The Master's Tomato Garden.

You're a dog with needs, dammit! Look at him over there. Tummy rubs, teeth-cleansing dog treats. What's your fucking treat? One bowl of stale food a day and a kick in the ass towards the corner.

You can't remember the last time you heard a kind word. No "good doggie," no "thanks for dragging my blind ass all around town, making sure I don't walk my sight-less fucking self into a telephone pole or down a sticker bush-laden gully." It might not be so bad, except for the fact that McBibbins - the house mongrel - gets lavished with tender love and affection from the master, while you're out there all day toiling. Avoiding traffic, dodging skateboarders, knowing when to stay. McBibbins don't know how to stay! McBibbins runs all around, digging in the garden, chasing cats down the alley, eating food off the fucking table!

And yet, he's the one who gets all the love. He's the one Master Bateman plays with, chases the ball with. You're smacked with a cane if you try to lick your own nutsack and McBibbins gets free rein to hump anything on four legs!

And there's nothing you can do about it. It would go against everything you've been trained for. You can't just up and abandon the master; he'll be helpless without you. Your obligation to his well-being is all that matters. Without you . . . what the fuck! Is that another stuffed animal? But he just shredded the last one yesterday! You can't believe what you're seeing. McBibbins destroys something . . . and he's rewarded! This is the final nail. Vengeance will be yours.

You've got to make the master learn. You have to make him see what life will be like without you.

Look at him. Strutting around like he knows what's what. You shoot McBibbins a sinister look; a low, rumbling growl.

As soon as the master closes the door to his exercise room - cranking the music to eleven - you pounce. You're on top of McBibbins in a burst of musclebound mayhem. He never sees it coming as he's gnawing on his latest stuffed potato bug. Your teeth clamp down repeatedly on the jugular - intruder defense, one of the advanced courses you excelled at in Obedience School. With three healthy crunches, your opponent is limp.

With Mafioso-quick precision, you drag McBibbins outside through the doggie-door, dig his shallow grave under the tomato patch, and rinse your paws off in the adjacent pond behind the house. After careful dismount from the seeing eye handlestraps that burdened your shoulder area for so long, you mosey gaily back in through the door.

"Fauntleroy! Fauntleroy! Where is that damned mutt?" You creep up next to the master, nuzzling his calf. "Oh, hello McBibbins," he says, gracing the top of your head with a soft palm. "Have you seen that damned Fauntleroy?" You resist the urge to stand at attention by the master's side - to willingly guide him to his destination - opting instead to jog over to the stuffed potato bug. It tastes like McBibbins-slobber, but you don't care. You're on top of the world; free from the shackles of servitude. You're so giddy, you don't hear the master say, "That's the third dog this year! When am I gonna catch a break?"

The master sits down to a steak dinner, ready with the number to the seeing eye dog agency firmly in memory. He calls over to the new McBibbins; you find responding to that name becomes easier and easier with each swatch of gristle the master feeds you.