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John Mattingly: The Tale of Dingdoggy

By John Mattingly

An old yellow dog named Dingdoggy came from fortunate breeding and circumstance. His daddy, Dongdaddy, had been a well-cut dog with excellent cunning who ate well, accumulated an enormous number of bones, lived large with attractive bitches, and worried little about necessities. In short, Dongdaddy mastered his masters, for the most part. They occasionally spanked him with a newspaper, but that did not stop him from teaching his son, Dingdoggy, the ways of big-league dogliness, which went back to grandfather doggy, Drumpfdog. The Drumpfdog line were purebreds who, to be honest, dominated at dog shows where young Dingdoggy learned that he could chin, snag and even mount female dogs at dog shows, without them being in heat, an opportunity and privilege afforded by his heritage, and his huge and growing status among show hounds and assorted bitches.
Dingdoggy dug up a few of his daddy’s bones, though he was never forthright as to how many bones he secured from his own hunting prowess, and how many bones he exhumed from Dongdaddy’s many bone banks. Dongdaddy had buried so many bones that he honestly did not know how many bones he had, and Dingdoggy also gathered many bones beyond his actual bone needs, taking bones from many other dogs, and after a short time, bragging that he had, himself, earned all of the bones. Given the nature of canine purity, many dogs admired Dingdoggy’s ability to claim the success of other dogs for himself, while other dogs only growled when he came around.
Dingdoggy was a particularly barkative dog as a pup, which confirmed his philosophy that if he barked long enough, and loud enough, and lifted his leg to water various territorial structures frequently enough, food and good fortune would fall from above. Dingdoggy learned that he could even excrete a big brown pile on a lawn or street or even in a vehicle and only good things happened to him. As he matured, Dingdoggy began to think there was something special about his exudates.
Dingdoggy let other dogs know that his exudates not only did not stink, they were sweet to the eye and nose, a claim that many dogs recognized as the workings of a dog deluded by his failure to deal with his exudates when he was pup. Yet other dogs fell into a uniformed stupor, and even though they knew Dingdoggy’s exudates were foul to both nose and eye, they did not seek to offend or correct. They simply fell in with the pack and followed the stink.
This coaxed Dingdoggy to an even more unusual assertion as to his abilities: he began to walk on his hind two legs. This caused a huge disturbance among all purebred dogs, who were appalled at the mere notion of walking on fewer than four legs. They asserted that, yes, sometimes a dog lost a leg in a fight or a trap and had to get around on three legs, and these dogs were more pitied than admired for their adaptation. But Dingdoggy declared that three-legged dogs were beyond pity and worthy only of jokes and mockery for their lack of leg. Dingdoggy claimed that walking on two legs while keeping two legs in reserve was smart, even though several alert dogs pointed out that if Dingdoggy’s hind legs failed, there was no way to transplant his front legs. Instead, he would be walking with his muzzle in the dirt.
Dingdoggy did not pay attention to dogs who pointed out the obvious. Moreover, when Dingdoggy discovered a way to bark over great distances – known as BLEEPING – due to an invention of highly social dogs known as dogrammers, Dingdoggy bleeped out to his fellow canines that walking on one’s two hind legs was proof of his superiority. To which some dogs told him to get back on four legs before he upset his own balance. Dogs, according to those who knew about such things, did not defy gravity or seek to ignore their primary, front legs. To walk on their hind two legs was not only a waste of two legs, it was an unnecessary display of their nakedness, which throughout the history of all dog-kind, had never been wise. Best to stay with four legs.
Despite the wisdom of purebred elites, Dingdoggy found that many other dogs thought it remarkable that he could walk on his hind two legs, and though they would never try such a thing themselves, they did not growl or fight this novel way of locomotion. So fond of hind leg walking did Dingdoggy become that he began to chase move objects on two legs, which, of course, demonstrated the folly of his ways. But Dingdoggy did not give up. He practiced and focused and found that he could, with some deception and a lot effort, moving quite fast on two legs.
Dingdoggy’s success with two-legged locomotion led to other dogs giving it a try, eventually getting into various kinds of competition. One day Dingdoggy descended from a long porch stairway to brag to all dogs around that he could not only run on two legs, he could catch the Great Dumptruck that drove by every day on its way from the gravel pit. All dogs scoffed at this notion and several dogs bit him on the rear end for even making such a claim. The biggest, baddest, fastest dogs in history had, on occasion, got hold of a mud flap or two of the Great Dumptruck, but stop the dump truck? No, this was pure fantasy.
Not to Dingdoggy. He had been practicing, and when the dump truck left the pit, Dingdoggy took out after it, and to the unmitigated astonishment of all dogs watching, caught the dump truck.
It was then that several alert dogs on the left side of the truck noticed the driver had stopped to check the suspension just before Dingdoggy locked his jaws on the right front running board.

John Mattingly cultivates prose, among other things, and was most recently seen near Poncha Springs.