RECENT WRITINGS                                                                             ...BACK TO WRITINGS MENU









As told to Bill Wolf








Drawings: AYAX CRUZ





          I am, of course, the best dog in the world, the whole world.  Ask anyone.  In fact, make that the history of the world, the best dog in the history of the world.  Sit down, Rin Tin Tin!  Take a walk, Lassie!  Felipe, Dog of Destiny, is here!  Down through the ages, people will be asking themselves, Will there ever be another dog like Felipe?

          That’s when the one called Bill says, “And we’re doing everything in our power to see that there is NOT, right Felipe?”

          “I need a woman,” I growled.

          “You don’t need a woman, Felipe.”

          I snarled!  I howled!  I bayed at the moon!

          The one called Bill said, “You tell ‘em, Felipe!”

          And so I’m doing just that!  I’m going to tell ‘em!  And I have a lot to tell, I tell you.  And this is my story, Felipe!  Dog of Destiny!



*  *  *



          That was going to be the title of this book, you see, “Felipe, Dog of Destiny,” and everyone thought that was a very good title.  It really captured my story, the story of this book, the story of me, Dog of Destiny.

          Then one day the one called Bill said no, the publisher had called and said we couldn’t call it “Felipe, Dog of Destiny.”

          “What!!!” I howled, “How dare she!  It’s gotta be called Felipe, Dog of Destiny!  It’s the perfect title!  What does she know!”

          “Well, I’m sorry, Felipe.”

          “I’ll bite her!”

“No, you won’t bite her.”

          So I sulked about that for a long time.  I mean, Felipe, Dog of Destiny, that’s me!  That’s everything I stand for.  It’s who I am.  It’s the way I am, and it’s the way I’ll always be.  And I wasn’t happy for a long time, my days seemed gray, I didn’t see any hope in the world, any reason to go on living.

          Then one day the one called Bill said he talked to the publisher and she said well, we could call it “Felipe, A Life.”

          “What!  That’s terrible!  ‘Felipe, A Life’  That’s nothing.  That’s worse that nothing!  It reduces my whole, magnificent story to one stupid word!  Well, two words.  But ‘A Life’?  It’s …, it’s …”  I didn’t know what to do.  I mean, here she was, ruining my book!  My story!  My life!

          Oh, I was mad.

          And then I got to thinking.  Well, in a way, it is my LIFE.  I mean, a life is what it is.  And I thought of all the little puppies, which someday may read my life, and learn something about me, and my life.  And maybe they will learn from some of the many adventures I’ve had, some of the mistakes, very few really, in my life.  That they may grow up to be good dogs.  Like me.  And I got to thinking, well, that does really sum it up, you know.  A life!  It is my life, after all!

          Soon I realized what a great title it really is, “Felipe, A Life,” it’s says it all, really.  And I realized how brilliant she is really, my publisher, and that’s why she is of course such a great publisher for me, the greatest.  Well, of course, that’s the way I am, I always have the best of everything.

          And then everybody was very happy with the new title of my book, “Felipe, A Life,” and everybody’s anxious to read it, of course.  And all the little puppies, who crowd around to hear the story of my life.  That they might learn a little bit, from my life, and that they learn the most important is to always be a good dog.  Like me.

          “You tell ‘em, Felipe!” said the one called Bill.

          And that’s what I’m doing.  I’m telling ‘em!


*  *  *


          I remember very little about that first day, of course.  Well, that first day away from my mother.  Well, away from my mothers tit, that is.  That big, soft, warm, milky tit that I loved so much.

          I found myself away from it.  It was nowhere to be found.  I was lost and I didn’t know what to do.  I was on a hard, rough surface.  Nothing like my old soft bed.  And under something, something big and dirty and greasy.  I thought it was going to fall down on top of me and crush me to death, that’s how big it was.

          And I was so afraid.

          Then pretty soon, I heard some noises.  Scraping sounds, and I saw some big things moving around me, and stomping up and down, and I thought I would surely be stomped to death, that’s how afraid I was.

          I cried.

         Suddenly a big, ugly, evil face appeared and started screaming at me.  And it said something like, “Look!  Under the car!”

          And then another big, ugly, horrible face appeared and it too started screaming.

          “It’s a little yellow puppy!”

          Again I cried, I was so afraid.

          Soon there was more big things stomping around and more screaming and then a big horrible claw reached out and started moving toward me!  I knew I was a goner!

          Then the big thing had me in it’s clutches!  I couldn’t move!  It wrapped its big ugly fingers around my poor little stomach and started pulling me, against my will, into its grasp!  I tried to pull back but it was so strong, I cried out again!

