“Excuse me, Sir?”
The male’s beautiful black eyes meet mine and he lowers his gaze, somewhat embarrassed. He backs off slowly, leaving the female alone.
“I am not getting paid to watch your sexual performances.” I continue in a parental tone. “Besides, we’re not in a bar or at a party here.”
He walks up to me and sits down, waiting for commands.
“I know it is hard to be a good foofoo and not hump females. Being a bad foofoo is tempting, while being a good one is hard work. But then, at the end of the day when you hear your name called and you know your hard work has been rewarded… there’s only one Foofoo of the Day, right? This prestigious award is not for just anyone.”
The pack of dogs listens in silence. Ten dogs. Ten dogs — I call them “foofoos”— wagging their tails arrhythmically, unsure of the outcome of our training session.
“Well, first we need to sit down…remember Oana’s Teachings? Be a gentleman or lady, no matter what!”
They sit down one after another, not taking their eyes off me. In the yard next to ours, someone is howling.
“Just because he is misbehaving doesn’t mean we have to join, right?” I curb the enthusiasm of one of my clients who closes his mouth in disappointment, although not before delivering a muted bark.
“Great news, everyone! Today we’re having a foofoo conference on global warming.”
The dogs nod their heads in approval.
“Now,” I continue bravely, “why is global warming awareness important to you?”
One doodle comes closer rubbing his fuzzy face against my hand.
“Indeed, because we have thick coats. Some thicker than others, yet this is a very important topic for us all. Maybe we should write an essay on this?”
A puppy shows strong signs of disobedience. I correct his behavior respectfully but deep inside I know why he might not be interested in global warming. He’s a short haired pit bull.
After going over the most important news of the day — floods in South America, increased government surveillance and the unacceptably high cost of cauliflower — it’s time for what I call “foofoo facial massage.”
I have discovered that a good foofoo massage has a soothing effect on the most unruly dog. I wish I had more hands, as the massages are in demand, and none of them would give up his spot in the line formed in front of me. A long line of well behaved dogs, all of them in a trance-like state, eyes half-closed, anticipating attention.
One of them, a senior canine citizen, has dirty ears.
“You’re a dirty old dog.” I whisper. “You need a bath.”
A mature chocolate lab’s whiskers vibrate in pleasure as I move my fingers over her nose.
“What a beautiful silky moustache, the moustache of a strong woman in charge of her life.” I compliment her. “I know what you’re thinking; I could use one as well. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it looks great on you…”
My coworkers slide quietly along the walls, careful not to disturb my “foofoo conferences.”
I know they think I am crazy. What does normalcy mean anyways?
In the end, we story tellers share our thoughts with those who might listen. It just happens that for the past ten, fifteen years — or perhaps a hundred years, for that matter — humans proved to be passive and totally oblivious to the increased government surveillance and the unacceptable cost of cauliflower so I decided to look for more responsive audiences elsewhere. Artists have been known to talk with themselves, the particles of air around them or even worse, medical personnel or law enforcement.
I consider myself lucky.
The only problem I have lately is the fact that dogs are not good tippers and my hands hurt from giving these sophisticated “foofoo facial massages.”
I am booked until February of next year.
© 2013 by Oana