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

Dogs of Sherburne novel coverBuy Dogs of Sherburne Book

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 6 Excerpts

The Urge

"I was a maturing dog, you know. Chemicals inside me were always changing, my brain constantly sending impulses to my body. I got hot flashes. My sense of smell tended to peak causing me to peak, if you know what I mean. Dog, I’d find some strange scent in a bush or back alley and I don’t know what would come over me. I learned quickly that brush just plain scratches and garbage cans got no grip and no give. Yes, yes, I’m referring to mounting shrubs and trash cans. No need to read between the lines here, I’m talkin’ about humpin’ inanimate objects. Believe me, it’s just a learning thing and I understood quickly that something wasn’t right.

Gimme a break anyway. I didn’t have an older brother around or the ability to understand cable television. Either of which is useful for explaining these urges. Walk around in heat all day without pants and you’d be surprised to find your thighs wrapped around anything that didn’t require sharpening and wasn’t dangerously motorized."

Slush Puppies

"Back then it didn’t take much to stir the excitement of kids. Something as simple as a new brand of candy bar could have all the kids begging parents for quarters only to find the shelves quickly sold out of the newest treat. Another nifty seller exclusive only to Bigelow’s Drug Store was the “slush puppy”. I don’t know how us young pups got all wrapped up in the name of this device but I sure wish I had it’s self-promoting draw. A pull of a lever would drop watery crushed ice in a cup and then you could select your flavoring to be mixed. Lemon, lime, raspberry, grape, you had to try them all at least once but ultimately the choice was to mix them all together in one grand splash of bitter sweet refreshment. Fortunately, humans don’t have the same need to lick themselves as do dogs. Given your humility you’d be awfully embarrassed to have someone see your privates tainted with rainbow colors matching the syrup on your tongue.

It’s almost absurd now to think of a kid getting excited over the cupped reinvention of the snow cone. Unless, of course, the cup adorned the mug of their favorite scam artist wrestler. This innocence which had spanned back to the introductions of soda pop, rock candy and bazooka bubble gum was like all things Americana about to get dork dated by the digital human. Kids still love sweets like the candy bar just as much in this new century but the days of them being a treat are over."


Bad Humor

"I ran into Albert Einstein’s dog up here one day and he told me prehistoric humans use to have a sixth digit on their hand but since they couldn’t count it became useless and withered. The reason Master Albert couldn’t figure out pi was because he need that eleventh and twelfth finger. I guess it would stand to reason that someone in America is destined to crack the secret of pi as long as we don’t go to the metric system. I’m joking, I made all that up. It’s not very funny, I’m a dog not a comedian so I hope you didn’t laugh. Truth is, I know the answer to pi being up here and all. I’m just not allowed to tell you."



" Scooter was undisputedly Master Mark’s dog. He wasn’t a stray like Sugar and he actually lived with and relied on Master Mark’s family for food and care. In the spring of ‘73 the cat-lovin’ family went to the kennel to balance out the house by getting a dog. They actually snagged two pups. One for them and the other for some friends also on the south side. They both were kept at Master Mark’s overnight and studied for any slight advantages in making their choice. Seems Scooter pissed less on the floor than the other pup so they kept him and the other beagle went on to be Barney of Chapel Street

Scooter and Sugar were pretty tight despite Sugar infringing on his Master rights. Oh sure, in that first year Scooter was a bit put-off by Sugar’s street hooligan mentality and blatant self promotion but that never threatened him. Sugar, once an outcast, had taken so to Master Mark and he quickly became aware that any aggressive banter towards Scooter would not win him favor. As a big brother and mentor there were acceptable circumstances for a skirmish but Scooter was no match for Sugar and he was expected to respect those limits."


Survival Instinct

"The bus, square on his leg, had finished it’s backward motion and headed out to pick up some kids for an extracurricular trip- unaware of the harm it left behind. Scooter wailed as the wheels dug in and lifted away. I just whimpered from what ever was drawn out of me by his cries and ran off. In a daze I almost got treaded myself crossing the roads for home. Sugar, disillusioned, picked up the squirrel carcass in his mouth and stood silently. He gained his prize but the victorious taste of blood had long run out it’s veins. What little meat was left had been tainted with the dirt and pebbles of the pavement. Flies buzzed around his head but their nuisance could not penetrate his state. It was a shocking and momentarily sobering incident.

When you don’t really know what’s happened to you and you don’t know the grim possibilities for further pain and death, it’s amazing what the survival instinct can achieve. Scooter dragged himself across the pavement, wailing at every lunge forward. Ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty lunges and he still couldn’t anticipate the pain that was coming at each push. Sometimes it takes a lot for conditioning to sink in. We don’t comprehend what has just happened. We don’t know what will happen next. We only know that some force is pushing us to a certain point. A spot to rest. A spot to be found. A spot to die."