Training With Wolfie
By Karen Singer
Chapter 4 – Part 3 of 3
As she had done outside many times, Rosa put Wolf and Brian through all the commands they had learned so far, making sure that both of them did everything exactly right. She didn’t give out any treats though until she was finished, then both Brian and Wolf got two.
She looked at Wolfie. “Do you need to go outside again?” she asked. Wolf lazily got up from his sitting position and headed for the door. Rosa turned to Brian. “And how about you too?” Brian didn’t really want to go outside again, especially since he was totally naked. Since he couldn’t really answer her very well with just barking, he laid down on the floor instead. Rosa opened the door and let Wolf out. “You too, Brian. Outside!” she ordered.
Brian didn’t want to go, but she was standing there holding the door open for him. “Go!” she ordered again. Reluctantly, Brian got to his hands and knees again and crawled after Wolf. He wasn’t happy in the least to hear the door closing behind him. He was outside again, naked, without the use of his hands, restricted to having to crawl on his hands and knees everywhere, and restricted from using any kind of human speech. There was no way his life could get more miserable than this.
The cool spring air again washed over his body as he carefully descended the steps in his crawling position. Wolf had gone out by one of the trees in the yard and peed up against it. Brian didn’t yet feel the need for that call of nature. He simply crawled out toward one of the trees again.
But Wolf had now napped a few times that day and was full of energy. Once again, Brian found himself wrestling with Wolf who was having a good time jumping all over him, especially now that Brian was down to his level. Despite his odd predicament, and despite the fact that he only wanted to sulk over his new problems, Brian found himself enjoying the contact with the big dog. Wolf’s fur felt nice up against his naked body, and it was warm too. And the intimate contact with the dog was not only fun and playful, Brian almost felt a measure of love there too. At least, his brain tried to pull that much out of it. It was really all he had.
All through the afternoon, Rosa let them play, calling them both back to the porch occasionally for “training sessions.” Between them, Brian and Wolf either played together, or napped together. And when the call of nature hit him again, Brain found a decent spot in the yard where he wasn’t likely to be crawling through it, and simply let go. He didn’t lift his leg like Wolf did. It was easier to simply squat a bit and let loose.
As the afternoon wore on, Brian began to think more and more about going home again. It was certainly getting later in the day. And besides, his stomach had started rumbling from being hungry. The few dog treats she was giving him certainly didn’t do anything except to make his hunger grow worse. He also wanted his hands free…not to mention to get some clothes back on his body again. But the afternoon seemed to be wearing on longer and longer. Of course, he had no way of actually telling what time it was, but he could tell by the angle of the sun that it had to be getting fairly late.
Finally, Rosa whistled from the porch again. Brian hoped more than ever that this time she would release him and let him go home. But unfortunately, it was only to put them through yet another of her training sessions. The routine had become all too familiar now, and both Brain and Wolf hardly gave the tired old commands any thought anymore. But this time, when she was done, Rosa held the door open and ushered both Wolf and Brian inside the house again.
Brian entered the kitchen and could smell dinner cooking. Was she going to let him go now? She always let him go before dinner time! His stomach growled. Since he had missed lunch, he was hungry. Wolf was wandering around over by the corner cupboards. He kept pacing and looking up at one of the cabinets expectantly.
“All right! All right!” Rosa exclaimed to the impatient dog. “I’ll get you one.” She opened the cabinet and pulled out the larger size treats that she gave him when she ate lunch. She threw one of them towards Wolf and he snatched it neatly out of the air. He carried it over to an out of the way area of the kitchen where he laid down and held it between his paws while he started gnawing on it. Rosa looked at Brain. Then she pulled another treat out and held it up. “Wolfie won’t let me alone while I’m eating unless he gets one of these,” she declared. Then she tossed the second treat at Brain. Even though he ducked, the treat still hit him in the shoulder and landed on the floor in front of him. “You might as well start working on that while I’m eating,” she said as she put the rest of the treats away.
Brian stared at the treat. He didn’t want it. He didn’t want it at all. He wanted whatever she was having for dinner, because whatever it was, it smelled awfully good! Especially since he was so hungry. Instead of touching it, he crawled away from the treat and started to lie down to sulk again.
“You better start eating that thing,” Rosa cautioned as she started heading for the table. “Because you don’t get any dinner until it’s done. And I’ll bet you’re getting hungry already.”
