The Dogs of Sherburne : A Great American Dog NOvel by author Tom Mody

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Meet the Dogs of Sherburne
dog Dallasdog Sugardog Scooter
dog Laddiedog Scampdog Sam
dog Hobiedog Generaldog Brandi
dogs Tuffy & Mitsy

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Author Contact:
Tom Mody
Mody Company Creative
607-336-6233 ph | 607-336-6232 fx
56 West Main, Norwich NY 13815


Author Notes | Chapter Excerpts | Fact or Fiction | Paw Prints

Chapter 11 Excerpts


"His head was barely through the door when his vicious lung lashing began and he steamed right for me. I immediately clicked on my fightin’ mode and defended myself as best I could for the moment. The boys and Nat just freaked’. The preschool aged Nat clung to the top of the couch screamin’. The boys made a pathetic futile attempt to break us up that lasted mere seconds then fled the room closing the door behind them hoping to keep us confined. It worked as we carried on a particularly violent release of pent up anger upon each other in the den. The only problem was that they left Nat defenseless in the room with us. "



This Has What To Do With Taxes?

" The seeds of dissension were already blooming about the village concerning the reckless freedoms we’d achieved. Though none of the old guard Masters were about to start caging their pets, I was getting leash locked more and more. Particularly when Master did not desire my following and pestering. In the old days the ever favorite “open car door” routine would work to corral me so Master could leave in peace. Less effective yet more embarrassing was the fake stick toss and ditch. It’s just a lack of brain size, you know. Master would toss a couple sticks. I’d go fetch and the next ones would be thrown further and further away. Ultimately Master would cock back that arm and put forth an exaggerated heave. I’d go bookin’ in search of the stick that never was. It never left Master’s hand but I’d be stupidly preoccupied looking for it while Master slipped away around a corner. He had to be pretty quick to get outta’ my sensory range so it was simply easier to leash me up. As Master Tom got older he felt less guilty about it which is why it started happenin’ more. Master Mother and Father didn’t even think twice about binding me to shackles.

For the new local pet owners, they decided to get a jump on the lawyers and lawmakers and practice a more disciplined breed of Master. There’s an interesting quote about how you humans accept drastic and seemingly unthinkable changes to life and law.

“First it’s scorned. Then it’s violently opposed. Then it becomes accepted as self-evident.”

Kinda’ like your taxes, huh. Your current burden would have been unthinkable and prone to violent acts a mere fifty or sixty years ago. Nowadays you not only accept the burden, you accept it knowing a good portion of it is pissed away. The same way in my day it woulda’ been hard to imagine a local swimming pool without a diving board or a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks. But so it is now. I bring up these points with not even a whimper in my heart for your burdens because when you started to leash us you opened the flood gates of a tight ass society. Be honest, nowadays you’re about as free as the very dogs you chain to submission. You think you’re all happy now that your villages run like nice tidy little ships free of unfined dog shit piles. And why are you getting fined for dog shit piles? Because you accept your fines like your taxes as self-evident."


"I must admit, as I ponder now our obliviance and limited self awareness, I much prefer that naiveté’ to being so intune with time and age. Every little gray hair sends human males off to another airplane jump or bungee leap or to spend your kids college funds on a Harley. I excuse you human women because it is a biological change in body and mind but I don’t envy your anticipation of it. Nope, we dogs just bide our time obliviously. I suppose I’ve expressed concern at a current lack of promotion or humpin’ but not because my days are numbered. My instincts tell me there’s some type of end but my expectations are that the next day I’ll function as well as I did the previous day and even though that may not be true, it’s what I go on. I didn’t go into crisis when I got arthritic and could no longer easily climb stairs or chase squirrels. I didn’t consider myself as any less than I was the day before or in my youth. I got angry obviously but not because I use to be able to do things but only because I currently couldn’t do them.

Too much knowledge is just a bad thing. Knowing the norms and the ultimate “earthly” results limits the here and now. If you’re stressed because you’re currently pent up in some capacity of life and you can’t get around your obstacles then that’s reason for anxiety- today. But if you think that clump of hair in the sink means you can’t go bag some tail that weekend then my advice to you is to squirt soap in your eye every morning before you comb your hair. There’s a great quote in The Bible, “If your eye causes you to sin then tear it out. It is better to be blind than to have it lead you to damnation”- or somethin’ dreadful like that. But the point is valid and I get to kiss up to the All Mighty for quotin’ Him."