          “Oh, look, it’s scared,” said one of the big things as I was lifted into the sky.

          Tears welled up in my big, beautiful, brown eyes.

          Of course, I couldn’t understand what they were saying but it was something like, “Oh, the poor little fella!  Look, Mary!”

          “He’s cute,” said the one called Mary, and I could tell they were going to tear me limb from limb.  I was shaking in my boots, I tell you!

          Then the one called Mary took hold of me and pressed me to her chest and started to rub her big, red lips all over my poor, little face.  They were getting ready to eat me, I knew it.

          “What’ll we do with him?” said the short one.

          “We’ll ask Bill, he’ll know.”

          Now, I didn’t know what the Bill one was, but I could tell from the way they were talking that he must be like the master-torturer or something.  I cried out in terror!

          Soon a big tall one came walking up.

          “Hey, Bill, look what we found!” someone said.

          “Oh, no!” he said.  I could tell right away he was the boss and the most evil of them all.  I was doomed.

          “Can we keep him?”

          “Forget it!”  He had a terrible scowl on his face.

          “Well, what do we do with him, Bill?”

          “I don’t care but get him out of here!”  He was a mean one that one called Bill.

          Then the one called Mary, who was holding me, looked up at the one called Bill.

          “But he’s lost, Bill.”

          Then the one called Bill shook his head and muttered, “Oh, brother!”  He looked down at me, a big mean frown on his face.  “Well, Pepe, come ’ere!”    

          A short one came running up.


          “Alright, hell,” said the mean one called Bill and reached into his pocket, “run down to the store and get some Puppy Chow.  Right now.”

          Now I didn’t know what a Puppy Chow was but I thought about it a minute and decided it must be the horrid, dreaded machine that grinds up poor, little puppies and makes “chow” out of them.  They were going to grind me up and eat me!

          “OK!” they all shouted as Pepe went running down the street.  They were a blood-thirsty bunch.

          “Well, bring him in, for crying out loud!” said the one called Bill and the one called Mary and the others gleefully followed. 

          So Bill opened up a door on the street and they all went inside, carrying me to my death. 

          It was the biggest place I had ever seen and hard floors and steps and doors and such and they took me upstairs to the torture chamber. 

          The one called Mary put me down on the hard floor and I thought this is my only chance to escape.  I must flee!  I tried to run but my poor, little legs were shaking so badly I couldn’t move an inch.  Soon they all gathered around me and started poking me and laughing at me and saying things like, “Come on, little fella, it’s OK!” and such.  All except the one called Bill, of course.  He went off someplace to prepare for the terrible slaughter that was to come.

          Soon the short one came running up the stairs with a big bag in his hands.  “I got it!” he shouted with barely concealed glee.

          The skinny one now said, “You got the Puppy Chow!  Oh boy!” and three or four of them went running after the one called Bill. 

          The one called Mary said, with a big smile, “They’ve gone to prepare the Puppy Chow, fella!”

          I knew it must be a terrible big machine to need so much preparing and getting ready to chow me to death.

          “Here it comes!”  I shuddered and closed my big, beautiful, brown eyes tight.  I couldn’t look!

          I heard a thud and thought there it is, the Puppy Chow machine!  Then they started laughing and pushing me forward.  “Come on, little fella, it’s Puppy Chow!”

          I slowly looked up.  They had put the horrible machine in something that looked like a giant, yellow cistern.  To catch the blood, I guess.  I was being forced to come closer.

          Then I smelled something.  Something different that I’d ever smelled before.  Something strangely attractive.  And I slowly approached the cistern.  I looked over the edge.  It wasn’t a machine at all.  It was some sort of brown stuff, and it smelled wonderful.  I put my whole little head into the cistern.


          That’s when my life changed.

          Suddenly I realized I was not going to die and be ground up, and all these big ones weren’t going to eat me, after all!  I was going to live!  I opened my adorable little mouth and shouted with delight and some of the Puppy Chow even got inside my mouth and all around my tongue and my little white gleaming teeth and I started to laugh and bite down on all the brown stuff and I was suddenly the happiest, luckiest dog in the whole world!  And I ate and ate and ate!  Until my poor little belly felt like it was going to explode.

          And then they all started laughing and poking me again, but not in a bad way, like before, but kinda gentle and playing, you know?

          Now I started to run all around and the short one started to chase me and I ran and ran.  And soon the one called Mary started chasing me too and they all were laughing and calling out at me and they tried to catch me. and even the mean awful one called Bill had a little grin on his face.

