I opened my eyes, and immediately knew something was wrong. It’s hard to describe, but I was very clear, and at the same time confused. For starters, I couldn’t talk anymore. I wasn’t gagged, or mute, I just didn’t know any words or how to use them. I opened my mouth in a parody of what I knew was speech, and made sounds as I moved my mouth, but it wasn’t words. I knew it wasn’t real words.
Somehow I was aware that I could still understand perfectly well what people said, I just couldn’t talk any more. Puppies can’t talk. Puppies have to wear collars, and kneel on the floor, and grovel and live their life as someone else pleases. I knew that I was a puppy now. Not a normal kind of puppy that had been born one, but somehow I’d been made into one.
My body didn’t look like other puppies bodies, but that didn’t change anything. How did I know this? Why was it so obvious to me what I now was? I didn’t know. I didn’t know when, or why it had happened. All I knew was that even though I used to be a person, I wasn’t any more. I couldn’t walk, or talk like a person. I had to crawl and whine, and bark. It’s all I knew how to do.
I tried to stand up, but couldn’t get very far before I’d lost my balance and got dizzy. No, puppies stay on the floor. Puppies crawl. Oh God, what was happening to me? No, what had already happened to me? How does a person just open their eyes, and know they aren’t human? How does that happen? I still looked like a person, but looks didn’t change the truth. An involuntary whine of fear escaped me at that moment as if to punctuate my inhumanity.
No, this isn’t real I though desperately. I don’t want to be a puppy! Please no, I was meant to be a person. I don’t want to be this. Of course I didn’t say any of that, just thought it. Not even in words really, but just mental pictures, and feelings. I sobbed out loud, and was startled to feel tears rolling down my cheeks. I reached up to wipe them away, and realized that I couldn’t open my paw anymore. No, not paw it’s my... Oh no, what is it called I have to remember. Not paw though! It’s definitely not a paw. Anyway, I couldn’t open it up anymore. It used to open up, and I could do things with it. Pick things up, and make my front toes wiggle and curl around things. Front toes? That doesn’t sound right either. I’m probably just being paranoid. What else would they be called?
My thoughts were interrupted as the door opened. She stepped through. I knew her very well, but who was she? I knew who she was now, but who was she before? Now she was the one who was in charge of me. The one who controls me, and makes me do what she wants, and takes care of me. Puppies can’t take care of themselves. My heart sank. No, puppies can’t take care of themselves at all. But who was she before? I don’t think she had always been in charge of me, just like I don’t think I had always been a puppy. But I could no more remember her before she was my Mistress than I could remember myself before I was a puppy.
I was so ashamed to have her looking at me. Seeing that I wasn’t a person anymore. Seeing her watch me, and know what I was. I wanted to die. I wished she would stop looking at me, and now what? She’s smiling at me. Oh why is she doing this to me? Why is she doing this to me? I weighed this question, and suddenly realized that it meant much more than I thought. I realized that it was her who had made me be a puppy. Her who had taken away my right and ability to be a person anymore.
It enraged me, and humiliated me even more that this was her doing. But what could I do? How does one change what they are? I looked at her, and she was smiling an amused smile at me. I crumbled, and lowered my face unable to look at her anymore. The weight of my shame pushing me to the ground.
She slapped her knees with her hands. “Here boy, come here puppy, come on boy!” She said to me in a high pitched condescending voice, and I hated her for talking to me like that. But how else would she talk to me? She wanted me to come to her, and that’s how you talk to puppies isn’t it? My face felt hot, and my ears burned with humiliation as I tried desperately to fight the urge to go to her. Something about the way she cooed at me, and the sound of her slapping her knees just made me naturally want to go to her despite my torment. I was strong though. I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of controlling me, and I stayed put. I fixed my paws on the ground, and didn’t move.
She saw that I wasn’t coming to her. That I was fighting it with all my will, and an even more amused smile spread across her face. As she started to dig in her pocket, I began to think. She was in charge of me, but also took care of me. What if I made her mad? How would I eat? When would I get to go potty? Not potty, what’s the real word for it? Oh damn why can’t I think of any of these important words? What if I made her angry, and she decided not to feed me? What would I do? Would I starve to death? My resolve was about to break. I was just about to crawl to her when she produced what she had been digging for in her pocket.
I looked at it in horror for a moment. It was a hard rubber chew toy. A red bone, and I was afraid, no panicked to realize that I wanted it. I couldn’t look away from it as she moved it back and forth like a hypnotist with a pocket watch. My eyes were glued to it. I couldn’t look away. I had to have it. Oh God PLEASE let me have it. I forced my gaze to break away from it so I could look up at her face with my big puppy dog eyes. My begging sad puppy eyes.
