructionof the leather seats, and compassion flew out the window along with Dukes chances of

    remaining with Ludlow.

    As the dealership was closing, Ludlow gathered up all Dukes possessions andshoved them in his trunk. The last thing was to get Duke into the car and try to pawnhim off on Vito.

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    Vito had a cleaned up the bar and checked his cash register for the night'sreceipts. Thankfully, Foxlakes booze hounds were a thirsty bunch.Vitto was still in the hole for all the stolen cases of booze.

    Moving to the storage room, Vito now picked up the replacement lock for his brokenback door. Vito was replacing the lock on the broke door, when Ludlow arrived. Hey,Vito I have your watch dog, and he will better than any lock. Vito had just finishedinstalling the lock and chuckled.

    Vito looked over to see Fred opened the passenger door, and Duke emerged like a dogGodzilla. HOLY CRAP, THAT IS NOT A DOG, THAT IS A HORSE.

    Vito now had second thoughts about owning this guard dog.

    Duke somehow realized that he was getting another new owner.A stunned Vito kept staring at the dog who seemed to like this new owner better thanLudlow. Duke now walked up to Vito and gently licked his hand.Vito had never seen a dog like this before. Okay, Vito make sure you keep him lockedoutside as your guard dog, he isnt a inside dog.Vito looked confused; he wasnt sure but Duke did seem to smile at him. Maybe dogscan sense they are on thin ice, just steps away from the shelter and certain death. Dukeseemed willing to charm the pants off of Vito, or could have been the smells from theclosed kitchen.

    Ludlow, now handled Vito the leash, a bag with dog dishes and leftover dog food,along with file container all of Duke's records. Ludlow, now wanted to exist stage leftquickly before the dog did something to ruin his plan. Ludlow was in such a hurry. Heforgot to get his payment, he just turned and bid good-bye to a stunned Vito and thehappy Duke. Vito now wondered why in America would anyone want a dog the size ofa pony. Vito liked dogs, so he petted Duke, who currently looked loving as his newowner.

    Vito was just about to chain the dog to the gas line, but next realized how big the dog

    was and how fragile the gas-line was, if the dog took off. Then it hit him; his kidshave been begging for a dog. I can score some points if he introduced the dog to thefamily and be the ultimate Daddy for his kids. Mrs. Fasco might be shocked, as she had

    been begging Vito to get the kids a dog, not a strange-looking shetland pony.

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    Vito started by walking the dog around the building then he, and the dog walked toVitos beat-up Chevy Impala. The dog immediately jumped into the passenger's seat, asif he was made to be driven around like Miss Daisy.

    Vito arrived home to his house of six kids and harried wife Sophia.Sophia was trying to cook dinner and monitor the rug rats when Vito came in rathersheepishly.

    Sophia looked at her husband and shot him the look of a suspicious hall monitor. Whenmad she went into her native tongue: QUALUNQUE non pu essere buono

    Okay, bring in the dog, Vito. Vito now realized that this dog would most likelyconfuse the wife, as she was most likely expecting a normal-sized mutt. Duke wassitting still in the passenger seat, just about to have another dog nervous fit. His brain

    said to chew something to relieve his stress.Lucky for him, Vito came back before he had one of his chew-athon

    Okay, bring in the dog, Vito. Vito now realized that this dog would most likelyconfuse the wife, as she was most likely expecting a normal-sized mutt. Duke wassitting still in the passenger seat, just about to have another dog nervous fit. His brainsaid to chew something to relieve his stress.Lucky for him, Vito came back before he had one of his chew-athonCome on Duke, time to meet your new family.

    Vito had now opened the door up and tried holding on to the leash, but Duke waspulling him like he was a mere kids toy. Duke was very excited to meet his new family.

    DAMN IT, Duke slow down, whoa, HEEL. Duke finally realized as he had pulledVito up to the driveway, that he must behave. Duke now slowed down and rememberedhis Necker training school.

    Now, as entered the kitchen, Sophia almost passed out from the sight of the behemoth.

    WOW, PAPA GOT US A PONY! Bobby the youngest shouted out with confusion

    of mistaken identity. Duke now was happy that he had a new family with kids.

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    The kids now gathered around and started hugging Duke and petting him. Duke wasat his happiest. Even though he was being also poked and prodded and Tanya the oldest

    daughter now climbed on his back like he was her pony, Duke stayed happy and calm.Now Sophia, was royally pissed off as she now had kids in love with dog that

    towered over everything, including her tiny Italian frame. She now looked at Vito indisgust that he didn't get the dog she wanted, but as a Mother, she felt trapped insidethe parent vise.Watching her kids, Sophia was enthralled with their joy but overwhelmed that the newfamily member needed its own room addition. However, she felt like having a

    breakdown after seeing the size of the dog. Like most doting parents, she was now stuckwith the beast or face the whining and crying of just saying no to this huge canine.