          “You’ll never catch me!  I’m the fastest puppy in the world!” I shouted and went running off, showing them I was the fasted little puppy in the whole world. 

          Then a horrible thing happened.  I ran smack into something big and hard and concrete!

          “Oh, wow!” said the short one, “he’s splattered himself all over the wall!”. They all came running up and gathered me up in their arms.

          “Poor little fella.  Slow down!”  I was seeing stars, I tell you.

          “No!” I shouted and my little feet started to paw the air, “I’m still the fasted puppy in the whole world!” and they put me down and I started running again. 

          “There he goes!  Get ‘im!” and they all ran after me and I ran and ran. 

          “He’s playing!” said the skinny one and everyone was laughing.

          And we played and played and played.  And I ran all over the place.  And then I ate some more Puppy Chow and then I ran some more.

          Pretty soon I had to go to the bathroom, and they took me upstairs and showed me where to go to the bathroom and from then on I always go to the bathroom where I’m supposed to go to the bathroom.

          And I’ll always remember that day so well, when we played and played and played and it was the happiest day of my life.


*  *  *


          It was that kind of day.  We played and I ran and ran and ate and played some more and then I had to take a little nap, I was so sleepy.  So they brought me a big, soft blanket and put it down for me and I slept like the dead, I tell you.

          And then a little later, they were all walking around and I was watching them and then somebody said something like, “See ya tomorrow, little fella!”  and I thought they were saying come on let’s play some more.  Then they all started moving towards the stairs and somebody said, “Now you be a good boy” and they all walked down the stairs and out the door and I heard it clang real loud behind them and I looked in horror to the bottom of the stairs and suddenly there was nobody there.

          I was abandoned again.  Twice in one day.  And I was so afraid.

          It looked to be about a hundred miles down those long steep stairs to the door and I couldn’t believe they had just gone off like that and left me here all alone and I reached my little paw out into the air over the first step and I couldn’t touch the bottom and I gathered up all my strength and courage and took a giant leap and landed down about a mile and hit real hard on the floor and almost passed out from the big drop.

          I looked down again.  It was still about a hundred miles down to the next one and so I tried again and again I fell all the way down to the next step.

          Then I got up again and looked down again and I suddenly realized it was still about a hundred miles to the next step and I was never going to make it and it would take me a hundred years just to get down to the bottom and I was surely going to die on the way down.

          I sat back and stared off into the great abyss which was the stairwell and my big, beautiful, brown eyes filled with tears.  I realized there was no hope and I found myself lost in the world with no one to love me, and for the second time in one day, I was the saddest little puppy in the whole world.

          I cried and cried and cried, all night long and it was the longest night of my entire life.


          I guess in my sleep that night I must have struggled back up those big, hard stairs and somehow made it back to my little blanket, because much later I heard a noise and opened one of my big, beautiful, brown eyes and looked up.  I saw that it was very bright and the sun was coming in the windows and there was some sounds of stomping and laughing that was coming from the stairs and I lifted my little head.

          “There he is!” said somebody.

          “Hi, little fella!  How you doing?” said another one.

          I couldn’t believe my ears!  They had come back!  And then they all came up and started patting me on the head and laughing and poking me and all at once I jumped up and shouted “You’ll never catch me!” and I went running all over the place and suddenly I was the happiest, luckiest, bravest, fastest, strongest, handsomest puppy in the whole world.

          “Get the Puppy Chow!” someone called.

          I shouted as loud as I could, “Yes!  Get the Puppy Chow!”


          That day I ate lots of Puppy Chow and ran and ran and ran and everybody said I was the fastest puppy in the whole world.  I could have told ‘em, of course.  And I was a good boy all day long and always went to the bathroom where I was supposed to go to the bathroom.

          It was a wonderful day.  But then, they all started to go down the big, scary steps again and said that stuff about “see you tomorrow, fella” and stuff.  I couldn’t believe it.

          This time I jumped right down that big scary step right after them.  And I made it almost all the way down, when I just got too scared and decided to come back up.

          And I cried that night, but this time a little bit less.  And when they came in the morning I was so happy, happier than I had ever been in my life!


          Well, each night I cried a little bit less, and pretty soon I would watch them go, sad, of course, to see them go but so happy in the morning, happier each day, really, when they came back.  And I learned to be a good dog.  I ate up all my food and I drank lots of fresh water every day.  And I always went to the bathroom where I was supposed to go to the bathroom.


*  *  *