I crawled very quickly to her, and sat in my most obedient attentive puppy posture. My legs out behind me, my haunches wresting on ankles and my paws placed firmly on the floor in front of me. I looked up at her, and whined pitifully. I wanted the bone so much I couldn’t stand it.
“Oh you want this?” She said in a very mocking tone of voice. I sat up on my haunches, and let my front paws dangle before my chest. I whimpered louder several times, and considered snatching it out of her hand with my teeth. She was holding it very close to my face. “I shouldn’t let you have it because you have been a bad boy not coming to me when I called. Don’t you know puppies have to come to their Mistresses when they are called?” She asked. I barked and whined at her desperately, my eyes glued to the chew toy.
She moved the toy behind her back, and my heart stopped. Oh no! “Now I want you to be a very good puppy for Mistress. I want you to do everything Mistress says, or I will take this away, and you will never see it again. Do you want that to happen?” She asked. I whined as if I had just lost something dear, and laid my head on the ground. She smiled very broadly. “I didn’t think so.”
The next thing I knew, the bone was on the floor in front of my face, and I snatched it in my teeth. I bit down on it, and was in heaven and hell. I hated this. I didn’t want to be doing it, but I had to chew it. I had to gnaw, and bite, and play with it. It was an absolute compulsion, but it made me sick with shame.
She watched me very amused, and giggled. “What’s the matter puppy? Can’t stop chewing it even though you want to? Well puppies are ruled by their compulsions don’t you know?” I began to cry as I gnawed at the toy. I had never been addicted to any drug before, but I imagined this was what it was like. To have equal amounts of hate and need at the same time.
She knelt down beside me and started to pet my head. This too was humiliating, but at the same time it was pure ecstasy. The hair stood on the back of my neck, and my whole body tingled. I shivered with pleasure, and the last tear ran down my cheek as I drifted away on a cloud of delight. I could stay like this forever. I didn’t care that I was a dog, this was warm safe comfortable place and I loved it.
Suddenly I was shocked back into reality as the bone pulled out of my teeth. It was a moment before I realized that she had taken it from me and was putting it in a drawer near by. I was horrified. No! She couldn’t do this, I’d die. I whimpered, and then began to growl. This got her attention, and she snapped around. “NO! Bad boy!” She scolded. Her voice was so loud, so commanding it almost hurt my brain to hear it. I couldn’t imagine going against her voice. Whatever it ordered I must do.
When she saw my reaction to her scolding, she softened and was all mock sweetness and smiles again. “You’re going to be such a good puppy. I’m so glad I have you now.” I tried again desperately to think of who she was. I knew her very well, but she hadn’t always been this. I hadn’t always been this to her. How long ago had she changed into this all powerful being? Or was it me who’d changed into a powerless creature? I didn’t know and thinking about it made my head ache.
“I still need to name you, and I can’t decide yet.” My face turned red at this. Need to name me? I have a name I’ve always had a name it’s... It’s... Well, she knows it. Why is she saying name me? You can’t name someone who’s already named. Can you?
“Rover is my favorite so far, but it’s just such a classic dog name that lots of the other girls are sure to name their puppies Rover too.” I almost threw up at the realization that if she named me that I’d have to answer to it. I’d have to constantly acknowledge that my name was in fact Rover. This can’t be. She can’t call me that please!
“Of course, there’s Fido and Rex too, but they have the same problem. I don’t want ten doggies perking up and coming to me every time we’re the park and I call your name now do I?” My stomach churned at the thought. She was going to name me something awful. Some stupid demeaning name that degraded me constantly, and I couldn’t do anything about it.
“But don’t worry, Mistress has already come up with the answer.” She produced a brown leather collar with big black letters on it. I could see them clearly, but couldn’t read it. For a moment I wondered if it was an other language or something, but the characters were far too familiar for that. The plain fact was I couldn’t read any more.
“Oh I’m sorry, I forgot doggies can’t read.” She said as she buckled it in place around my neck. “It says Bobo. Your name is Bobo.” I died a small death inside at hearing this. “I know it sounds kind of funny like a clown, but I think it’s cute too. You look like a Bobo to me, and so you are.”
The strangest thing was that every time she said the word Bobo, my attention sprang to her. My eyes fixed on her and for a few moments I couldn’t look away. I could hardly hear anything else, and briefly it seemed like the rest of the world had blurred some and become dim. Whenever she said my name, it was like she had a leash connected to my mind and she’d just yanked it hard. I was incapable of ignoring it, and every time I looked at her, I knew it was as if I were saying. “Yes, my name is Bobo, and I am a dog.” I wanted to die. I felt like I was dieing, but I new that my new life was just beginning.