    Duke was now part of the family, at home everything now seemed peachy. It waswhen Duke became a watchdog again that things would go badly for him and some ofthe humans that entered his life. Duke had spent time with family until, Vito decided hemust earn his keep the next night back at the bar. He had put in a post that he couldattach Duke's leash. Duke now worked third shift at the bar. At closing time, Vitoattached Duke's chain and leash to the post near the back entrance of the restaurant.Duke was now sad again. Not this again, his big brain said. No companions, alone once

    again, the dog solitary work made his skittish. Duke was happy when he was allowedback home with the family. Like most people, he hated his job of being forced outsidewith nothing to do. About a month went by, when he got unexpected company. Thoserobbers came back thinking they were going to make an easy score.

    TINY, cut the lock and we get in and get this done with.

    Hold your friggin horses Frank, this ain't like cutting up a ravioli.

    Duke was balled up in big corner of the entrance, hidden from sight by a forty watt

    light and his grey coat. He was having a fitful dream when heard the noise of the gateopening. Hmmm, what is that COMPANY? Duke now got excited, finally humancontact again.

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    Just as Tiny opened the gate, Duke stood up and was ready to greet his newfriends.Frank now entered with his crowbar to pry the back door up, and both banditsfocused on getting that door open. Duke sprang up now and galloped toward to the

    clueless crooks. Duke now barked his greetings. It meant to be just to be Hello; I amglad to see Ya! The crooks now dropped their tools when they saw the giant beastrunning toward.

    HOLY CRAP, LET'S GET OUT OF HERE! FRANK yelled this while Tiny shookand peed in his pants from fright. Next they turned while Duke kept barking, Hello, heywait I want to be your friend.

    Duke was losing his companion, but in two more steps, he was right next to therobbers. Duke now stood up on his two legs and towered over Frank. Duke then tried to

    be super friendly by embracing the robber with his whole front paws in greetings.Frank now fell to the ground, while Tiny started whimpering.Frank now thought the dog was going to attack, so he panicked and couldn't get his legsto move. Duke had rested his big paws on Franks's legs, so was not really paralyzedjust suffering from paranoid thoughts of becoming a Vienna sausage for the dog.

    TINY PULL ME OUT OF HERE!Tiny first impulse was just to truck his big frame out of there. He realized that

    Frank's relatives had real connections to the mob, and if they found out Tiny allowedFrank to get mauled to death. Tiny knew he would be facing death by the method of atrip to Montrose harbor for a late night swim with a cement life jacket. Tiny nowgrabbed Frank's ankles. Duke then thought it was a game, so he barked then moved his

    paw quickly to play tag with Tiny's arm.

    Tiny almost wet himself again while he soothingly spoke, Nice Doggie.

    Duke was wondering why this guys just were crawling away and not playingcorrectly. Duke tried barking and jumping up and down to get them to play, but now

    they were running out screaming and slamming the gate behind them.The dog was perplexed as he cocked his head with confusion on those strange men.

    Now alone, with nothing to chew on Duke went back to sleep, with a fitful dream ofcompany. Vito also had a fitful night, he felt guilty about leaving the dog out all night,

    but he was going to take the dog home for some family time.

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    As Vito arrived, he was shocked to find his lock and chain broken while Duke wasstanding at attention, just waiting to see his new owner. The backdoor was intact andVito found the dropped crowbar and droplets of Tiny's pee still pooled up.

    GOOD DUKE, YOU STOPPED THOSE BASTARDS FROM BREAKING INAGAIN.Duke accidentally stopped the crooks, but he wasn't meant to tear the flesh off of

    criminals. He might lick them or knock them down, but his basic instinct was play andhuman contact. A month went by, and times got rough for Vito and his business.

    What the dog didn't now was that Vito's business was in jeopardy, not from crooks,but because competition with sexier waitresses and cheaper beer was kicking Vito'ssmall-business butt. Vito counted on success, but with kids and now the dog's appetite,he had to face the fact that he had to sell the bar-restaurant and work for his cousin.

    Vito opened the door and walked in order to see his dreams abating. The place nowrepresented his money being flush down the toilet. He cleaned up the place and realizedhe would put up his For-sale sign. Simply turn away from his dream with just the pastresting on his humped over shoulders.

