My German Shepherd communicated to me telepathically that he felt he was a human being trapped inside the body of a dog. This concerned me greatly so I took him to see a psychiatrist. After extensive consultations, and a huge bill, the doctor concluded that indeed Poo-Poo was a true human hideously trapped inside the furry body of a large dog. Dr. Tishnakovsky suggested that I take Poo-Poo to see the eminent therapist/surgeon Dr. Konstantinople-Opolous. (She liked to be called Dr. Konnie, for short.)
     At our first visit, Dr. Konnie asked for a psychic reading when I told her I worked as a telephone psychic.
     "Tell me how I was feeling today," she inquired.
     "Well, I think you were having carnal thoughts about the young blond male patient who came to see you about a rash around his anal orifice. You suggested he go to a proctologist and you thought about him during lunch today when you were eating chocolate."
     "You're absolutely right!," she said. "Now, let's discuss your dog, Poo-Poo."
     "He wants to be called Dick. Dick thinks he's a man trapped
inside the body of a German Shepherd."
     Dr. Konnie suggested that Dick try living as a man for a few
months to see how he liked it. I followed all her advice. First, I shaved off all Dick's fur and taught him to walk only on his hind legs. It was difficult due to the fact I had to shave him every day. And he kept falling over.
     "Now, Dick, stand up in front of the toilet and try to pee into the toilet bowl. And for God sake, stop barking. People don't bark unless they're mentally disturbed."
     Dick tried but I ended up mopping up urine from the floor and the walls.
     Dick hobbled over to the closet and tried to open the door. I helped him get it open.
     "Nod your head like this," (and I showed him how to nod his head up and down) "when you see something you like."
     Dick immediately started sniffing around my beautiful blue satin ball gown.
     "Now, Dick dear, I don't want to be living with a drag queen. If you're gonna be a man, try to be butch. One 'girl' in this household is more than enough."
     My hand slid across an orange tweed jacket. Dick's head started bobbing up and down. The prickles on his scalp made him look like a street kid. He would need to be shaved in a few hours, I concluded.
     I dressed him in the jacket, a pair of black cotton pants and some brown penny loafers. I held his front paws (sorry,
hands) and helped him walk across the room.
     "Now, Dickie-boy, you try it by yourself. Don't get nervous.
Just take it one step at a time."
     One foot forward. Then the next. He walked slowly and gently like Karen Kain dancing "Swan Lake".
     Then my sweet Dick communicated to me, once again via ESP, that he had to go "no-no" in the toilet bowl. His body slunk through the hole in the seat and his bottom almost touched the water. The smell was disgusting. I taught him how to clean up and wash his hands and how to flush. This is such a smart dog. (Oops, I mean "young man".)
     Dr. Konnie had gotten her husband to rig up an incredible device that helped Dick to talk, sort of. A tiny tape recorder would sit in his pocket so that he could "talk" whenever he wanted to. All he had to do was pull a string and the recorder would activate. On the tape were sentences like "I'm so happy today" and "I love being a construction worker" and such things as that. It was very simple to operate and Dick seemed to get the knack of working it.
     After a few weeks of practising and perfecting his new role, we both decided that it was time to unveil Dick to some of my friends. I decided to have a little soiree.
     The doorbell rang. It was my friends Sandy and Belle who have been together for three and a half years.
     Dick was all shaved and showered and spruced up. Sitting on the couch, he looked a bit like Toulouse-Lautrec. I also invited Laurie, my straight friend from Scarborough, and Doug, my long term fag friend.
     "Everybody, this is my new friend Dick. He's kind of shy. But he's a good guy."
     Laurie's straight blonde hair had just been cut and coloured. She had put on a bit of weight so her pink Marilyn gown was almost skin tight. Just chalk it up to middle age spread.
     "Dick, would you like some punch?," she asked as she knelt before the cut glass punch bowl parked in the centre of the smoked glass coffee table. "It's very good."
     Through the ether, Dick communicated to me that he would rather do it himself.
     "No thank you. He says he'd like to do it himself, he tells me. We're very close. You know that I can read his mind, don't you Laurie?," I stated.
     Dick jumped up from the couch and staggered over to the punch bowl. His bony legs got tangled in the long pants dragging on the ground, he tripped and his shaved head landed face down in the punch bowl.
     "Oh, Dick!," I exclaimed.
     Dick started lapping up the Tequila and fruit juice in the bowl. His hand pulled the string on the recorder.
     "Paris is a lovely town. I especially like it in spring," came the deep, sexy voice from his jacket pocket.
     "Dick!," I said. "That's not a very gentlemanly way to behave." I grabbed him around the waist and plopped him back on the purple velvet couch.
     Sandy: "Belle and I are going to Fire Island. They're having a dyke-only dance marathon to raise money for AIDS research." Her short grey hair seemed gelled to her head and didn't move as she spoke. Turquoise was her favourite colour.
     Belle: "We're gonna drive down in our new Jaguar." A tailored jacket and white buzz cut made her look almost like a man. Butch and femme, for sure.
     Belle broke wind and belched at the same time. "Oh, pardon me", she drunkenly said as she farted again.
