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Short Story for Halloween

Many of you know I have a dog I’m totally infatuated with- and we seem to be perfectly paired. Here’s something I don’t tell people about me and my dog. Something that I’ve never told anyone before.

I live on the border of a huge ravine that goes for a few miles and connects to a main gorge for the city. It’s got some nice bushes and thick forests which is a nice respite from the city. My dog and I spend lots of time there together. He earned his way offleash by practicing perfect recall, so even at night he tends to stick by me.

One frosty spring night earlier this year my dog and I were out for our evening walk. It was about 10pm and he was messing about in the bushes as usual. Sniffing here and there and crossing the path every so often but generally keeping close to me. I was walking along and noticed the noise from my dog playing in the bushes stopped. I took out my flashlight and pointed the ray in his direction. He was frozen. His back to me- his ears up. Not moving. I know what that means- He’s heard something and is about to bolt for it.
“Mozart!”- I called- He didn’t move.
“MOZART!! COME!” I commanded with an edge in my voice. He didn’tmove.
Suddenly- he was off into the bushes with a wild fury! Barking his baritone Rottweiler bark. I swore under my breath and called after him and ran into the bush behind him.

Sounds of a dog fight. Mozart snarling and barking- another dog- (Was it a dog?! It sounded like a dog- but different) both of them snarling and barking. I came to the crest of the steep hill and look for him- my flashlight searching the valley. I saw Mozart and the creature of his interest in the light of the full moon.

Mozart is a big dog. A Solid dog. 90 lbs of Rottweiler and German Shepherd. He was dwarfed by this other dog who looked giant. Wild. Scary. Fur making his look even bigger- his front shoulders jutted giving him a wolflike appearance. And then it howled.

The howl was unworldly. It shook the very nerves of me and I felt a cold like death’s hand was on my shoulder.

Mozart stood toe to toe with the beast and growled.

The hound raised an immense paw and swiped at Mozart who flew off his feet and into a tree trunk with a Yelp.

“MOZART!” I shouted and started running for him- instincts taking over. The immense dog startled by my intrusion on the scene turned and ran away. I was running as fast as I could down the steep hill and lost my balance and the world started turning as I tumbled. Faster and faster. Pain everywhere as I somersaulted down and then black.

I woke up with Mozart whining and licking at me. My flashlight uphill about 20 feet. I got up and walked home with Mozart in tow. I wasn’t out more than about 5 minutes i think. Mozart was okay- he had a huge scrape on his left shoulder where the beast hit him, and he was limping a little on his right side where he hit the tree, but the next day he seemed hurt but not injured so we didn’t visit the vet.

Mozart's eerie encounter

About a month later we had forgotten all about the incident. Mozart was back to normal and still had a scratch on his shoulder, but it was healing. We had just finished dinner and I was watching TV with Mozart at my feet napping.

Suddenly- Mozart jumped up and started pacing. He’s NOT an anxious dog- this was very unusual. “What is it boy?” I asked rhetorically and held out my hand to pet him. He backed away and barked at me. “Is everything ok?” but I knew it wasn’t. I knew nothing was okay and something was terribly wrong. He continued to pace manically and spin in agitation. Not knowing whether to give him space and let it work out or squeeze him so tight and let him know everything was okay and that he was loved so much. He was panting with an audible wheeze.

He then stopped suddenly. Frozen. And the whining started. He whined loudly- louder than I ever heard him before and scraping at the carpet with his nails. I had enough- I grabbed him and hold him in a hug to let him know it’ll be okay- but he writhed demonically and escaped my hug- once again- Totally unlike him.

What happened next i still can’t comprehend but my dog rolled on his back on the ground writhing as he began to transform before my very eyes. His fur was replaced with skin. His paws with hands and feet and his muzzle with a human face. Before I knew it- it was lying in front of me. Naked. A man.

“Hi Mike.” said the man.
“Uh- what?”
“Look- I don’t know what’s happening either so don’t ask me.” the man said. Naked.
“Who- who are you?” I stammered. I couldn’t brain. Words not good thinking mouth speak.
“Mozart.” The man said. Looking a little bewildered. And then added. “How. How is this possible?”
I caught a glimpse of the naked man’s naked shoulder. It had an angry looking scratch along the arm. And in an instant. It all made sense.

If a werewolf attacked a human and the human survived- they would turn into a dog for a night every full moon. What would happen if a dog was attacked by a werewolf and survived? He would become human for a night every full moon.

Ever since that night every month – on the night of the full moon I await my dog to transform into a man- and then I take him out for steak dinner and go for drinks. Sometimes we talk about new tricks he wants to learn as a dog, or what behaviors I can do to be a better dog dad, but usually we just go and spend time together.

He is after all man’s best friend.