A Day in the Life of a Dog
He was one of the old ones, a servant of The Hunter, who consented to walk in other guise because it was requested of him. There was no thought of saying “No”; he was the servant, not the master. So he was reborn in a different form.
He loved his puppy-hood; those days of sunshine and fresh smelling green grasses, when he rolled in piles of other wriggling pups and reveled in cold noses and wet tongues. He joined the others when they snuggled up to their mother’s teat, and suckled and understood true contentment. But all too soon, he was separated from the others and trained to fill the role he was to play.
He was taught to follow a scent and how to freeze, how to flush some types of prey, and how to act as a dog would and should. He was told that he would understand speech even as he had in his prior form, but that he would only be allowed to speak thrice and to choose those times very carefully. He was taught the love of the hunt. Then he was presented to his new master, Tyelkormo, as a gift, when the son of Fëanáro was accepted as an apprentice to The Hunter.
Today he was accompanying Tyelkormo and his brothers to a large house in the middle of many large houses at the end of a street without dirt or grass. He had been washed, under much protest, and brushed until his fur gleamed. A collar of leather and silver had been placed around his neck.
The paving stones were hot under his feet and burned the pads of each foot. The odors of the city were stale, not the fresh odors of the forest or meadows he and his master were more likely to frequent. His master was dressed in clothing that smelled differently than his usual attire; there were undertones of spices in the folds, and no hint of either blood or offal and he wore soft boots that would not hold up through the first forest glen. There was a shiny circle of metal around his head.
The paving stones were hot under his feet and burned the pads of each foot. The odors of the city were stale, not the fresh odors of the forest or meadows he and his master were more likely to frequent. His master was dressed in clothing that smelled differently than his usual attire; there were undertones of spices in the folds, and no hint of either blood or offal. His master wore soft boots that would not hold up through the first forest glen, and there was a shiny circle of metal around his head.
They entered a courtyard and two tall elves were there to meet them, a male and a female. Each brother was greeted in turn.
“Grandfather, I am pleased to see you on this Harvest Day. Allow me to introduce you to Huan, my companion. He was a gift from Lord Oromë.”
Finwë carefully examined the hound next to his grandson. “He is magnificent. I don’t think your grandmother will be too pleased with him wandering through her drawing room, but he is a gift from a Vala and should remain by your side.”
Indis, hearing this, came over and looked doubtfully at the hound. “My husband,” she said in a pleading tone, “a dog should be kept outside. In fact, it should be kept at the stables or the kennels, but not in the house.”
“My dear, this is no ordinary dog, this is a gift from Lord Oromë. He will be welcomed into our house along with Turkafinwë.” Indis knew that she had no recourse. This large, drooling, four-legged creature, with a long, independently mobile tail, would be entering her drawing room filled with rare items and breakables. She shuddered.
“Very well. Turkafinwë, it is your responsibility to make sure that ‘dog’ does nothing untoward or destructive. Your responsibility.” She turned away from them in a puff of hazy layers of silk and led the way to the front door, taking Maitimo’s arm at the threshold. The other boys, the King, and one large dog followed in her perfumed wake.
After an excruciating afternoon of small talk with no freedom to get up and smell anything of interest, Huan was bored. Finally everyone was rising to their feet, ready to return home; the visit had ended. As Indis left the room, leading the cavalcade out of the home even as she had led them in a few hours before, Huan couldn’t resist. Taking a quick glance at his master, he sniffed the doorway and then cocked his leg, letting loose a long stream precisely targeted to hit the doorframe and the wall next to it and splatter on at least one large pottery standing nearby.
As they walked down the street towards their home and the freedom from restrictive clothing and manners, Tyelkormo fondled his ears, patted his side, and said in a quiet but happy undertone, “Good dog”.
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A/N I assume that Tyelkormo preferred to use his mother name, but that his Grandfather, being more traditional, would prefer his father name. Thus I used both names in this.