Brian was getting hungry, very hungry. But eat the dog treat? It didn’t look very appetizing at all. He didn’t like the liver treats she gave him all through the day, and he was sure that this one would probably taste even worse. But she usually didn’t feed him dinner anyway. He was planning on fixing something for himself as soon as he got home. So he declined to go back to the treat and ignored it.
“I’m not letting you go home until you have dinner tonight,” she added when she saw him still not touching it. “So if you want to spend all night here, hungry, then I just want you to know that I have no problem with it.”
She wasn’t going to let him off. He wanted to complain about how unfair she was being. He wanted to tell her lots of nasty things. But with no way to adequately express those thoughts, what was the point?
Once again trapped with no way out, he crawled back over to the treat. Wolfie held his between his paws while he ate it. Brian laid down in front of it and tried to pick it up with his taped up hands. The treat was nothing but a long round cylinder. And it was fairly hard. Just getting the thing to move was nearly impossible. Through shear perseverance, he finally got it up between his own “paws.” He bit down on it. It was hard, but not too hard. Kind of like beef jerky. He thought it tasted a bit like beef jerky too. Holding the thing between his paws while trying to bite off a piece of it proved to be very difficult. He had better luck chewing it a bit with his back teeth to weaken it until he could manage to break some of it off. Then of course, he had to chew up the piece he now had in his mouth. The whole exercise was a lot of work – for very little reward. Bit by bit, he finally managed to eat the whole thing.
When he was done, he looked up. Rosa was still at the table, watching him intently while she drank her coffee.
“Good boy,” she praised. “You ate it all.” She finally got up from the table, which signaled Wolf to get up from the floor too and once again start pacing back and forth expectantly. Brian watched as she pulled a can of dog food out of her cabinet. Then she picked up Wolf’s food bowl and with the aid of a spoon, dumped the contents of the can into the bowl. She used the spoon to break it up a bit before she set the bowl down on the floor for Wolf to eat. Wolf went at it in his usual greedy fashion.
Rosa then turned to the counter and picked up a plate full of food that she had fixed for Brian earlier – mashed potatoes, chopped beef, green beans, and a tiny taste of apple pie. She set the plate down on the floor for him, right next to the bowl of water that Connie had put out for him at lunch time.
Wolf saw her putting the plate down on the floor and stopped eating his own dinner. Real food scraps were much better to eat.
Rosa saw Wolfie eyeing Brian’s dinner. “You better gobble that all down fast before Wolf gets it,” she suggested to Brian. “Because that’s all there is for dinner. And don’t forget, you don’t get to go home until you’ve had dinner.”
Brian didn’t really want to eat from the floor without the use of his hands. But she was making sure that he had no choice in the matter. He lowered his face to the plate as Rosa moved away from him. But the moment Rosa moved away, Wolf moved closer. Brian came up for air just as Wolf lowered his head near the plate. Brian’s face was covered with mashed potatoes, but he had a mouthful of food that he gratefully chewed. But as his head came up, Wolf’s head went down. All too quickly, Wolf began gobbling up Brian’s dinner.
“Uh!” Brian grunted in protest, knowing that he wasn’t supposed to talk.
But his short little exclamation wasn’t any kind sound a dog would make and Rosa realized that quickly. She glanced around for the newspaper she usually used on him and realized it was still out on the porch. She grabbed the first thing she could think of instead – her dish towel. She folded it in half and began beating Brian’s back with it. “You still haven’t learned, have you! No human sounds! Only dog sounds!” The minute she had started yelling at him, Wolf sensed her anger and ran off, leaving Brian alone to take the punishment.
Her dish towel hurt a lot more than the newspaper ever had. He actually cried ouch at the beginning of her beating, which only made her yell at him and beat him more for that offense too. Her tirade didn’t last long, but Brian was still near tears when she stopped.
His face smeared with food, and now feeling even more miserable after her last beating, he watched as she moved back to stand against the counter to watch him finish eating. He looked down at the plate. Wolf had already gotten a good bit of the food that had been there. He lowered his face back into the dish and worked to get another mouthful of food. But as he came up again, Wolf came back. Still chewing, he quickly lowered his head back over the plated again to try to block Wolf’s big head from getting at it. But Wolf’s long snout and especially his tongue were still managing to get all too much of his dinner. Brian tried to push Wolf’s head away with his own head, but that only earned him a warning growl from Wolf. Brian tried desperately to protect what was left of his food with his face, but it was too difficult. While he had to chew his food, Wolf seemed to just swallow whole every little bit that he got. Brain picked his head up a bit to try to figure out some way to get rid of the big dog, but the moment he did, Wolf moved in completely. Brian could no longer even get at his dinner. His face covered in even more of the food now, he looked up at Rosa, wanting to ask, what should he do now? Had he eaten enough that she would finally let him go home?
