Greed: Some mystical, invisible force drew us to the Snowball of Pee. It is an oddly shaped monument eroded by the warm urine of a thousand dogs that have carved its coldness. It is fascinating how the bouquet of different urine deposits co-mingle in a blend of aromas. I give it four stars, just above the Styrofoam Dish of Ancient Refritos, but of course beneath the splendor of the Frozen Pancake of Throw-up.
Pride: I anoint holy places in the neighborhood by raising a leg to them, whether the tank is full or not. Only I may anoint. In fact, if there is pee there already, it is incumbent upon me to over-pee that pee. Mine must be the last pee standing. Christina’s broken cement wall with the forsythia bushes growing out of it is one of the most sacred. Priestly pee here is necessary for growth. Other spiritual/anthropological sites that depend on me are the short decorative pine encircled by paving stones in front of Rosa and Fernando’s house (sorry Rosa, but God has asked that this pine remain short), The Burd Street Pooping Grounds (a festive field of bird and dog doo just waiting to be consecrated by the King) and Enterprise Rent-a-Car’s decorative pebble planter (each smooth stone must be first sniffed, then adored, pooped or peed upon and so redeemed–it is a lifetime of work).
Sloth: Yes, and plenty of it. That’s right! Who are you kidding? This is what it means to be a canine. Have you ever slept in a fur dish surround for 24 hours, snoring in the sun, next to the heater, on a cold day? Indescribably delicious.
Wrath: That son-of-a-bitch postman tries to enter our house every effing day! But I stop him cold at the door and he hasn’t entered the house once! Not once! And yet, the next day, there he is, trying it again! God I hate him. His kind is lower than a flea’s anus.
Gluttony: Feeeeeeeeeed me. It’s cold out there. My paws can’t reach the microwave. But they can reach your shins, you bastard. You! I’m talking to you! That’s your job! I didn’t just eat. That was ten minutes ago. What are you crazy? So, I found a microscopic potato chip crumb behind the pantry. So what?! You call that food? Food is a giant buffalo rib sandwich. Food is what’s on your plate. I’ll eat anything. Whatever you have. You took from me the ability to hunt it myself or dig in the garbage for it, so feed me, asshole! Feed me. Feed me. Help me. Feeeeeeeeed me!
And by the way, I’m may be gluttonous but I am nothing compared to that fat guy, Jones who lives down the street. He’s manages a string of WalMarts so you can imagine that he’s into lots and lots of lots. He thinks BIG. For instance during a snowstorm, stay away from his house entirely. He lives on a street corner, so he has over salted both the Summit Street AND the Depew Ave sides of his sidewalk. It is a barren, Godforsaken stretch of ground that repels decent dogs and forces them to walk in the street. You could flavor a cattle carcass with what Mr. Jones has sown on his sidewalks in just one storm.
Lust: Males. Females. Legs. I’m a healthy middle-aged dog, we have our needs. Anyone who calls this a sin, I fear, is having no fun at all in this lifetime.
Envy: Please just let me be a human for five minutes.
The Three Enlightenments
Good Friends: My half brother, Charlie, is my best dog friend. He lives four doors down. Always when I see him, I wag my tail. I am just so happy! We circle each other and sniff butts. Sometimes when I am sniffing his butt he will lift his leg and pee on me. So I will do the same thing for him. Often we face off. That means lowering our heads toward the ground, ready to fight and then instead of fighting, we take turns doing complete aggressive 360 degree turns as fast as lightening. If you blink, you will miss the turn and think we are just facing off against each other again. Sniffing his yard is unlike sniffing anywhere else. Wherever I go, even taking the leap by the garbage cans to the back yard, it all smells of him. Sometimes when I am at home, warm in my bed, I hear Charlie bark and I know he is there for me.
The Master: Her name is Maria and I always know where she is, and if I don’t, I find out. Once I have ascertained her place in the house, I am in good shape. Nothing be ill if she be well. She is my master, that is sacrosanct—a true thing. Yes, I am nervous at times and maybe a pain in the ass. But I will serve her until the day I die and she knows it and I know it. This is enlightenment.
Seven Dogly Sins: Earthly desires are enlightenment. Because I am conscious of them, my sins are my enlightenment. They come with the whole package. Nothing will change that. It is my relationship to them that has changed. I acknowledge them now. Yes, there’s my envy again. I do want to be human, but I am a dog and a damn good one. And when envy creeps in, I bark louder, wag harder, cozy deeper into my absolute canine-ness than about any dog I know. I am still a dog, but an enlightened dog.