The Romance

BLUE DOG: Everyone I knew had a thing for Pink Dog. Everyone except Yellow Dog, I mean. That was one cool cat, if you’ll forgive the expression.

YELLOW DOG: I had a steady job going up and down in a bucket. I was in a bowling league. I was a member of the Yo-Yo Fanciers. I also judged amateur haberdashery contests. So I was much too busy for chasing tail. And I was determined not to look as poor as I really was.

PINK DOG: He had this ridiculous cane and bowler… I think it was one of those boy-bites-girl’s-ears type courtships. We’d meet up in some random place, I’d try to start a conversation, and he’d rain on my parade. One time he literally stole the feather out of my cap!

YELLOW DOG: It’s not just that the hats were ugly: the construction was shoddy, the materials were complete—pardon my French—dog crap… she had the worst taste in hats. Still does.

PINK DOG: He doesn’t complain about my taste in lingerie.

Work and Play

BAD YELLOW DOG: What most people don’t realize is that Bad Red and I weren’t breaking rocks because we enjoyed that sort of thing. We were on a leash gang, so to speak.

BAD RED DOG: Bad Yellow and I had been busted for knocking over a liquor store. We got sent up to the Big Dog House for a nickel, and while we were there we did hard labor during the day and played baseball in the kenneltentiary league in the evenings.

BAD YELLOW DOG: Blue Dog looks like he’s shoveling, but he’s really just posing. Blue was a guard. That’s why he was the ump. I played catcher; I was always good at playing catch.

BAD RED DOG: Working that jackhammer took its toll on my hearing. When I was at bat, I couldn’t hear Blue’s calls. More than once I took off for first base on a foul ball, only to have Bad Yellow yell, “Stay!”

BAD YELLOW DOG: Bad Red and I did our best to keep our noses clean while in the pen. No begging for scraps, no barking back… and it paid off. We got released early for good behavior, and we were able to make it to the Big Dog Party in the tree. Man, that was a blast.

BAD RED DOG: Soon after that we got collared for selling fake licenses to underage pups, though.

BLUE DOG: I’m afraid I can’t comment on anything that happened at Fang Fang. But the records of Bad Yellow Dog and Bad Red Dog speak for themselves.

The Economy

RED DOG: Good jobs were hard to come by.

MALE PINK DOG: I worked as a Zeppelin pilot.

RED DOG: I operated a Ferris wheel.

MALE PINK DOG: Every morning, I’d take the blimp out of the hangar and start my tour of the city. And every day, without fail, some privileged rascal pups would be up on top playing racquetball!

GREEN DOG: I got a job doing security for this eccentric Yellow dog, flying a helicopter over his estate. I was surprised that he gave me the job, but fortunately there was no drug test. The route covered one square quarter mile, which pretty much included one tree, and one hammock.

MALE PINK DOG: The noise of that racquetball pinging around on the rubber still echoes in my brain. I’ve been on disability ever since, thanks to my nerves.

GREEN DOG: It was a much better job than the pulley assembly. I mean, how many times can you go up and down in an eight-hour day? That’s a rhetorical question. I know exactly how many times.

RED DOG: “Go around again!” they’d call, every time. “Buy another ticket, tightwad!” I’d yell back, as I jammed on the brake.

The Red (Dog) Scare

BIG RED DOG #1: In 1961 there was plenty of distrust in the community, probably because we animals were first getting around to reading that Orwell book. You know the one I mean.

BIG RED DOG #2: If we looked hunted coming out of that hedge maze, it’s because we were being hunted. That Blue Poodle was following us, watching our every move, just waiting for us to do something even vaguely Communist.

BIG RED DOG #3: There was a saying in our community: “Red Rover, Red Rover, the Cold War’s not over.” Also, “Better fed than dead,” although I’ve never been sure that that had anything to do with the political climate of the time.

BIG RED DOG #1: Even though we’d made it to the end of the maze, and that Blue Poodle informant was first going in, Big Red #3 got spooked and turned around. He hid in the maze for a while, which is why he wasn’t with us at the park.

BIG RED DOG #2: Wouldn’t you know that we’d get to an amusement park and there’d be another little blue dog already waiting for us? He was literally two steps ahead of us, though. That’s why we were behind him on the roller coaster.

BIG RED DOG #3: I caught up with my pals later, at the seaside. We went swimming in the ocean, but I’ll be a Maltese’s uncle if there wasn’t a blue dog there, on the roof of a house on the beach, watching us through a telescope. I think he was hoping we’d start swimming toward Cuba.

BIG RED DOG #4: Not long after that, I picked up the others in my makeshift boat and actually did manage to convince them to go with me to Cuba.

BIG RED DOG #1: We weren’t at the Big Dog Party in the tree.

BIG RED DOG #2: We heard it was a blast, though.

BIG RED DOG #3: I’ve smelled Fido Castro’s behind.

The Sleepover

WHITE DOG: It wasn’t a love-in or anything like that. It was just a twenty-dog sleepover for my birthday. Good, clean fun. Everyone in—and under—that giant bed just slept through the night.

LITTLE BLUE DOG: Not me. I couldn’t get to sleep. I think I was too excited about something I’d buried in the yard earlier. I finally wound up sleeping when the rest of them got up and left. So, yeah, I missed the big dog party. Was it fun?

The Party

GREEN DOG: Oh man, the party! Everyone is always asking about the Big Dog Party. What a party!

BLUE DOG: What a dog party!

GREEN DOG: Like, what was the deal? How’d we all end up in that tree?

YELLOW DOG: The tree! The tree!

GREEN DOG: Back in ’58, I met that guy, Little Green Dog. He was promoting different kennel clubs at the time.

BLUE DOG: I think he did that boat party, too.

RED DOG: “A Banjo, a Lollipop, Checkers, and Thou.” That was the theme.

YELLOW DOG: Little Green Dog was running clubs in Switzerland in the sixties. And that’s where I saw Pink Dog for the third time.

PINK DOG: The ski hat!

YELLOW DOG: I did not like that hat.

PINK DOG: I paid 400 francs for the hat.

GREEN DOG: LGD heard about the tree from one of his security watch dogs.

LITTLE RED DOG: That Blue Bulldog Bouncer guy; if you knew him, you were in.

YELLOW DOG: And word spread pretty fast about the party in the tree.

LITTLE GREEN DOG: Black dogs and white dogs, big dogs and little dogs…

BLUE DOG: Gah! The traffic! It was like there was only one road to get there. You had cars lined up for miles and miles.

YELLOW DOG: Who puts a light in the middle of a highway?!

BLUE DOG: One doggone light in the whole doggone town.

GREEN DOG: I thought I was making really good time until everything ground to a screeching halt. To this day, I have no idea why.

YELLOW DOG: Some little lost bird wandered across the road, looking for its mother.

BLUE DOG: Like if one dog says no, and another dog says no, there could still be ONE DOG SOMEWHERE that might be a bird’s mother!

YELLOW DOG: I had to work triple overtime on the bucket-pulley to be able to afford a rental car back then.

PINK DOG: I took every trinket, knickknack, gewgaw, doodad, chew toy, rubber spider, pinwheel, squeaky bone, flag, and actual goldfish I could find and attached them to a wicker basket. And that was the hat you finally liked!

YELLOW DOG: I might have been drunk.