Rosa wanted to laugh, but she held a stern look on her face instead. This was not the time to go lightly. Wolf gobbled the last of the food from the plate, then began licking the plate as clean as he could get it with his tongue. “You didn’t get enough to even call dinner,” she said to Brian. “You’ve got to eat.” She glanced over at Wolf’s unfinished dog food. She was very doubtful that after eating Brian’s dinner that Wolf would go back for it. Besides, Wolf was now licking the plate clean, and since she had seen him do that frequently, she knew that he would be at it for quite a while. “Since you didn’t get enough from your plate, I suggest you eat Wolf’s instead. Because you’re not going home until it’s finished.”
Brian’s stomach turned at just the thought of eating the dog food. Especially after Wolf had already been eating from it. He actually let out a doggie whimper looking for some sympathy from her.
Rosa wanted to laugh. It was probably the first non-barking dog sound that she had heard him make. But that didn’t mean that she was going to back off. “No!” she said as if she was telling Wolf not to do something. She pointed at Wolf’s dog bowl. “Eat it!” she commanded. Then she folded her arms while still leaning back against her counter. She was going to make sure that he did as she wanted before he went home tonight. Besides, she had one more important thing to do with him before she let him go home. And she knew that in many ways, it was going to be far worse for him than just eating a little dog food.
Feeling sicker and sicker as he crawled closer to the bowl. Brian finally reached the bowl and stared at the contents. It looked terrible…and smelled even worse! Since she had chopped it all up, it was hard to tell exactly how much of the can Wolf had already eaten. But either way, there was still way too much left. He looked up at her one more time, his eyes pleading for her to reconsider, but she seemed to remain just as impassive and determined as ever. He looked over at Wolf, hoping that the big dog would come back again to reclaim his own dinner. But Wolf was now licking the plate so hard that it was sliding all over the hard kitchen floor.
He stared back into the bowl and let out a small whimper again. Bracing himself, he lowered his head and opened his mouth. He bit into the mush in the bowl and started chewing. Yuck! It was all he could do to keep it in his mouth. But he bravely chewed away, and actually managed to swallow it. He wanted a drink so badly to wash the taste away, but what would be the use, there was still too much of the food left. Again and again he lowered his head, grabbed a mouthful of the dog food, chewed the mush a little, then swallowed. His stomach was turning from just thinking about what he was doing.
“There’s water next to you if you need it,” Rosa said from her never moving position against the counter. Brian looked at Wolf’s water bowl. He was more than ready for a drink. Hating doing it, he moved his head over to the water and stuck his messy face close. He tried to just sip at the water by sticking his lips out and sucking on it. But he started choking as the water he managed to get in went back too far and tried to get into his lungs. He coughed reflexively, hoping all the while that she wouldn’t beat him again for making non-dog sounds. But fortunately she remained back against the counter. “You’re going to have to learn to use your tongue, like Wolfie does,” she told him.
Brian tried licking the water up with his tongue, but he got very little water from it. His tongue wasn’t as long as Wolf’s was. He finally gave up and lowered his head back into the bowl of dog food again and continued eating until he could get no more. He looked up at Rosa and backed away from the bowl.
“Good boy,” she praised as she finally put a smile on her face. She shook her head. “My but your face is a mess. But it can stay there. It’s just something else I guess you’ll have to get used to dealing with.”
Brian knew his face was a mess. He wanted badly to rub the food off with his hands, but his hands were all taped up and useless. He had finally eaten everything he could. Would she let him go home now?
Rosa glanced over at Wolf, who was ignoring Brian completely and was sniffing instead around the kitchen door. He would probably want to go out soon. He would have to wait a few minutes, she had something else to do with Brian first.
She stared down at Brian. “Sit!” she commanded softly.
Brian sat, automatically. He had done it often enough now that he didn’t need to think about it. She was still looking down at him. Was she going to make him bark now too, like she usually did?
Rosa continued to stare at him for a moment, keeping him on edge. Making him wait…and wonder. “I know you’re probably wondering what I’m doing with you,” she finally began.
Brain was surprised by her words, which were an understatement if he ever heard one.
“I’m also sure that by now you realize that I’m making you act more and more like a dog,” she continued.
A fact that Brian wasn’t happy about at all!
