My Best Friend

By Gee Whillickers


Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble.” - Frank Tyger

You won't believe how lucky I am. I have the absolute best friend in the world, and I know it.

He really is the best, and I can prove it. He takes me for walks every day, throws balls and frisbees for me to catch, plays tug-of-war, chase, and find-the-cookie with me, and he even teaches me new tricks. On top of that he scratches my fur and tells me all the time what a good boy I am.

Unfortunately, I don't think I've been trying hard enough to be a good boy for the past few months. He's not spending nearly as much time with me these days. He barely noticed me today, and only talked to me twice. Both times it was to say, “Get out of my way, you dumb dog.” He sounded annoyed when he said it.

I know I said he plays with me and takes me for walks every day, but that hasn't happened as much lately. I'm trying to be better so he takes me more often. I make sure to be near him whenever he's home, and lick his hands and face and lie next to him. I try not to be annoying and to do what he wants. I'm not sure why, but that hasn't been working as well as it used to.

Maybe it has something to do with all those hormones. You wouldn't believe how many hormones he has in him these days. The smell is downright overpowering sometimes. I can barely tell it's him underneath them all. It all started a bit more than a year and a half ago, but it really seems like they're into major overdrive these days.

Or maybe it's because he's a bit clumsy these days. He's grown so much that he doesn't seem to know where his arms end and is always bumping things and knocking them over. Sometimes the alpha male and the alpha female yell at him for this and tell him to be careful, but usually they just smile and shake their heads. They're nice. Almost as nice as my best friend. They remind him to feed me and stuff when he gets busy or, more often these days, gets moody and forgets.

He trips on the stairs sometimes too when he runs up and down them. 'Cause his feet are way bigger now. Once he fell right on me. I yelped 'cause it really hurt! He felt bad, I could tell. He apologized and petted me and made sure I wasn't hurt, which is better than ignoring me like he's done a lot lately. I licked his face to tell him it was okay. He giggled like he used to for a few seconds, which made me feel really good, and I wagged my tail real hard, inviting him to play, but then he got up and went to his room. He closed his door, leaving me outside of it. I plopped myself down right outside it to make sure he was well protected in there.

I knew he was done and was going to come out of his room about ten minutes later, 'cause I could smell it, and sure enough he opened his door, his face a bit flushed, a minute later. I wagged my tail and waited for an ear scratch, but didn't get one. Instead he just looked a bit sad, and he walked right by me and went to the bathroom. I wonder what I did wrong. I tried to guard his door real well.

I waited for him outside the bathroom. I wish I could go to the bathroom inside.

At dinner that night, an hour or so later, the alphas kept trying to talk to him. His dad smiled at him and said, “How was school today, Luke? Did you decide if you're going to try out for that part in “Who Has Seen the Wind?”

I laid my nose down on my paws under the table and looked at him. He just shrugged at his dad and grunted.

The alphas' pheromones told me they were frustrated with him, but they kept trying. His mom said, “I never see Mitch around here any more. What's he up to lately?”

Another shrug, and another grunt. Then he said, “May I be excused? I have homework.”

I'm not sure why he said that. He did his homework already when he got home. I know, because I was lying by his feet when he did it. Maybe he forgot. I'm always forgetting where I leave my toys. Then I have to sniff around to find them.

The alphas looked at each other for a moment, but didn't say anything, then his mom answered, “Sure Luke. It's your turn to take out the garbage, and remember to feed Worf.”

I watched as Luke barely nodded and plodded his way upstairs. I stayed under the table. I was kinda hoping someone would drop a piece of meatloaf.

Luke's dad sighed, and he said, “Well, shit.”

His mom looked sympathetic. She said, “Mark, honey, give him time. Don't take it personally.”

“I know,” he answered, “I'm not. It's just...he never seems happy anymore. I don't remember feeling as awful as he seems to when I was his age.”

She nodded and looked thoughtful. “Well, maybe you didn't have quite as much to think about at his age...”

I didn't know what she meant by this. Apparently, neither did he. “What do you mean, Shel?”

She just shook her head, “Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. Let's just be supportive, consistent, and give him some time.”

I didn't hear any more. A piece of meatloaf fell off someone's fork and I snatched it lightning quick and trotted out of the room.

I went upstairs to Luke's room to see what he was doing. He was just lying on his bed, his hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. I watched him for a minute, then whined slightly and nudged my nose on the leash hanging from the hook. He didn't clue in, so I did it again.

He looked at me. “Not now, Worf. Maybe later.” He turned away from me and picked up a book. I lay down beside the bed to wait.

I guess I wasn't quiet enough or something. He never did take me for a walk that evening, just let me out in the backyard for a while after feeding me. I'll have to try harder tomorrow.

