Dead Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell

Chapter 51
It's the end of my life as I know it

"That was fucking rude!" I declare, staring down at my shape-shifting dead Dalmatian. "Hey," he says, detached jaw still clinging to his head by a lone strand of blood and decomposing skin, "dogs have never been know for their tact." I roll my eyes. "Sniffing butts is one thing," I comment, "melting from a human, into this stinking blob of skin and bones, is another. Why didn’t you just tell me you were my dog?" The Dalmatian looks at me, as if I should already know. "You never take me seriously," he returns.

Feeling more like I’m talking to my ex-girlfriend, instead of a canine corpse, I begin to deny his accusations, but am interrupted before I can start. "I can see it," he begins, "You don’t know whether to run from me, or tell me to roll over." "Dead dogs don’t roll over," I respond. The dog just sort of bows his head. I can’t help but smile. A dog with an inferiority complex . . . what a concept.

"Well," I begin, "in that case, why didn’t you just stay a human?" The dog looks even more depressed. "I was only allowed fifteen minutes in this form." "Everyone gets their fifteen minutes," I return, sardonically. The dog ignores my comment, and continues. "The big guy upstairs let me change from a dog to a human, just long enough to get your attention. I figured if I looked a little better, you might start giving me the respect I deserve." I start wondering if the dog actually is my ex-girlfriend.

"I respect you," I say, "it’s just that you get so moody, sometimes." The dog looks hurt; but that may have something to do with the fact that he’s decomposing. "I try, Wayne. Sometimes things just build up. You wouldn’t understand, you’ve never been a dog. You’ve never been kicked around. You don’t have to beg for your food. No one sticks you with stupid names, like ‘Bilbo.’" "Wait a minute," I say, about to defend 23 years of being stuck with a stupid name, "you’re talking to a Wayne here." "Well," the dog replies, "the high point of your day isn’t sniffing somebody’s ass."

"What do you guys get out of that, anyway?" I ask, thinking I’ll finally have my chance to find out the truth. "What do you guys get out of watching countless hours of t.v.?" The dog responds, making his point. "So, your name really is ‘Bilbo,’ huh?" is the best response I can think of. "You got a problem with it?" Bilbo responds; turning back into the redneck Dalmatian that terrified me only a few hours ago.

"Now," rotting Bilbo continues, "can we go on with our conversation?" "Go for it," I say, even though it comes out sounding kind of nerdy. "You’re the chosen one, because you kept your beliefs, you stuck to your standards. You didn’t ‘grow up,’ when everyone else said you were ‘immature.’ You didn’t sellout, when everyone else said you needed to ‘get a real job.’"

The dog pauses a moment, as his lower jaw finally breaks off the string of flesh, and falls to the floor, making a pleasant little ‘clink,’ sound as it hits. "That sucks," I say, wondering, once again, why I get stuck with all the generic dialogue. "Maybe your teachers, peers and associates didn’t appreciate your individuality, but God sure the fuck did." This small compliment goes over my head, and I just stand, amazed over hearing the words, "God," and, "fuck," all in the same sentence.

"So," I finally take my turn to speak, "what you’re saying is that, once again, I’m actually being punished for being my own person?" The dog rolls his eye . . . it squeaks. "You’re not being punished, you’re being rewarded. If you make the sacrifice I spoke of in the last chapter, you’ll automatically be sent to the top of the afterlife. You’ll be there, looking down on the rest of us, busy busting our humps just trying to make it out of Limbo."

"Well," I ask, "what’s the sacrifice?" The dog remains still, not saying a word. "C’mon," I say, "what is it?" "This may not be easy to accept . . ." the dog begins, before I interrupt him. "Just tell me, Bilbo. What do I have to do?" The Dalmatian looks back toward the ground, and pauses before telling me, "well, Wayne . . . you have to end your life."

Go to: Chapter 52

1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.

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