     I put a glass of punch in Dick's hand.
     Doug: "Billy, I think your new friend is very sexy. I'd like to get to know him better. Where do you come from, Dick?" Doug dyes his hair black to try and disguise the fact that he's 56 years old. Old fags so rarely get laid and that's what Doug needs more than anything in the world. Too much wrist action watching gay porn.
     Dick pulled the string. "Smallpox is rampant in Africa, right now."
     Telepathically, he told me Doug was making him nervous. Dick pulled the string, again. "Dutch cleanser is very efficient and economical."
     "What are you doing next Saturday night, dear?," Doug slurred, as he moved from the green easy chair onto the couch beside Dick.
     Dick nervously pulled the string one more time. "I love the mountains in B.C. So tranquil and quiet."
     Doug lurched at Dick, sloppily putting his arm around Dick's shoulders. Dick's feet kicked at the knees inside the long black pants. The rest of the cotton drooped down around the skirt of the couch.
     Everyone kept handing Dick a new full glass of punch every time he finished drinking the last one.
     Doug: "You're a good-looking guy. Tell me about yourself."
     Dick spilled his drink all over Doug's Rita Hayworth t-shirt as he got up off the couch. He pulled his string. "I want to visit the Alps next winter. I love to ski."
     Orange liquid spewed out of his mouth onto my expensive Oriental carpet. Large chunks of unchewed beef got trapped in Dick's moustache. "I'm opposed to euthanasia but I believe in reincarnation," Dick's recorder blared out.
     Belle's white short hair caught the light as she stood up. "Sandy and I have to go. We have a roast in the oven." Before I closed the door, she whispered in my ear. "That Dick has a problem. I think he needs AA. You'd better suggest it to him." And then they were gone.
     "Vietnam was a terrible waste of manpower," said Dick's voice-box.
     I cleaned up the vomit with an old ragged undershirt I use for a floor cloth.
    "I think a drunken man is very sexy," slurred Doug as he bent over and kissed Dick square on the mouth. Doug is about six foot two.
     Laurie: "This is getting out of hand. I have to go too. You know Mother gets freaked out if I'm gone too long. She's not well."  The lace gown pulled firmly against her large padded breasts as she rose. Long thin fingers topped by blood red nails grabbed an egg salad sandwich from a china plate on the coffee table and Laurie shoved it into her crimson lips.
     "I'll call you tomorrow," I told her as we said our goodbyes at my front door. I walked back into the living room. Doug had his left hand on Dick's crotch. Dick sent a message to me that he wanted Doug to stop.
     "Doug, please stop. Dick is a virgin. He's not ready for a relationship." Then I paused, afraid that I might hurt Doug's feelings. "He doesn't like you."
     Doug jumped up and started sulking. "Well, fuck you, mister. Fuck both of you," and he threw on his camel hair topcoat and slammed the front door of the apartment on his way out.
     I sat back down beside Dickie as he barked in my ear. From the horrible stench, I could tell that he had messed his pants.
     "Come on, boy. I think you need a bath."
     My dear friend leaped up on all fours and ran to the bathroom and hurled himself into the tub.
     He telepathically spoke as he splashed away in the bubble-bath. "I'm gonna try harder. I really want to be a human being. I want to work and earn money and go to school. I want to try many different professions. I'd like to ride a horse and be a missionary in New Guinea. I want to write books and direct movies
and be famous and get married. Please help me to grow."
     I washed Dickie's penis with a washcloth. Suddenly, I realized I was in love with him. I wanted to take him in my arms and make love with him but I resisted the urge. I figured it would spoil the friendship. And I didn't want to be accused of bestiality despite the fact that you are what you think you are.
     A week later, I firmly decided that this wasn't working. I refused to shave Dickie any longer from head to foot. A dog is a dog is a dog. Besides, I could never teach him to read and, well, it was an absurd notion to begin with. Us Pisces people sometimes get lost in the clouds and forget the day to day, nitty-gritty of life. Plus, he never had anything intelligent to say. And I don't think I'm ready for a long-term, committed, monogamous relationship.
     Once more, Dickie spoke to my mind as we sat on the couch watching t.v. When he touched me with his paw, that always meant he wanted to go for a walk. His tan-coloured hair hadn't grown back in, quite yet. It was still all bristly and stubbly.
     In the park, a gigantic skinny man walked by me with his poodle. The lenses of his silver-framed glasses made his eyes look enormous. Poo-Poo sniffed the dog's rump.
     "What happened to your German Shepherd?," the guy asked. "Was he in a fire or something?"
     (Sometimes I wish people would just bugger off and mind their own business.)
     As Poo-Poo and I walked away, I said, "Poo-Poo got run over with a lawn mower," without even looking back at the man. Poo-Poo barked and went chasing after some pigeons. The setting sun was a deep orange with streaks of red and purple bursting out from the horizon and blazing across the sky. I ran after my friend and scooped up the doggie "no-no" with a plastic bag. Poo-Poo seemed very happy, at last.
     "Teach me how to meditate sometime," I heard him say in my head. "I love the sound of the ting-shaw." Then he did a backflip in the air and chased a squirrel up a tree.