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 7 Excerpts

Scamp and Daddy

"Scamp was much more collie than Laddie. He had a longer snout and a white ring of fur around his neck. He got the white fur from his father but Laddie’s was just a tuft of white on the back of his neck. Everything else about Scamp was all his dad. He was really up his ass those first couple years and it was presenting a problem.

At this point, us village dogs didn’t bond. We were left to our devices of promotion and to fight our own battles. Laddie and Scamp upset this balance. When Scamp was young and wide-eyed, Laddie was overly aggressive about making an impression. Not just in training Scamp but he was overly aggressive towards us in his protection of him. Once Scamp matured they simply became a two dog gang with an aggressive righteous demeanor. They didn’t think much of Sugar and myself but we weren’t a team by any definition so they were able to admonish us without consequence."


Promotion 101

"Public gatherings were generally the forum for which I excelled in my pursuit of self promotion. You plant the seeds throughout the year by getting paw marks on sunday dresses and stealing pantyhose off clotheslines. Then the humans come out for some gathering and you bring forth your best show stopper of dog lovin chaos."


Leashed Again

"... Master Tom opened the door and the family filed out. I nudged my nose in front of Master Father to be sure I didn’t get left behind and suddenly I went species transcending from dog to fish. A big hook, Master Father’s hand, snagged my studded accessory and led me out the door. I kept my head down in some attempt to try and play dead. Maybe if I’m calm he’ll let me go. However, my ears however heard the dragging of oppression long since silenced by my will and aptitude. Master Tom handed the once defunct relic of a bygone age to Master Father and the rusted chain, an old nemesis, was now given renewed purpose.

This was the fourth of July, the bicentennial for doggie freakin' sake! “Throw me a bone, You can’t do this to me. I’m America! I’m freedom and exploration! I’m the embodiment of all this day represents. Okay, okay, forget all that crap. I’m just a dog and there’s lots of people runnin’ around out there. Please, let me off this leash” I know this all sounded like “ruff, ruff, ruff” but couldn’t someone hear me? Couldn’t God understand?

It seems tales of my exploits and whispers of my nuisance had funneled back to the family and the thinking was that maybe this was too crowded a day for any dog lovin chaos. As the family faded down the driveway, I must have been in shock. I ceased my barking, I didn’t try to run after them. I just sat there in hopeful patience. This behavior was completely beyond my normal profile. For about five minutes I just sat and waited on the pavement. They had to be joking. They had to be coming back.

Mature dogs usually bark based on response action as they are accustom to certain situations. They associate that familiar situation to barking- like me being fenced outside the swiiming pool. Barking is often the accostomed response of a chained or confined dog. You humans always wonder why we just don’t understand the need for being chained and grow out of it. We often don’t grow out of things, we need to be reprogrammed.

Strangely, upon being chained, I didn’t bark at all. I was so use to being free that I could only assume that I was. Yeah, the shock of my renewed leashing made me that delusional. Part of me knew I couldn’t travel more than ten yards but the freedoms of the past few years had reprogrammed my brain to assume otherwise. I guess I wanted to believe I was free so I just sat there and hoped my brain wouldn’t figure out that I wasn’t.

Eventually, my ass started to itch so I bent down to nip and scratch it. As I turned my head the chains rattled against the pavement. “Son of a bitch in heat, I’m chained up! I’m really chained up! Where the doggie hell are they!” The silence was broken. The realization had surfaced. The shock turned to anger. I spewed doggie slurs too profane to print. Besides, it was all in bark. I stretched the chain as far as it would go and howled when my progress was stopped. I wanted to whimper but that would mean I had resigned to this confinement."


Bad Poetry

"There once was a poodle named Tuffy
and another named Mitsy, so fluffy.
Tossed in the woods they were hunted by hoods.
Now they sit on a mantle all stuffy."


Rock Barking

"If I was angry or bored I’d find me some rock and bark uncontrollably. I did this all my life; hundreds of rocks. Where did they all come from? I mean, they’d just be in the yard. How’d they get there? You find a rock in your yard, you pick it up and throw it in a corner. A few days later your walking around and there’s another rock. Do they grow like mushrooms. Are they meteors out of the sky? Personally I think they liked me barking at them and at night they’d secretly roll back into the yard. Was I that intuitive? Did I sense something about rocks humans couldn’t. Did God have empathy for the dull life of a rock and was using me as their instrument of pleasure and self awareness. I sit up here and wish that was true. I hope there is a Rock Heaven because barking at inanimate rocks is the balls out dumbest activity bar none of any tailed species in history. If I had included non tailed species it only would have been the 47th dumbest activity of any species- with humans accounting for 45 of them. But this is only limited to tailed species as I don’t want to insult my audience."


General's Loose

"It was ironic that the boys sought safety upon the slim and sloped statue base. During most chasing type games Master Tom would play in that park, the statue was “home safe”. Now myself and two boys were testing that assumption outside the bounds of childhood law. If we were wrong we wouldn’t catch cooties or that other temporary branding called “it” which tended to prey upon the slow and timid. We were stranded on an island with a predator on the loose. That’s how the boys saw it. The fact was that General didn’t care about attacking boys that weren’t directly in his space. Even if they persisted towards him the chances of them getting bit were slim. However, myself and any other dog would never be safe, even if childhood law states otherwise.

...To dogs like Sugar and myself, much of it was a game. We fought and acted out in competitive promotion of all that is beloved in dogs. We were the professional wrestlers of Sherburne. Love us, hate us. Cheer our antics but don’t call our bluff because we are capable of real harm and we do have pride. To General, this whole confrontation wasn’t a game- I was the game. I was no different than a pheasant or a turkey. But those hunting dogs have training and discipline from their Master that I can respect. General was just an angry dog with no care of the freedoms we’ve achieved. So in that instant using the same reason and extra percentage of my brain which allows me to cross streets without getting treaded... I bolted outta’ there."