Henry the English Bull mastiff, the biggest and mildest fourlegs around, is facing an awkward problem at Swallow’s Veterinarians for Livestock & Pets. Thinking he’s going in for his annual rabies jab, he wakes up after the Op to discover it’s for a much more personal problem. Something to send him right off his chain, and wreak vengeance on all doggies within mauling distance. It may have something to do with a new nick name spreading on a sniffy wind amongst all the Swallow’s fours: Big Knickers.
At nighttime, when no one is throwing the bright hot ball in the sky, and when most hindlegs like to curl up and sleep, all fourlegs – on the other paw – like to get some action going. It’s no different with Henry. Sitting on his favorite chair he waits until he sniffs the stilled heartbeats of Franks and his missus, Cheryl. Slow, regular, trouble-free heartbeats means they’re both doing chasing dreams.
Stealthily, as stealthily as a brute the size of Henry can be, he slips off his chair and makes his way towards the kitchen. Passing Cheryl’s chair he considers jumping up onto it and squashing up a few of her cushions. He knows she don’t like him on her chair but, Henry owns this houseden and he considers every bit of furniture in it his rightful place to park his big butt. And whenever he so chooses. Tonight, however, he has more pressing concerns.
Gotta get this thing off me he paws at the large plastic collar around his neck can’t get at me essentials
It’s important Henry can get at his essentials cos a day without plumb-licking is a day sadly wasted. Time doesn’t mean a thing to him, of course, but the joy of grooming essentials is a pleasure rendered unbearable when not attended to on a regular basis. Dog damn it! It’s almost as bad as going without a squirt.
In the kitchen is just the thing to help him get back to some well-needed grooming action.
Henry pushes open the door with his snout.
Just a touch and it swings along its arc to nudge the fridge.
Head up, ears pushing forward, holding breath and straining to sniff any movement from the companions upstairs….nothing.
He makes his way towards the backdoor and the scratchflap.
The scratchflap is the one part of the houseden that Henry wants nothing to do with. Doesn’t even want to sniff it. That’s because, beforenows, the scratch that made regular use of it, was Henry’s biggest pain in the butt. But the scratch, called Tosca – though why any hindlegs would bother calling a scratch anything other than ‘scratch’ is quite beyond common sense – is no more. And it had absolutely nothing to do with Henry.
First off, the scratch was never fed: his food bowl always being empty even when Franks filled it. Secondly, the scratch suffered the frights: constantly clinging and hissing from the curtains. Third and finally, the scratch suffered stove chest punctured lungs and compound fractures to its little body: considered due to a massive weight pressing down on it night times when none of the hindlegs was about. Naturally, the companions got rid of the scratch.
Tosca? Not guilty yer honor.
Anyways, approaching the scratchflap, Henry is going to put a cunning plan into action.
The scratchflap is a touch bigger than his head but is a whole load smaller than the dog damn collar around it. Kitchen table is in the way, sort of, but he’ll work around that. Lining up earflaps with scratchflap, Henry charges.
“wha’thefakisgoingondownthere!” Franks paws are crashing down the stairs. “Henry?”
Franks switches on the light. Kitchen table is tilting on the floor, one leg missing, breakfast items – set up so nicely by Cheryl before retiring to bed – are all over. Sitting his big ass on the tablecloth is Henry, one back leg cocked up in the air, happily applying some well-earned licking action to his essentials, plastic collar in pieces all about him
“itoldyou,nodogsallowedintherectory” Revlegs whips off the cover from Halfleg and GitOrrf!
Hold on mate, it’s cold
“whaa?” Halfleg slurs “howdidthatmuttgetthere?”
Gitorrf! is in the air, being carried straight to the front door by Revlegs. A moment of déjà vu as he’s slung out on his sniffy butt into the whitedrink. “thisplaceisonylforthehomeless”
I’m with Halfleg so I’m homeless, too
“stayOUTorI’llcallthepound” Revlegs slams the door in his snout.
Wait…wait a mo’ GitOrrf! taps at the door with his front toe how’s Halfleg gonna stay homeless without me?
“andstopyerbluddyyapping” Revleg’s muffled voice from behind the door.
Charming, that is and he squirts a long one on the door itself. The squirt a nice sniffy green.
