The Dog Swap
Owner and his dog swap places for a day
Danny rolled over on the rug in front of the fire and scratched his chin with his rear paw. It felt wonderful. What an amazing thing it was to reach his chin with his foot. He thought he might just miss that most of all. Well, that and behind the ear scratches. Bliss!
“I say Danny, I’m not sure I want this day to end,” said Buster as he stretched his legs on the foot stool and admired his green trainers. He reached for the sandwich on the plate next to him. Bacon, roast beef and cheese. He’d made it himself in the kitchen even though he’d eaten a full box of Jaffa Cakes just before, all coated in forbidden chocolate. His voice broke slightly as he said it, a rough coughing sound following his words.
“Is that right?” asked Danny, becoming aware that he could once again speak. The words felt strange coming out between the long teeth in his muzzle and vibrating on his long, pink tongue.
Was it only last night that he’d made the wish? The wish to change places with his dog for a day. Buster hadn’t really had a choice, but the day had clearly gone well for the dog inhabiting his body.
“Well, woof, yes,” said Buster with a small bark, “I have very much enjoyed the kitchen, so much to see up there on the counter! And the thumbs, have you ever noticed how wonderful thumbs are?” he asked and crammed the rest of the meat with meat sandwich into his mouth. No one stopped him when he made it. No one bopped him on the nose and told him to get down. The mother did seem a bit cross about the Jaffa cakes, but he hadn’t even been sent outside to the cold.
“Hmm, yes, the kitchen is good. But the walk in the park was amazing. Did you see when I went after that cheeky squirrel. Almost caught it, I did! Oh and the poo, that was….” Danny began with a smile.
“Now, now, arf, let’s not be vulgar!” Buster reprimanded as he picked up a book from the seat beside him, “I wonder if I have time for a few more chapters?” he mused. Reading was an unexpected pleasure. He knew he’d like to be able to eat when he wanted, but he hadn’t known how lovely it would be to make pictures in his head from words on a page. He used to think these book-things were mostly good for a chew when the family was out.
“Should you like to stay then, as me, as a boy?” Danny asked, stretching out and moving to sit by Buster’s feet–which incidentally smelled wonderful in his dirty old trainers, sweaty and damp!
“Been thinking about that, it’s a good life you have up here. But, awoof,” he barked slightly again, “pardon, but no. There aren’t enough good smells in your boy-nose and the mother kept on about something called homework and I could tell I didn’t much care for that. No, I just think I’ll have my paws back if you please. I have a little thing going with that Bichon down the road, you know, can’t let her down! What about you?”
“No homework to do is terrific,” said Danny, his temporary dog-lips beginning to ache with the effort of speaking, “but I’ve had a dreadful itch down there all day and I just can’t get it!” he looked sheepishly down by his tail.
“You just have to bend your head down and…” began Buster.
“Oh no!” Danny shouted, “I will NOT being doing that! No, old buddy, I think I’ll leave the itching and the Bichon to you. I miss Nintendo!”
The two sat in silence for a long while until a voice called from down the hall, “Danny, you done your homework?” The boy and the dog on the rug exchanged looks and Danny got up from the chair and turned to leave the room. At the last moment he walked back over and crouched down to scratch between Buster’s ears.
“When I finish my maths, we’ll go to the park and see if you have better luck with that squirrel than me, OK?”
Buster hung his head in bliss, this was better than bacon!