Hank and Babs do an adventure

The wind had whipped itself up into a frenzy; howling down empty city streets and knocking stuff over like a teenager who was just really really angry with everything, man. Occasionally the howls would wake up the sensitive of hearing. And, of course, dogs.

Hank and Babs were stacked snuggly in their kennel, but awake. They’d tried to rouse the humans to let them inside; the noise was really not fun.

‘I don’t think they can hear us Babs. We’re stuck here until the short one wakes up’.

Babs let out a whine. She was generally, as is in keeping with her species, upbeat and optimistic. But her fluffy, silky ears were over it. Plus, as a puppy (albeit a GIANT one), she was still getting used to the fact that life was not always going to dish out luxuries like time on the couch.

The wind, not having done enough with waking up beings and upsetting bins, decided to up the ante on its rampage and blow a little bit harder and stronger to prove its might.

Hank and Babs’ back gate started to rattle and, having not being replaced since the  ’90s, it gave little resistance. A slight lift under its bottom and then a strong blast pulled the gate from its moorings. Of course it did, how else do you think the dogs are going to go on an adventure? Seriously.

Hank sniffed the air.

‘Something is different’ he told his sister.

They untangled themselves and exited the safety of their cosy bed. Upon seeing the open gate Hank drew a sharp breath which, because of his adorable pushed in nose, came out as a snort.

Babs let out an amused ‘WOOF’. She dropped to the ground, her head on her paws, and stared longingly beyond the gate.

‘Barbara, we can’t. The humans will be sad. They will miss us. Plus we don’t have long until breakfast. Food is your favourite thing; remember?’.

‘Cummmooon, we don’t have to go far. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE? I’ll let you have the ball’.

‘Ahhhhh, the impetuousness of youth’ nodded Hank; ‘the ball you say? For how long?’.

‘Til next breakfast’ Babs offered.

‘Deal’. They didn’t shake on it and stuff because, well, dogs.

Tentatively they made their way towards the open gate, sticking their heads out warily.

‘No cats?’ asked Babs.

‘I think the coast is clear. Let’s go before that big Persian from next door wakes up and tries to kill us’.

‘Good idea’.

They trotted along the alleyway… Well. They would have, but as dogs they had to smell everything. Other than being allowed off leash at the dog park and on the farm they’d never been allowed to explore much without the humans yelling at them to not eat poo or roll in dead bird carci. The alleyway presented a plethora of tastes and smells and they could explore them unfettered. Until…

Hank had been spending a long time in one spot, sniffing his butt off when he raised his head and let his olfactory nerves drink in the morning air.

‘I know this smell’ he told Babs.

They were finally near the end of the alley, which veered off into a main street.

‘This is where they take us on the chains’. He meant leads. He can be a bit overdramatic sometimes. He is French and all.

Babs bounced up and down, then got distracted by her tail and spun to catch it.

When she eventually came up for air she said ‘I LOVE THE CHAINS! LET’S GO WHERE THE CHAINS TAKE US!’.

‘You’re such a weirdo. But fine. We’ll go to where the chains take us and then back to bed. Do you promise to be a good girl?’.

Babs began bouncing again.

‘I DO, I DO!’ she confirmed.

Destination in check they headed for what was, unbeknownst to them, called ‘the park’.

Their propensity for sniffing and peeing on everything slowed them down somewhat. They were also hissed at through a window by a Devon rex named Iggy, which terrified Babs, hiding her march larger frame behind Hank’s reassuring small but stocky figure. But finally they made it.

If they weren’t canines they would have seen the sun rising over the city in golds and pinks, bathing everything in no filter-worthy light. What they did see were the birds. Without warning Babs ran at high speed toward a rather large magpie, making it rise up sharply into the air and away from the shenanigans of dogs.

Babs went after another, and then another, and then another. All this time Hank had been rolling around, having a grass bath, his furry little face in rapture. Until a soft but forceful paw landed on his chest.

‘I’m hungry Hank’ was Babs’ lament; ‘And I miss the ball’.

Both let out a big sigh. Babs dropped to the ground, resting her chin on Hanks’ back. There was always food for them at home, delivered on time with nummy crunchiness. And the ball was just where they left it, covered in dirt in the flower bed. Memories. Sadface.

Back at the house the humans were waking up to a scene that caused their hearts to break. Where were their babies? A plan of action was engaged; call work and delay, each parent to be assigned a direction along the alleyway, head to the park and if that wasn’t fruitful then the animal hospital (please no) and the pounds for a microchip check of their current prisoners. The park was the only place the dogs really knew how to get to on foot. Thankfully they couldn’t drive. Hank would be a terror on the road, running down his least favourite humans; men in uniforms and short men, men with a moustache, men with beards, mostly men who weren’t his dads. That third wave feminism has a lot to answer for. Not.

His beloved dads gave him food and always let him sit on the couch. OK so maybe that last bit isn’t strictly true, but if he pulled a cute enough Hank face he could gain couch access. And with a face like his it wasn’t difficult. Unless of course you were a dog hater with a lump of LNP approved coal for a heart.

Hank was dreaming of the couch as he lay in the park, with poor darling Babs softly crying. She stopped abruptly and poked her brother. He chose to ignore her.

‘HANK, I think I heard something! Wake up!’.

Their names came to them on the morning breeze (the wind had conveniently gone to bed); The Humans!

Jumping up quickly they perused the perimeter of the park. THERE WAS DAD 1! AND LOOK – ALSO DAD 2! Hank and Babs were overjoyed. Because food obviously. They bounded toward their loving parents like a goofy pair of goofballs. Tears were shed (bloody emotional humans), licks generously given, leads attached and the dogs on their way home back to be in the dog house. Like, literally not figuratively. Or so they thought.

The gate wasn’t secured properly yet so the dogs got to spend the day inside with their dads, who had taken a ‘work from home’ day to wait for a maintenance human.

And even though the gate was eventually properly secured, that night Hanks and Babs had a long and comfy sleep on the couch, where they dreamt of their day and adventures yet to come.



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