Jenny, who is a dog

So a while ago I wrote two episodes in a semi-continuing series on ficlets, and tonight I wrote the third. The story is far from over — in fact, in all candor, I have no idea where it’ll wind up — but it’s been fun to write it so far.

Here it is, to date.

Jenny, who is a dog

Part 1

Jenny, who is a dog, came into the living room, sat down on the floor, and spoke. “What supper?” she said, tail thumping on the hardwood.

I stared at her. “Beg pardon?” I was shocked enough that I actually responded. To a dog. You see the state of mind I was in?

“Supper. Food. What?”

“Uh – ” I’d been making my own dog food, these days. Jenny was old, and store-brand food wasn’t doing her any favours. “Liver and rice, for you,” I said. “I think pizza for me.”

“Good. Liver good,” she said, and trotted off to the dining room.

I went into the kitchen and got a beer out of the fridge. As I twisted the cap off, my phone rang.

“Y’ello?”

“Doug?” It was Lisa, my girlfriend. “Uh, Doug, I didn’t know who to call – “

“Calm down,” I said. “Deep breaths. What’s up?”

“Mr. Kit,” she said. “He’s – ” She couldn’t go on.

“He’s talking?” I said, and there was silence on the line. I knew I was right. Mr. Kit, who is a cat, was talking too.

Jenny came into the kitchen and sat on the floor. “Jenny good dog,” she said.

Part 2

Jenny, who is a dog, watches entirely more TV than I do these days. She can’t read, yet, but she has figured out which buttons on the remote control do what, and she’s learned to identify the voices and the theme music of the programs she likes best.

When I say she watches TV, what I mean, of course, is that she turns the TV on and listens to the programs. I asked her one time what she saw, when she stares at the screen, and she said, “Ghosts.” She’s a little spooked by it, I think, and so she mainly listens. She likes the educational channels best, it seems.

I came home today to the strains of Daily Planet’s end-credit theme music, blaring. She’d turned the volume up as high as it’d go, then wandered to the kitchen to listen to the ghosts speak.

“Learning lots?” I said.

“Bullet train,” she said. “Inter-nash-null space station. GMO grain.”

“Good,” I said, cracking a beer. Long day.

“Can I have GMO grain? Supper?”

“I’ll see what I can do,” I said.

“And liver. Liver good.”

Part 3

Jenny, who is a dog, graduated yesterday. I sat in the audience, thrilled as any parent, as she shook paws with the Chancellor of the University, took her sheepskin in her mouth, and let someone, I think the Dean of Family Law, shift the tassel from left to right on her mortarboard.

The applause was deafening.

#

“Lisa’s coming over tonight,” I said, frying up beef for some chili. “Are you all right with her bringing Mr. Kit?”

“Kit good,” said Jenny. She gets along okay with Lisa’s cat. They’re not close friends, but they’re not enemies either. Which is a good thing, since soon they’ll be living together.

“Kit smart.” Her tail thumped on the floor.

#

“Congratulations, Jenny,” said Lisa. “I hear you were the top dog in your class.”

“Only dog.”

“It was a joke,” said Lisa.

“No,” said Jenny. “It was pun.” She turned to Mr. Kit. “Come, Kit,” she said. “Help me study.”

“You’re done, though,” said Lisa. “Aren’t you?”

“Bar exam,” said Jenny, and she and Mr. Kit went through the door into the living room.