Archived: Dog Heaven by Daniel Morgenegg

Recently, I ran into some good fortune. Actually, I should say it ran into us. Jake, my dog, gets to come along for the ride.

I spend these days roaming the forest with Jake, walking the trails I loved when I was a younger man, and dog was only a pup.

Back then, I made guitars for a living, so my time was flexible. It was kind of feast or famine in this line of work, but we got by just fine. We would go camping, hunting, and fishing for days at a time. Just living the dream. Don’t get me wrong, the weather could be brutal sometimes- bone chilling winters, or blazing summers. It didn’t matter much though. The dog and I are pretty outdoors-like. Besides, we were on adventures, and seeking answers to the riddles the forest held for us. Quests of a cosmic nature, you might say. A man, a dog, a mission. Honestly, we usually just followed Jake’s nose wherever it took us, and that was enough.

This dog of mine is as gentle as an old grandpa. I think he has an old soul. However, he can, and does catch rabbits, squirrels, and birds. More than once we’ve had rabbit stew courtesy of Jake.

Time marches on for us. These trips out here take a little longer than they used to. We’re still good for it, but the joints are a little stiffer, and we take it a little slower. Still, to sleep by the open fire, and to look up at all those stars. Who are we in the endless universe? The word “epic” drifts through my mind.

My craft has reached a pinnacle, and I don’t make many guitars these days, but the ones I do make sure sell for a lot of money. I make three, maybe four a year now. There’s enough money set aside to retire a few times over. I ponder this over my cup of Irish whiskey while Jake is in his own thoughts, working on that buffalo bone. We may be a couple of old guys, but we’re living pretty large I’d say. It’s a good thing too. My hands are tired, hell, all of me is tired, and Jake’s got his problems too. He still gets around pretty well though. I guess the same goes for me.

Time passes so quickly these days. It is the autumn of our lives, so we celebrate the spring all the more. The snow is thawing, the trees budding, yet nothing can stop the creep toward our winter years.

Time passes so quickly these days. It is the autumn of our lives, so we celebrate the spring all the more. The snow is thawing, the trees budding, yet nothing can stop the creep toward our winter years.

I look out the window this morning and it’s still raining. It’s been doing this for two weeks now. I’ve never seen it come down like this. It’s weird. Nature do your thing, but we’re getting cabin fever. Enough is enough.

The day finally came that it stopped. The creeks are out of their banks, so we wait for a week, then go for it. We head to our camp. Deep in the woods, and near the pond. No hurry, and blue skies in the forecast. This is way overdue, and I’m not sure how many of these walks we got left in us. We’ll take it slow.

The forest glows with greenness. With the dew, and the sunlight hitting everything just right, it takes color to the extreme. Everything was vibrant and alive. Dog spots a rabbit, but just watches. Everything is peaceful.

We make it about three quarters of the way to camp when we encounter a huge puddle. A small pond really. Some of the creeks are still out of their banks. We go around and stop at a large outcropping of rocks on the other side. It’s a good time for a break, so we settle under a large ledge for a rest. As I daydream, I think to myself. This may be one of the last trips we take out here for a while. It was harder than I thought it would be. It makes me a little sad as I think of our mortality. We’ve lead a charmed life, but I guess nothing can last forever, and we’re getting to be some pretty old dudes.

Jake whimpers while he naps. Paws twitching, he’s obviously chasing something. While sitting there, just pondering life, a small pebble bounces off my shoulder. I don’t think much about it. At first. Then I got wondering. How much water is up there over our heads? Before I could finish the thought the entire ledge broke and came crashing down on top of us.

Jake and I are standing there, looking at the pile of rubble that buried us. Yes, we are quite dead. Now that may sound horrible, but it’s not. We never felt a thing. As it turns out, this was the good fortune I mentioned earlier. It’s not like I imagined at all. We are young again, and where we want to be. Stewards of the forest that we love. We come and go as we please, and there are others like us. Considering all dogs go to Heaven, then, I think we made it! It feels good to me.

You should know, Jake and I can understand each other’s thoughts now. He tells me there’s a pretty little bulldog down the trail, and her person is someone I might like.

We have a new lease on life in a strange way. Now if you’ll excuse us. We’ve got to get going. There’s a couple of ladies we’re going to meet.






I take creative writing, and a painting course at AIMS.
I like it.