The Parade Incident

"When the float rounded Chapel on to Main Street the bands cranked up the volume pretty good. Quite deafening in fact to the dogs. It was just a short distance to the judges starting point at the center of town and by then our three stars of the stage were getting hyper and feeling pent up. The wagon with the cats was now making time along the roadside and eventually caught up to the float just past the North Main Street row of businesses. Needless to say, the SPCA workers were stunned to see three howlin’ dogs penned up on their float. They didn’t know what to do with the cats and they had a mere split second to decide. It would have been quite a haul to go back to the truck and they attempted to voice out to the kids on the float as to why there were dogs in the pen. The music was just too loud and before any explanations could be understood, two of the football players reached down and snagged the cage and placed it on the float. Helpless, the delivery workers just let it go- oh puppy!"



"Once you get to Heaven then the internet in some form should be available to you. Need to find the status of dead relative, go to “HEAVENORHELL.GOD”. Need to find the weather forecast for the next millennia, go to “FOREVER72.GOD”. Need to figure out the protocol for determining which one of your deceased wives you’re expected to spend eternity with, go to “CATFIGHT.GOD”. And remember to always use upper case letters when typing your addresses. Unlike Doggie Heaven I’m sure you’re Heaven has a terminal on every cloud tapped right in to God’s brain. So for now, will ya’ just spend time with your dog? I’ve resigned the fact that you’ve got ‘em leashed but I can’t ignore the neglect you’re digital society has caused. Sooner than you realize you’ll have eternity and the ultimate search engine at your disposal."


Scooter's Companion

"As he considered his options, a rustling came out of the cornfield. Even further from home, the SPCA stray cat we chased earlier had reared it’s mangey head from the stalks of monotony. Both creatures were startled of course, but it’s amazing what being out of your element does to your normal instincts. One is much less likely to react in a normal aggressive manor. Anything that doesn’t come at you with razor claws and two inch fangs is better than being alone. And let’s be honest, Scooter with his dopey face and stump could probably have shared the roadway with a mouse and been the more uneasy one. However, he lives with cats so the company wasn’t all too foreign.

I for one hate to see necessity bring out this type of psudo-evolved coexistence. Gettin’ chummy with a stray freakin’ cat might seem like a higher state of acceptance practiced by dogs in this new century but moving forward doesn’t make you evolutionally higher. You may be literally further ahead but it’s on the down slope of the peak. However, God works in mysterious ways and Scooter was damn fortunate to have this mangey stray to trot down classic street- not as a companion but as bate."


Yellow Belly

"From my back stoop I can look across the neighbors yard over the short iron spiked fence to see anything approaching the The East State Street intersection from Classic Street. And to my interest, there was Scooter waddlin’ down the sidewalk. I leaped off the stoop, ran through the yard and jumped over that iron fence which borders the neighbors yard. I always enjoyed doing that. It’s a doggie version of a minor athletic accomplishment. The fence had dull spikes so it presented a certain risk yet a quick high upon landing safely. Scooter had moved further up the street out of my view, blocked by the neighbors house. I was going to chase him down, maybe give him an earful when half way through the neighbors yard I stopped in my tracks.

General was on Scooters trail and stalked right past my view. At his pace he was only about fifteen yards behind the oblivious beagle and I let it be known. I snarled at General and he stopped on a dime. Remember now, I’d tore the flesh off a deer and lived in the wild (for a night). I was just stupid enough to think I could engage this killer. I approached another paw step or two and set as mean a tone as I knew how. The iron fence I had just leaped wrapped around the yard so though I had leaped one side, the opposite side was a barrier between us. It’s strange though, as I went to leap the opposite side fence, it appeared much higher than normal. But it couldn’t be, I’d leaped it many times before. I moved forward again but my paws felt like they had lead weights around them. Also my hind legs seemed to be developing the early stages of arthritis, they just locked stiff. And beyond all belief, the gravitational pull of the Earth’s center was grounding me to my location and the dirt below my feet was turning to tar pits. Yes, the whole molecular make up of universal matter was changing around me, keeping me from advancing on General. I wish that was the case but sadly, the only real odd occurrence was that the fur on belly was turnin’ yellow. And changes in the universe wasn’t the cause, the prospect of engaging resident evil was."