Primary Colors: Red Stories

reddoghaikuBeckettAdkAdvWebBeckettCapeCodWeb

note: spoken with a southern twang

November 21, 1963

The President couldn’t sleep tonight.  It’s selfish, but ah like it when that happens.  We all sneak outta the White House, get in a car and go to the mall.  Our favorite place is around the Washington Monument.  There’s hardly anyone out then.  The Secret Service agents are all around, but only Jack’s guy walks with us.  Ah have the best time when Jacqui comes, because that’s when ah get to hang out with Clint, he’s Jacqui’s guy.  He’s as loyal to the President and Jacqui as ah am.

When Jacqui was visitin’ Memphis last year, she came to mah shelter.  She believes that everyone deserves a second chance, animals and humans alike.  She met me there and fell in love with me the first time she set eyes on me.  She was so nice to me, and came back later that day.  Ah knew I wouldn’t have no reason to be scared ever again.

That shelter is one of those places where makin’ friends is no good.  One day someone in the cage next to me is here, the next day it’s someone else.  It’s real scary, because we know what happens when someone goes away.  When ah see another dog out here in the world, ah am so happy they are alive.

There is times when someone like Jacqui comes to the shelter, and we get to go out and live; most of the time, this don’t happen.  The only escape we have is to sleep.  Ah always would dream that ah’m runnin’ and runnin’.  When ah woke up, ah would have to stop mah legs from movin’.

It turns out that the President needs me as much as ah need him.  Ah like to say that Jacqui rescued me and ah rescued the President.  Whenever we’re out for a walk, and the President meets someone, he says that ah came from Memphis ‘specially to rescue him.  They all ask, how did that happen?  And he tells ‘em about what Jacqui done, and how much it has meant for the two of us.

Ah knew we was goin’ for a walk tonight ‘cause the President couldn’t sit, stand or lay down.  He was scared and was in lots of pain.  We both are happy during these walks; it’s my favorite time, just the two of us.  He talks to me and ah listen.  Sometimes we hear a siren from a fire engine or a police car, and ah get to sing, ‘cause the sound hurts mah ears and singin’ helps.  The President and the Secret Service agents sing along too, even though they aint supposed to.  We all sound like a pack of sick wolves.  When we is singin’, the President’s pain goes away.

On some nights if it ain’t too late, he calls up a friend to come walk with us.  Tonight he called Ev up, he’s a Senator from Illinois, an old guy, and he treats Jack like his nephew.  Ah’ve never seen the President so scared and in so much pain.  Ah think the trip tomorrow is what’s makin’ the President so nervous and givin’ him that nasty pain in his back.

Ah don’t know where he’s goin’.  He’s leavin’ early in the AM; Jacqui, Clint, and all the guys are goin’ with him.  Ah don’t know how long they be gone.

Someone else will be takin’ me out tomorrow.

Jack’s leavin’, it’s givin’ me that feelin’ ah used to have when ah called that shelter in Memphis home.

JatShseSnow 004Jonesy, the President’s dog

Charlie and Pushinka, President Kennedy's dogs

Charlie and Pushinka, President Kennedy’s dogs

 RaquetteLakeRedoubt

 

 

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