It’s night, he’s out on the streets, and he’s hungry. Only one thing for it: some ‘round the back bin action. He sets off up the street with a purpose.
Thank dog, the cold blowing off the whitedrink is stopping the sniffy bins ‘round back from spreading their happy colours too far. Gitorrf! expects the usual crowd ‘round back of KFC but finds only one other four, Mayumi.
I sniff you Mayumi
I sniff you Char-lee
What’s a nice girl like yous doing ‘round bins like these?
Ayaa, I’ve had it with hind-leegs
Gitorrf! won’t argue with that. He’s been having it with hindlegs all his life. Together they investigate the pickings under the three bins parked ‘round back of KFC.
I’m hungry Char-lee but there’s nothing here
Don’t you worry about that Miss, there’s a trick to these bins as GitOrrf! runs a wide circle to build up his launch speed to reach the lid of the nearest bin. Maybe it’s the whitedrink, or the fact its pitch dark ‘round back of KFC, but instead of landing on top the bin, he lands right in it. Buried up to his neck in a full day’s half-eaten over the counter chicken orders. And right on top of some scratch that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Miaooowwwww! the scratch hisses, berserker-crazy to get out, a nightmare of claws slashing in every direction to get away, including at GitOrrf!.
Ouch! That’s right, find yer own bin Gitorrf! yelps after it. Catching his breath from all the excitement he falls back on a bed of KFC, contemplating his sudden good fortune. Mayumi completely forgotten.
If there’s a fourlegs heaven, GitOrrf! decides this is it. Minus scratch, of course.
Nothing for it but to eat my way out as he starts chewing everything within chewing distance. Half-eaten drum sticks, full on strips, breasts, thighs, niblets and fries in every which way, gooey with tomato sauce and coleslaw. What more can you possibly want?
Ah? Knew there was something missing whitedrink gently falling onto his upturned face, frosting the contents of the bin. Erh, can you jump in Mayumi?
Can I lick my own plumbs, Char-lee?
Wow! Can you?
I’m speaking metaphorically, Char-lee, I cannot because I –
You? Have? Plumbs?
Ayaa! No. Forget the plumbs Char-lee and bring me some friggin’ chicken!
A scrabbling noise and GitOrrf! flies out of the bin to land beside Mayumi, his mouth wrapped around an half-eaten extra crunchy patty Zinger burger.
Mayumi snatches it from him and gets stuck in.
What kind of muttwit leaves this half eaten? she noshes, mouth full of ridiculously deliciously definitely non-vegan food; all greasy, meaty, sniffy and proper-like.
After a few moments of enjoying the very best of KFC, Gitorrf! comments did you see that scratch?
Why is it all scratch look alike?
Cos they’re dim-witted, Char-lee, not like us
As dim-witted as those hindlegs?
Almost as she finishes the zinger burger and licks her chops.
His little belly drum-tight full, for now, GitOrrf! decides it time to go check out Henry and see if anything ever came of those chops. He’s sure that by the time he gets to Henry’s the space for a nice plump chop will open up, guaranteed.
I’m off to see Henry
Hen-ree? That stud muf-feen! and Mayumi is right behind him as they trot out from ‘round the back of KFC and start up the high street, occasionally stopping for a squirt or two.
Henry, me and Mayumi are approaching the garden hedge…and…and we’re submitting
Henry bounds up to the hedge, sticking his head over. SUBMIT INTRUDER!
I’m not intruder, I’m GitOrrf!
And you can submit, also
I submit, how much more submitting do you want?
Me, too, Hen-ree? the cute little Spitz suggests, but whether it’s a question or not is up to Henry to figure out.
Henry stares down at her I sniff you Mayumi he starts dribbling, instantly thinking of some sweet eight leggers action with the little Spitz, before furrowing his earflaps in confusion as a barely understood notion prompts him to also think that sweet eight leggers ain’t ever gonna happen with the little Spitz or anyone else, ever again, because of something to do with his essentials. Erh, what you twos doing then?
You’re head’s smaller GitOrrf! peers up at the big fourlegs, moving his head from side to side as he looks between earflaps.
Thanks to the scratchflap, Gitorrf!