    He wiped down the bar and got ready for the last time he would serve the regularsthat doses of pain killers, his kitchen had been emptied with food sales tanking. TheFoxlake crowd didn't bother with his Mom's Italian recipes, just a quick burger and

    pitcher of beers. His Italian pride was stung, that they didn't appreciated the homemade

    pasta and handmade sauces. FUCK EM.Guilt of losing the place, plus realizing that he had to sell his home to pay his debtsand move in with his brother made him feel small insect like. A wave guilt hit him, ashe realized that he could afford to keep Duke. Worse yet, his kids and even his wifewere crazy about the dog.

    Vito normally had the wife bring the dog home between five in the afternoon andten at night, so that she had a watch dog, and the kids had play time with dog. Shakinghis head, Vito realized that would be cruel to have them spend the last night with dog.Vito decided just to leave him for the full night with him in the bar, then go home

    minus the dog. The night was full of the sounds of drunks making love to their pitchersof cheap beer and jokes about Vito's horse. Duke now was walking among thecustomer'sfor free food, like beef jerky and even some giving him sips of beer from the pitchers.Duke thought this was great even though the beer, and the drunks giving him pickledeggs was making him pass gas. When Duke farted, the crowd laughed and lit matchesscientifically burning off his odious emissions. Duke found this an odd eating game, buthe liked it, even the beer.

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    As, the night dragged on, Vito closed the place up at midnight instead of three a.m.

    All the night-crawlers left smelling of beer and failure as they staggered home or drovelike snail's home to their disappointed lives or partners.

    Vito had to throw out all the old food that was turning green into the trash. Sonof goat turd,, all his hard work for nothing. Vito cursed as the food feel into thetrash.He stuck a for-sale sign in the window and left Duke in the bar with a bowl of water

    and leftover bones and hotdogs. It made him feel guilty that he was an American failure,and that he was losing his house and even the dog. Duke's dog food he couldn't affordnow, nor the upkeep of his dreams was beyond his empty bank account.

    Now Duke was alone and sitting on the bar floor waiting for the humans to come backand laugh, feed him pickled eggs and glasses of beer. He waited and nothing happened,

    just silence and leftover smell of humanity in all its drunkenness and pain.

    Loneliness is a bitch even for a dog. Empty from the world of human friends, nowalmost bitter, Duke looked around but couldn't get back to sleep. His brain fired off,must chew or at least get something to eat.Duke looked around and spotted the glass containers of beef jerky, next he found thosestrange eggs. Stress needs to be released, why not just grab some of these delightful

    bar-snacks, stress eating seemed to help humans. Duke just lifting his large frame itwas an easy snatch with his jaws to knock down the glass container of beef jerky next tohis feet. Inhaling the beef jerky, was done in minutes. I must have those weird whitethings that are shaped like balls. His eyes spotted the eggs, pickled and packed in thatstrange tasting sour liquid. I must have those.

    Duke now finished those off. Farting and walking around, he found more designsof human snack food. Plastic sacks filled with crispy, crunchy things known as potatochips. Expelling more gas and now feeling extremely bloated Duke now had to ridhimself of his stomach contents. He couldn't get out of the bar, so ashamedly he took a

    dump.Then his stomach said, Jesus, Duke you filled up with all this junk food, remove it now.

    Now Duke left piles of poop all over the place, along with undigested plastic from theJays potato chips. Duke finally fell asleep not knowing that he was in dreaded doglimbo. Duke seemed fated for the dog-shelter and maybe the final solution for theunwanted. The dog gas chamber. Duke had looked around at what he had done, and hewas ashamed. He put his paws over his eyes to block the sight of his last screw up.

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    Morning came with a blinding hot sun. The boat-town was steaming with heat risingoff the pavement and with Vito resigned to be kicked in the crouch of life. He kissed hiswife and kids goodbye and drove to the restaurant with his cup of coffee and newspaper.He entered the town, passed Ludlow's car-dealer ship and saw the out of town boaters

    arriving for a day of drunken fishing or racing around like manics in their speed boats.Vito liked the water but realized a boat like a restaurant is a big money pit.

    Sipping his coffee he was getting ready to pack up all items that he could use andclean the place to get it ready for hopefully a quick sale, the place was now bleeding ofmoney like he was a stuffed pig. He opened the back door to get smacked back by thesmell of the turd bombs that Duke had planted last night.

    DAMN IT! DUKE YOU HAD TO LEAVE MORE SHIT TO CLEAN UP.

