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 9 Excerpts

Under Appreciation

"If you humans only knew the subtleties your canine companions can detect, you’d shown even greater appreciation for our attachment to you. We know when you’ve had a lousy day at work. We feel your anxiety. If you ever wondered why we often misbehave during these times, it because that’s how we react to an environment of anxiety. It’s not about us wanting to be bad. We want you and our environment to “feel” better. We get nervous and we act on that nervous energy."

Desparate Measures

"Enough time had passed where Master Tom knew General was on his way. All he had left was to get demanding and desperate with me, but- nah, that didn’t work either. He screamed angrily. He made threats- It didn’t matter. I knew he wanted me inside and I wasn’t goin’ inside. As he stood on the edge of the street he could now see General and Master George rounding the corner of Quinn's Market. At that point there seemed to be a convergence of fate upon us. Master Tom looked up East State Street to see Laddie and Scamp headin’ down to the village. Across the street a car horn honked which was the brown Cordoba of Master Mother letting Master Tom know she was leaving. Suddenly options were available.

I was oblivious to it all, of course. I just sat in the park waiting to get the sense that the bounty was lifted from my head so I could hang out with everyone unthreatened. Master Tom considered that Laddie and Scamp could foil Master George’s plan for a dog showdown with me. But the threat to me was still very real so he opted for the sure thing. He quickly ran to driveway and told Master Mother the situation and that we had to get me in the house. Master Tom then hopped in the car and it backed out of the driveway into the street.

In the mean time, Laddie and Scamp were close enough to the park to see General approaching. Appropriately, their mood turned drastically nastier. Still, I sat distant and alone in the park center until I heard the one trigger that tends to override my freedom protecting sensibilities- The click of a car door. Master Tom opened the Cordoba back door and yelled those magic words.

“Dallas, wanna’ go for a ride?”

“Doggie hell yeah” I did. “Where we goin’, where we goin’” I excitedly pondered and sprinted out the park, across the road and took a good ten paw leap into the back seat. How does the saying go? “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” Well it should be extended for dogs. “Fool me three times shame on me, fool me ten times shame on me, fool me a hundred times shame on me, etc, etc. The ole’ “lets go for a drive” routine is full proof in it’s results and fool proof in it’s duplicity.

I just wanna’ stick my nose out the window and fly. Every dog loves a fast and free oxygen snortin’, bug suckin’ tongue flappin’ ride. If our Masters leavin’ was a rare occurrence we may not fall for the ole’ routine. It’s just that our Masters get in that metal beast so often and just leave us whinin’ and whimperin’. We feel a sense of accomplishment that we somehow managed that rare opportunity to not get left behind. And the confined assault on our senses is titillating. The low hum in our ears, the rumbled vibrations; and every car has a distinctive smell. It could be new leather, polished vinyl, pine or coconut scents, gasoline, washer fluid, coffee or the odd garbage residue. And of course, the anticipation of the previously noted arrival high. "


Just Another Day In the Park

"General crushed the pebble and bore into the front lines of battle. He pummeled Laddie as if he were another pebble in the path; knocking him to his back pinning him down. General’s forceful blow was impressionable enough to shell shock Scamp to momentary submission. Laddie tried to roll left and right along his back paddling his paws at General’s oncoming jaws. General got a nip or two of fur but when he attempted the full lunge to make the big strike it threw him off balance and Laddie was able to roll to his feet. Laddie’s escape broke Scamps trance and they bore down on General. Three growling, snarling and hissing regressive animals smacking heads and slicing flesh. The kids loved it."


Steak Please- Medium Rare

"The conventional thinking is that we get accustom to human food and that spoils our taste buds for dog food. Well, conventional thinking is pretty smart because that’s exactly what happens but that doesn’t explain why I prefer day old carcasses to specialized nutritionally enhanced genetically perfected chow. The answer is that it doesn’t smell dead and it doesn’t taste dead. The fact is you try and keep it alive with your preservatives and flavor additives. To be fair, I’m way too familiar with the process of your processing. Remember we have a dog food factory in town."


It's the Little Things

"...I’ve been ranting this revelation stuff for a while now and these little random contemplations are starting to drive me nuts. How do you humans let it go? Aren’t you curious? Don’t you want to know who killed Kennedy- nah, many of you weren’t alive then. What happened to Amelia Earhart- nah, she probably landed safely in Tibet. Why the dryer keeps eating one of your socks- yes, now that must drive you nuts. All the little common sense stuff that just seems to make no sense. Doesn’t it build up after a while. Is there a point you just can’t take it anymore, you just gotta know?

Ah, I know how you handle it. You think your Heaven will answer all the little curiosities and trivial questions that accumulate over your lifetime. This is the grand comfort in which you live your lives. “No problem, someday I’ll know it all”, is what you think. We’ll, I’m up here, and I don’t know why flies always land on my nose when I’m trying to get an extra hours sleep in the morning. I don’t know why tennis balls always seem to roll one paw nail too deep under the furniture. I don’t know why my flea collar simply moves their infestation party from my neck to my ass.

Oh sure, I know the meaning of pi, a big doggie freakin’ deal to that revelation. You think it’s going to be all grand questions up here and that’s great, wonderful and all that. Just don’t expect God to tell you why your car keys kept disappearing. He won’t tell ya’ that because I believe it was God that was hiding them. His way of saying he didn’t appreciate his name being used in vein or maybe you spent too many Sunday mornings sleeping off a hangover."


Better Than A Mud Bath

"We both ran to the pile and snarled at each other trying to secure the first dip. I hadn’t forgotten about him stealing my last piece of popcorn so I gave him the ole’ growl and shove and rolled my back through the fresh dung. Okay, I’ve tried to call it a few different terms to be creative in my descriptions but screw that, it’s horse shit and I was bathing in it to the stoned stiff faces of bystanders. I wiggled back and forth with my legs in the air getting the horse shit deep in my fur then I rolled off. Sugar just dove in head first kinda’ slidin’ across his belly then took one big roll for a more dispersed coverage."


Future Imperfect

"We were puppies no more. Our Master’s were becoming man-childs. The free spirited, unbridled enthusiasm and natural way of life embodied by the baby boomer era was now giving way to order, lawyers and technology. The global community was dictating our community. You wonder why we’re concerened with these petty human issues. It all effects us. We didn’t know it then but it’s that curve in the flow of life I mentioned at the opening.

Man incites dog in Tucson. Dog bites man. Lawyer sues city. Insurance companies panic. Small Town USA tightens it’s belt. Oh, I guess were to blame a little. With all the dog lovin’ chaos we’ve instigated around here it’s no wonder all the kings men start worrying their relaxed little town is too lax. But what about the other shoe. It use to be that a dog was the funnest and most interactive entertainment a boy of ANY age needed. But now the onslaught for a parents dollar and Master’s constant attention will hit a new peak. More TV channels, more commercials. Cooler and faster blips. Smarter and smarter chips. I remember when kick the can or tossing the ball required some skill in navigating around the pesky dog. I was part of the game.

A new decade was upon us yet still not enough technology to allow me to jump in the screen and chase that dot munching ball. Anyway, there aren’t ear plugs big enough to allow me to exist in that world. The odorless one dimensional brain sucking boxes of the digital man (same description can be given to layers and insurance companies) was out to stop our evolution in it’s tracks. Yet we carried merrily on ‘til the arthritic end."