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 4 Excerpts

Keys To The Kingdom

"It wasn’t just safety but paradise. Our new home had those three magic words- location, location, location. It was a couple hundred yards from the center of the village and across the street was a beautiful tree lined, squirrel filled park and library. Ironically, Thomas P. Gaines Memorial Park as the round monument tucked in a flower bed would attest. With all the damn dog food smell all the time I take great joy in the fact I pissed on his monument a couple hundred times over my life. I had yet to be revealed of all that was out there having been cast inside immediately. Little did I know I would soon not only be in the center of the action but I would also have my own version of a tower. My balcony to watch and rule."


The Balcony

"And as a dogs fortunes can change any instant, mine would again. Had I been paying attention I may have seen this coming. Master Tom had entered the room to see me staring up to the light. For a brief second I thought I was floating but he was simply picking me up to bring me closer to the light. Then an amazing thing happened. He let me go and I stayed in place. I was fully in the light. The outside world was in complete panoramic view.

It was shades of green, shades of blue. Vast space alive with the daily routine of freedom. Cars in motion. Children playing. Teenagers smoking. Creatures in flight and in trees. Even though I was isolated from it I knew where it was and it had a sense of attainability. This was the place to be to learn, see and react. To become one of the free like the crow. The park that sat outside this very portal was the very vision I had of freedom and it was real.

The portal was obviously a window, a big bay window. My tower balcony. I wasn’t floating in air, I was merely placed on the window sill. And quite a spacious sill it was. It was a ledge, a platform, a balcony for a king to preside over his domain. I’d guess at length it was a good 6 feet, or 24 paws. The space was great to lie down or stalk back and forth. There was plenty of room for Master to visit me and share in the sights of small town USA."



"For me, I’ve got freedom in my blood baby. I’m all for that “land of the free and home of the brave” stuff. Lets’ rock, let’s roll, let’s move it on out. It’s that wonderful mix of “call of the wild” and domestication which creates my appreciation for the good life on a shag carpet and a smelly swamp. So, thank you Chris Columbus and Georgy Washington and my all time favorite American, General MacArthur- who defeated both the Japs and Koreans. The significance here being it was MacArthur who insured that the call of “here boy” would not translate to “soup will be ready in an hour kids”. "


That Little Room

"For a dog, that little room was always quite confusing. We could follow you around the house anyplace but once in a while you’d throw us a bone and slip into this little room while we’re left to wait patiently to ponder why we can’t go in the little room with all the good smells. After a few hundred times we get the impression that since we never went in with you, we obviously weren't allowed. That’s why we usually get “caught” drinking out of the toilet as opposed to simply being “seen” drinking out of the toilet."


The Most Important Lesson

"It’s not like I hadn’t been outside before. I get chained to the basketball post most everyday and I get walked with a leash. I was familiar with walking down the driveway- Master in tow. So, I chose to go right and went freewheelin’ down the driveway. Paws smackin’, tail waggin’, tongue draggin’. I saw park and trees and kids. Even Master Tom himself. It was freely obtainable and I was seconds from jumpin’ in this ocean of my dreams.

What happened next may have been the most important earthly revelation that I would carry with me for the rest of my life. I’m not sure if it was the hours of mental notes I made chilled out on my balcony or if my ears just had a sensitivity to rubber rollin’ on pavement but my stride towards the park stopped cold as I reached the roadside. I paused patiently yet eagerly. I did a left to right rotation of my head using not just my eyes but also my ears to detect potential danger. The danger came, the danger past and I marched forward.

They say humans only use fifteen percent of their brain and I would imagine those that use only one or two percent more have definite intellectual advantages. I don’t know if I used more brain or if I had a special aptitude to recognize from my balcony that the road is a dangerous place but I got it early on. I crossed the road when to the best of my senses I felt safe. When I reached the other side that moment of recognition came over me that I definitively learned and comprehended my actions. It was that positive comprehension which stayed with me the rest of my life and allowed me to roam and rule at will. The temporary enthusiasm’s of chasin’ tail or game or rubber did sometimes trump my good sense to check the road for streaking metal beasts but the occasion was rare."


The First of the Poodle Rants

"In fact, since I’ve been here in Doggie Heaven I have yet to see a poodle about the grounds. Granted this is a pretty big park we reside in but still, where are all the poodles? My guess is that humans screwed up the genus of the species and poodles really aren’t canine at all. I always suspected they were more like a large hairy rodent. Yeah, I know that’s stretching it but they have a rat like vicious streak in them. I always thought human science never properly grouped and divided species. Sure, mammals and reptiles and birds are large subheadings but just because a few bones and brain cells are the same we canines get stuck with poodles in our class.

If it’s a mammal and it’s got four legs and a tail can’t we group by a generalized personality. Maybe a large horny rat did the nasty with an overly curly haired gofer and- viola, I bring you the poodle. I mean, no man was there to see the dawn of the poodle. You get the rat and the gopher mating, throw in a bolt of lightning or some toxic meteorite dust to contaminate the act and who’s to say how the DNA might mutate. How smart can science be when it’s obvious that poodles are a species unto themselves. I guess if my theory doesn’t hold water the only other explanation is that here in Doggie Heaven, like on earth, the poodles are huddled up in the back of some rear window in Doggie Heaven’s parking lot. I never saw one loose down there, why would they be up here."