Thank dog for the old scratchflap Gitorrf! congratulates him, not even aware that he actually has no clue what a scratch flap is in the first place.
What scratchflap Char-lee?
That scratchflap GitOrrf! looks at her as if its perfectly obvious.
This is too much for Henry Why you call GitOrrf! Charlie?
Why you call Char-lee Git-Orrf! Hen-ree? Mayumi answers back.
Actually, what is a scratchflap? adds GitOrrf! for good measure and any news on the chops?
The three fourlegs all stand around, scratching, sniffing, and wondering where the next noshing is gonna come from.
Better yet Henry pants Franks promises me something at the vets tomorra…the vet sez, I need something more….cos of the chop
You can cut the air with a sharp fourlegs tooth, the tension is so thick.
Like sausages? GitOrrf! gasps
But not vegan sausages? Mayumi squeals
Better than either sausages or vegans Henry pauses for added drama, spelling it out ..Franks sez, something spe – ee – shal
It just so happens the town of Swallow is so small that whatever a large fourlegs does, or doesn’t does, some other fourlegs is gonna sniff it out and tell all the other fours all about it, anyways. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens the day Henry goes to the Veterinarians for Livestock & pets to get something spe – ee – shal. And it’s all thanks to Tuffy.
I sniff you Hens, whatcha doing? Calls Tuffy from way over the other side of the street.
Henry bobs his big head up and down, weighing up if Tuffy needs to submit or not from way over there. He decides he needs to come within crushing distance first.
I sniff you Tuffy. Gonna get something spe – ee – shal from the vets
Obviously, something special means food, and Tuffy edges his way off the pavement and towards the ridiculously larger English Bull Mastiff. Hunger taking the better of common sense.
Aww, givvus some, matey?
Consider it done, matey and the two fourlegs touch noises before ponying a little sniff and licking dance ‘round the respective back ends.
You been eating that Turkish kebab again? Henry sniffs it up.
Tuffy can’t answer. He’s lost for words. Doing the ‘sniff’ of the essentials of a right wrencher three times his size is one thing – and Tuffy ain’t small – but doing the ‘sniff’ of essentials when there suddenly ain’t none. Essentials that is. Well, that’s cause for a bit of a gob-smacking shock.
“comeonslobberchops” Franks heaves Henry through the doorway of the Vets before Tuffy can recollect his wits to ask the obvious.
“itdidn’twork!” Franks is telling the vet in the weird sniffy room with all the shiny weird sniffy stuff in it.
“nonsense,nonsenseanddiapers” the vet barks back.
“he’snotgonnalikethat!” Franks shakes his earflaps. Although Henry knows Franks’ earflaps are so small they can’t actually flap at all.
Not gonna like what? If it’s sausages…I like those
“nonsense” the vet replies, pulling some big pink plastic thingy from a cupboard and slapping it down on the table.
“yougottaanothercolourMiss?” Franks sounds troubled.
The two hindlegs regard Henry and something odd about their sniff is giving Henry a bad feeling about this.
In the time it’d take some fourlegs to hose a right long squirt, Henry is mincing his way out of the vets. The whitedrink is not drinking anymore but Henry don’t care about that. What he does care about is the little pack of fours hanging around outside waiting for the sausages. Tuffy, Drizzle (also known by the intimates as Fudge, but mostly goes by the handle Drizzle), Mayumi and, of course, GitOrrf!
Hens, what about those sausa – FAK ME!
What the – stammers Drizzle
Ayaa, Is that what I think it is Hen-ree?
BIG KNICKERS! Gasps Tuffy, taking a step back.
Henry stands tall, colossal, proud in the padded pink plastic diaper worn around his essentials department. He hard eyes the male fourlegs, one after the other.
But before he can mince one step forward, or open his chops on one word about submitting or even about any other subject, Tuffy and Drizzle are already loping off in opposite directions. Soon the whole of Swallow will get to sniff the new boy in town, Big Knickers!
GitOrrf! watches them go, Tuffy turning left at the Offy, Drizzle disappearing into Herdwick pooping park. He returns his big black eyeballs to the diaper strapped all the way round Henry’s back end.
You got some spe – ee – shals inside there, Henry, or only sausages?