TO FETCH OR NOT TO FETCH: A DOG PARK SOLILOQUY
Linda Good


To fetch or not to fetch, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the dog park to suffer
The throwing arms and Chuck-its of hubristic masters,
Or to take off into a sea of poodles
And try to doze among them? To sit—to lie down;
No more; and by lying down to say we end
The running and the thousand unnatural bounces
That tennis balls are prone to. ‘Tis a prostration
Devoutly to be wish’d. To sit—to lie down;
To lie down—perchance to roll over: ahhhhhh, there’s the belly rub.
For in that sleep of dogs, no one yells, "Come,"
When we have shuffled off this tedious game
And its obvious flaws (There's that Bassett
That makes calamity in so many yards);
For who would bear the snarls and growls of another fetch dog;
The aggressive throng, the slower dog’s contumely
The fangs of pint-size pugs, the jaws of a bichon frisé
The insolence of puppies, and the ferns
That Irish Setter of the Hurleys ate
When he could have chewed this cool stuffed snake
With the plush moleskin? Who cuts that poodle’s hair?
To grunt and pant under a picnic table,
But that the dread of something after the dog park,
The discolored bathtub, from which, forlorn,
All dogs return, muzzles the will,
And makes us rather catch those tennis balls we’ve sniffed
Than try for others whose origins we know not of?
Thus conscience makes us tired of the ball.
And thus the vegetative crew of Dalmatians
Is sicklied o'er when I sail past, distraught,
And the redoubled cries of the Mastiff and Dobie
Catch me off guard and make me miss an easy pop fly
And lose my friggin’ traction—Soft you now!
The fair Bull Terrier! Nymph, in thy prayers
Be all my misses remembered.

 

Linda Good is a writer and editor living in San Francisco with her dog, Murphy. This is her first soliloquy.

 

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