The Other Dog Bit my Ear and I am Wounded. Blood pours from me in a Steady Stream and I am Fading Fast.
Excuse me, I say to the Owner. I am Fading Fast.
The Owner says I must be Quiet as she is on Zoom with the Vet. I do not know what to do with him, she says to the Vet. Just listen to him.
I do not know how you can waste my Final Moments on the Vet, I say, when these may be my Last Words.
Okay says the Owner.
Although, I say, as Last Words Go, they lack a certain Pathos.
So do those, says the Owner.
I may be silent for some time, I say, I am considering the right Final Words, I say.
Hello Hergest, says the Vet. How is the Moral Dog in Himself? Asks the Vet.
Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of out fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil, I say.
The Moral Dog is trying out some Appropriate Last Words, says the Owner.
I see, says the Vet, that he is his Usual Self, says the Vet. I think we can manage this, says the Vet. How are you bearing up? Asks the Vet.
It seems to the Moral Dog that the Vet is not Taking this Seriously. How many lines can the Moral Dog have on his Headstone? I ask. Does it depend on the Font?
I am Frankly Exhausted, says the Owner.
He did not mean you, I say. I think a Vet should be clearer to whom his remarks are Directed, I say.
Were those your last words? Asks the Owner, because the Others were rather more poetic.
I am not my Usual Self, I say, I am Fading Fast. This Vet needs his Eyes Tested, I say.
Perhaps, says the Vet, now is a Good Time to discuss the Parts of the Moral Dog that we have Somewhat Parked until now.
I have not Parked them, I say, I carry them around Everywhere, I say. This is deeply Inappropriate Vetting, I say.
I think that is the Problem, says the Vet. It makes him rather Bouncy with Other Dogs.
You would not talk about Superdog like that if you knew the Truth, I think, but I Say Nothing. One would think that a Decent Vet who knew what He was doing might spot a Superhero when he saw one.
Ah, says the Owner, the Moral Dog and I will Get Back to you on that. Do you wish to stitch the Ear of the Moral Dog?
Not particularly, says the Vet, these things usually stop bleeding by themselves, says the Vet.
What do you mean, they Usually Stop? I ask. What about the times that are Not Usual? I ask. What happens to the Moral Dog then? I ask. It strikes me the Vet has a Deeply Casual Attitude to an Obviously Fading Moral Dog, I say.
If it does not stop, says the Owner, will you have to Stitch the Moral Dog?
Possibly, says the Vet.
You must be Joking, I say. I am not a Piece of Embroidery, I say. What Kind of Vet do you Call This, I say. I suppose he will be Knitting with Kittens next, I say.
It is best to keep him Cool, says the Vet. Reducing the Blood Flow to his Ears will reduce the Bleeding.
I cannot see what that will achieve in the face of the Fading, I say. Surely the Recognition of Fading is a basic Vet Competency, I say.
What do you suggest? says the Owner.
Well, says the Vet, perhaps a Calm Evening lying on his Cushion in front of an episode of Lassie Comes Home is enough, says the Vet.
That sounds Positively Ludicrous, I say, given the Imminent Exsanguination of the Moral Dog, I say. Has the Vet ever watched Lassie? I ask. It is Nailbiting Stuff, I say. The episode with the Mineshaft is Tattooed on the Moral Dog’s Cerebellum, I say. I demand a Second Opinion, I say.
Do not Exsanguinate on the Carpet, says the Owner, it is Beige.
Or a Cold Compress on the Top of the Head can be helpful when the Bleeding Starts, says the Vet. And that is my Second Opinion, says the Vet.
That sounds Excellent, says the Owner.
I question whether he is Even Qualified, I say. If the head of the Moral Dog were designed to wear a compress then he would Suit a Hat, I say.
Although of course some Owners have even been known to give their Dogs Iced Lollies to Cool them Down, says the Vet.
What? I say.
How many Ice Lollies can he have? Asks the Owner.
I suggest you play it by Ear, says the Vet. Hahahaha, says the Vet.
It strikes the Moral Dog quite suddenly that the Vet has Qualities he has never before recognised. What an Excellent Vet, I say to the Owner, as I enjoy my second Iced Lolly.
Indeed, says the Owner.
He managed the Moral Dog’s Condition Excellently, I say.
I agree, says the Owner.
I do not know why she is looking so Smug. Tomorrow I am going to get That Dog to bite the Other Ear.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.