Chance had been their first dog. He had been living in the house for a long time now, he had no idea how much, but he was very happy with everything he had: the food, the toys, his owners and everything else. At first, he remembered vaguely, Chance had been owned by one of the two people that lived in the house. His name was Philip and he worked a lot or so it seemed. Apparently, and Chance had no proof of this, Philip had been convinced to have a pet after he had a couple of crisis related to his work.
Chance was only a puppy back then. He didn’t remember how his mother looked or how his brothers and sisters looked. His first memory was always Philips face, looking down at him with a strange expression in his face. He wasn’t happy or sad. He seemed more confused than anything else. To be fair, Chance was also very confused but that was because his memory did not work very well.
The first bonding experiences he had with Philip had to do with the park. As young as he was, Chance would go to the park and meet other dogs and even other animals. As he met them, he remembered Philip was always sitting close by, watching or checking a strange rectangular black rock that he had with him every single time Chance wanted to play or have a moment with him. Once, he had attempted to grab the black rock but Philip had made it clear that it wasn’t something for him to play.
So Chance learned not to bother his master whenever he was on it. But that didn’t prevent him from noticing that, often when he used the rock, he would become very sad. Chance didn’t like that so he always tried to distract him, trying to make him play by getting the ball or rolling on the ground or whatever that could work.
Surprisingly, the ruse worked quite often. He made his master smile and even laugh several times and he understood that his job as a dog was to make Philip happy, no matter what. It was a rather simple job but a very important one. In a short space of time, Chance was able to make his master a little bit happier, more of an enjoyable person to be around. Chance noticed this when he saw other people around and they seemed to enjoy themselves more with Philip around.
That was nice because it meant that those people would bring treats for Chance. Sometimes they brought food and other times they brought toys. Some of them even gave him other things but he wasn’t as excited about those as he was for the treats and so on. The best part was that Philip got out of his house more, although not always with Chance which made him think that maybe his plan had not worked to perfection.
However, Philip always came back smiling from those nights outside the house. At first, Chance had been worried that maybe he was being sad outside of the house. That would have been a tragedy, so he tried again to be nice and cute to his master in order for him not to o fall into depression again. But when he saw his face, when he felt his mood, he realized Philip was not sad, not at all. Philip was not happy either. It was strange.
The first couple of nights he left for a long time were just torture for Chance. He would spend his whole evening just pacing around the house, waiting for his master. It was a very annoying thing not to have light in the house when he was alone and he tried to have it a couple of times until he finally was able to turn on the living room light by himself. Chance was so proud of himself that he thought Philip would congratulate him. But nothing of the sort happened.
Most of those times, when the man went out for many hours at night, he came back smelling very strongly to something Chance didn’t like. He didn’t know what it was but he was certain it wasn’t something good because his master would often vomit on the floor or on the bathroom. Neither smell would disappear for weeks. That was always tougher on Chance because of his ability to smell things better than any of the humans. Something was very wrong with his master but he kept behaving like a happy person the rest of the time so it was very confusing too.
This happened for what humans call a year. Chance got used to it to happening at least once a week and those nights, he knew it was better to rest than to wait for his master because when he came home he was too busy vomiting and falling asleep to take care of his pet. So he started sleeping earlier and would wake up before Philip on what humans called Saturdays. It was the best because his owner was very nice during that time. They didn’t go to the park or anything, but they had good times.
The other thing Chance had noticed during that time was that, after he decided to fall asleep instead of waiting for Philip, he would sometimes smell the scent of another human in the house. Sometimes he would see them and sometimes he wouldn’t but out of nowhere, other humans were sharing Philip’s bed. And he knew, because of his nose, that it wasn’t always the same person.
That was a very confusing thing to happen but Chance had no way to ask Philip about it. And he was clearly not very good at understanding human behaviour as he thought he was. So he decided to be the best dog to his owner and that was it. After all, humans are rather smart and he trusted Philip to get better on his own.
He had been right about it. For some time, Philip stopped his weekly escapades and he would stay at home with Chance watching what humans called movies, which was basically staring at other humans who were apparently funny or very depressing. Sometimes Philip would cry or laugh hysterically but that was better than him vomiting in front of the door or on the couch. Besides, he now loved to have Chance by him to hug him and stroke behind his ears so that was always great.
Philip never again went out so late as before but he did go out some other times and Chance wouldn’t worry because he would always return very much tired and alone, so things were improving or at least that seemed to be the case. After all, Chance knew that understanding human behaviour was extremely difficult. They were all so different and liked so many things at the same time. Sometimes he thought to himself that humans were very complicated animals.
Then, something changed again: a new human started coming often to the apartment. At first, Chance was very reluctant to let that person touch him. He would roar and bark if the hands came too close and he would stay in the kitchen if the situation became too stressful. But what turned him around was Philip actually asking him to like that person. Apparently, it was very important for him that Chance could give that new human a proper opportunity, so the dig decided to try.
That human’s name is David. David is one of the best strokers Chance has ever met. He just knows were are the best spots in a dog’s fur and its thoroughly enjoyable when he uses his fingers to massage any part of his body. David started coming rather often and Chance got used to him pretty fast, specially because he brought in gifts and that was always better than not bringing anything.
Chance liked to join David and Philip for what they called movie night, when they had round human food and seemed to be really nice to each other. Philip would often send Chance to his bed early those nights and he obeyed because he knew the very sad times were in the past. He could feel Philip was now a really happy human being and that had been Chance’s goal for a long time.
Now he had another human to make happy, although David seemed to be happy already. He eventually moved in permanently with them and Chance had the best time of his life during that period. It’s always nice to remember, even when you’re a dog. People think you don’t understand but you do. You understand it all very well.