    DIO MIO!

    MERDA E PI MERDA! SHIT AND MORE SHIT!

    Vito got out the dust pan, broom and then the mop and bleach. Cleaning up and cryingwhile Duke cowered in the corner. It must have been the stress, but Vito startedlaughing, remembering that he and the last remaining patrons had already been feedingthe dog, beef jerky, pickled eggs and beer. He did remember that it was he that didn'tlet the dog, before he went home depressed.

    DUKE, I am sorry, IT WAS MY FAULT. Vito laughed.

    Vito then sat down, opened a beer and walked Duke around the building to make surethe dog had completed all his bodily functions. Vito went back inside to read the paperand check for his ad he had placed to sell his business. He found his ad and scanned forother ads looking for a way out of his misery. His thoughts turned to how to get rid ofDuke. He was distraught that nobody in his family or his family of customers could takehim.

    He now kept searching the ads for jobs or anything that would give him a leg up.

    Holy Crap, look at this Duke. Somebody is looking forward to buying pedigree GreatDanes.Like a miracle from the Saint Assisi himself, there was added saying that they were

    paying top dollar for Great Danes, if they were pedigrees.

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    Well, I will be damned. Ludlow did say that Duke was a pedigree and said he hadpapers. Vito now got up from the bar and headed toward the storage room, there was the

    original bag from Ludlow. He opened and found the documents that Duke was apedigree,along with his diploma from Willy Necker's obedience school.

    Duke was watching this confused and concerned dog puzzled face. Duke thoughtonce again he would be moved once more to another owner. Even his brain had figuredout that dogs are disposable.Walking slowly to Vito Duke put his head in Vito's lap, hoping to stay with him and hisfamily. Vito patted him and looked down with love, Duke was a family, but his brothersaid no to any pets. Vito could only wait to see if Duke was sale-able.

    Vito called his wife from the bar informing her that he was trying to find a home forDuke. His wife spoke in whispers as the kids would have started crying and wailing thattheir pony-dog was going bye-bye. Sophia, I think I found a home for Duke?

    Good just make sure he doesn't end up in one of those little cages.

    Okay, Sophia I am trying, but this dog seems to be cursed.

    I am calling this breeder and see if Duke even has a chance.

    Vito dialed the number for breeder, Oh yes, we are looking for adult male dogs forour family, bring the dog over with his papers.

    It was like selling one his kids, but Vito had run out of choices. Okay, Duke let usgo for a ride, Duke wagged his tail, but in the back of his mind the ride could be bad,like being dumped off again or worse yet a trip to the Vet.

    Vito opened the door and Duke jumped into the passenger seat.

  • 8/22/2019 Part i i : The Great Dane King

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    As they drove, Vito found that the drive was like a nice Sunday drive, as if he andthe dog were going on vacation. In America, many people took drives to stop anddecompress of the stress of work and keeping up with neighbors. The address of the

    place was out in the sticks, and houses were now turning into farm houses and fewer

    bars and boaters. Signs for eggs and quilts appeared. Vito had not had time to enjoy thiswhen he was small-business man, so he was shocked about this side of America. Barnsand cornfields were glistening in the sun. He looked around and finally saw the sign;Simon SAYS ADOPT A GREAT DANE. Duke's ears perked up as he heard other dogs,his nose picked the scent of females; food and natures smells he didn't know.

    Hi, I am Denise Simon and let me meet this big fella.

    Almost like a doctor examining a patient, Duke was sized up, mainly I quess for

    physical defects. Denise stroked his body, looked inside his ears and then gingerlyopened up his large mouth and looked at his teeth and tongue.

    Yes, sir, that is a near perfect dog. I will give five hundred dollars for the dog..

    Vito mouth hung open in shock. Did you say, five hundred. Vito mind thoughtthat this lady was crazy, as she thought the dog shat out turds of gold.

    He will make a great father, or shall will say stud.

    Vitto, chuckled and then exploded with laughter. You have a deal.

    He patted Duke on the head, and then looked into Dogs eyes. DUKE YOU ARENOW ONE LUCKY DOG.

    Duke now had fields to run, girl dogs to get to know and many puppies he created inhis future. His job was to have fun, food, copulate and make babies he had company,

    both dog and human. Duke's life was golden. No longer a stressed watch dog, left alonein the darkest night.

    Sadly, the humans of story had more troubles, but all and all Duke lived more like aking then his past owners. THE GREAT DANE DID BECOME A KING!

    Now look around and you will see who is picking up whose poop and maybe a dogslife is better than you think.