“I’m afraid that for now, I’m not going to tell you why I’m doing this. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it’s going to be. But let me tell you instead a tiny bit of what’s in your immediate future.”
Brian didn’t have time to react to the fact that she wasn’t going to tell him why she was doing it. He was suddenly too concerned with what she was about to say next.
“From now on,” she said, “whenever you’re not working, I expect you to be over here, learning how to be a dog!”
Her statement sent an immediate feeling like he suddenly had lead in his stomach…or maybe it was the dog food he had just eaten.
“For now, you’ll be going home at night so you can be ready in case they call you for work the next day. But there are going to be times when you’ll be staying here for the night too.”
The first part of that was good news to Brian, but the last part was troubling.
“Don’t even think about not coming over, or even delaying getting here, because I’ll be watching for your car every day. If I don’t see you going to work, then I expect you to be here right away. If you do go to work, then as soon as you get home I expect you back here again as fast as possible. As I said before, don’t even think about not coming, because believe me, I’m very, very good at hurting men. It used to be my profession, and I have lots of nasty ways to punish you for not following my orders.”
Her profession? What kind of profession could she have had that she hurt men for a living? But knowing the way that she was, something about her made him believe it. And not only did he believe it, but it scared him more than a bit too.
“So from now on, I expect you to be here promptly, every day. You will of course be totally naked. Dogs have no need of clothes. You will act like a dog from the time you arrive until the time you leave. And trust me, I’m going to make sure that you do!”
Rosa leaned over toward him. Her voice dropped just a hair. “And now here’s the kicker. There is a way out of this for you…there always has been. But I’m not going to tell you what it is. If you find it, then I’ll actually be very glad for you. But if not? Well, I’ve already told you a little of what’s in store for you.” She stood up straight again. “And unfortunately, I’ve decided that there will now be a time limit on your way out!”
Brian had no idea what she was talking about. A way out of it? It seemed too good to be true! But he had no idea what it could possibly be. She had left him with a puzzle to solve. But not one clue to solve it with.
Rosa glanced again at Wolf who was now sitting next to the door. He had to go out for sure. It was time for Brian to go out too…and then home. She walked over to the door and flipped the light switch that would turn on the flood lights for her porch and back yard. She opened the door and Wolf almost forced his way out past her. “Let’s go,” she said to Brian. You can go home just as soon as you and Wolfie finish your business out back.”
Brian crawled out onto the porch. His head was swimming over everything she had just told him. She was going to keep making him act like a dog? For how long? And what was his way out of it? And why, why, why was she doing this to him? He had no answers, and unfortunately, no options either. He followed Wolf down the steps and out into the yard in a semi-daze, still trying to comprehend it all. She hurt men for a living? Professionally? Yet, he believed that one all too much. The rest of it was still all too hard to accept.
He finally glanced up. Wolf was way in the back of the lot, doing more than just wetting something. He felt no need, fortunately, to do what Wolf was, but he did have a slight urge to pee. He glanced back at the porch. She was watching. This afternoon he had just squatted and peed on the grass. He had a feeling she wouldn’t let him get by with doing it that way if she saw him. So he crawled over to one of the trees and raised his leg a little bit to pee. The fact that he wasn’t hitting the tree at all didn’t even bother him. When he was done, he crawled back toward the porch.
Wolf had finished his business by then and bounded up to him, jumping on him and trying to play, but Brian didn’t feel much like playing just then.
“Are you ready to go home now?” Rosa asked, knowing that he couldn’t answer her. She grabbed the clothes he had worn that morning and carried them down the steps and all the way to her gate where she laid them over the fence between their properties. Brain crawled along behind her with Wolf running around both of them. She finally knelt down and removed the tape from Brian’s hands. He started to open his fingers. “No!” she ordered quickly. “Not until you’re home!” Brian immediately put his hands back down and left them curled up. He would be away from her soon…he hoped.
She pointed at Wolf. “Stay,” she ordered. Wolf stopped short, unsure of what was going on. Rosa opened the gate and let Brian crawl through, then she shut it again. “See you tomorrow,” she said to him.
Brian crawled all the way up to his clothes. Then, almost fearing her wrath, he quickly got to his feet. He grabbed the clothes and made a mad dash into his house where he closed and locked the door behind him. He showered, then took a long hot bath to soak away his aches and pains.
Then, because he had eaten mostly dog food for dinner, he opened his refrigerator to get something decent to eat. But just the thought of eating suddenly turned his stomach and he closed his refrigerator again.
He went to bed that night, praying for his phone to ring in the morning with a teaching job.