The next morning he still seemed sad. I helped him through his morning routines by making sure I was beside him in case he needed me. He petted me once, quickly, after he brushed his teeth, but he didn't say anything. Then he left for school.

I lay down by the door and looked at where he went through it. I whined slightly.

Luke's mom must have smelled my concern, because she knelt down beside me and said, “I know, Worf, I'm worried about him too.” She scratched my fur behind my right ear. It felt nice.

“He's trying to figure some things out, I think,” she continued, “We just have to be patient and supportive. You're good at that. Just be there for him. Being a barely fourteen year old boy is tough.” I thumped my tail on the floor in answer. Then she got up and left for work, leaving me alone for the day.

I was even more determined now to do my best.

Luke, as usual got home before his parents. But I had been waiting by the back door at least an hour longer than usual before I finally heard his key in the lock. I jumped up, wagging my tail in anticipation. I was so looking forward to seeing my best friend!

I knew something was wrong as soon as the door began to open. The smell was overpowering, something I'd never come across before. Some kind of sweet burned plant. It was all over his clothes and hair, coming off them in waves. Luke was acting all weird too.

I stopped wagging my tail and looked at him, my head at an angle so I could figure out what was going on. Luke came inside and barely looked at me. He still looked sad, but now it seemed worse, and it was like he was not really all with me.

I didn't like it, the smell and the way he was acting, so I turned around and walked away. Amazingly, he seemed to notice that. He called out, “Worf?” But I ignored him and lay down with my head facing against the wall in the other room.

I think he knew I wasn't real pleased with him. I could see it on his face. He looked crushed. Then he turned around and ran upstairs to his room, closing the door behind him.

I sat down outside his door in vigil and waited.

He came out after half an hour, but I don't think he was doing what he usually did in there after school. At least I couldn't smell it. Instead, he came out naked and went right into the bathroom and had a shower. When he came out he hardly smelled like burnt leaves at all anymore and he put on clean clothes.

He went down into the kitchen and finally let me outside to pee. That was a relief. Then he made a snack, and sat down at the table. I put my head on his lap and looked at his eyes, remembering what his mom told me to do this morning.

He looked back impassively for a few seconds, but then his expression changed. I smelled guilt. He reached a hand out and began stroking my head and ears. “I'm sorry, Worf. I've been horrible to you these days, haven't I?”

I thumped my tail on the floor in disagreement. He was the best friend in the world! How could he not know that? I looked at his eyes some more, just trying to be supportive and listen.

I must have done it right. I'm not much of a talker, but I think I listen pretty good. So he started talking. “Worf, everything is all fucked up!” he said. I smelled tears in his eyes. I licked the hand he was stroking with to tell him to continue.

He did. “You won't hate me, will you?” he asked.

I tilted my head and looked at him with amazement. Hate him?! He was the best person in the world! I licked his hand again.

“Everyone either already hates me, or is going to.” He seemed to figure out what I was trying to tell him. “Well, except for you, Worf. You don't hate me, do you?” He reached down and scratched my tummy.

I thumped my tail in agreement and to urge him to continue. Once again, he did, “Worf, I'm...I think maybe I'm a fag.” I had no idea what that meant, but it seemed real important to him. His voice sounded mad. I listened some more. Listened real hard. I did my absolute best.

He shook his head, “I don't know what to do, Worf! My life is so completely fucked.” He was crying hard now, tears fell on my head after trickling down his cheeks. I ignored them.

“I tried, Worf. I tried real hard. I spent a whole bunch of time last week around Melissa. She's good looking. I know she is. I can see that. So, if I can see that, how come thinking about her naked doesn't do anything? How come when I think of Josh naked I get a hard-on that could break bricks? What the fuck's wrong with me?”

I knew with total certainty nothing was wrong with him, so I put my paws on his lap and licked away his tears. Then I put my head on his lap again, and looked at him, waiting, listening.

“I tried jacking off while thinking of girls. It doesn't really work. I mean, I can kind of get going, but as soon as I get close I always, always, think of a boy. Always. I tried forcing myself not to think that way, but then I can't come.” He looked thoughtful, rubbing the fur on my side. I wiggled a bit to let him know I liked it.

“I dunno,” he finally said, “it's not just sex. I like girls fine. I really do, but I just can't imagine getting all romantic with one. It just wouldn't work. Ya know? On the other hand, cuddling a boy, kissing, sitting under a blanket all close while watching a movie, or holding hands while taking a walk....” He smiled, a bit dreamily. The first smile I'd seen in a real long time.

He looked at me. I thumped my tail. “You're right, Worf,” he said.

I had no idea what I was right about, so I just waited.

“And I shouldn't....” he stopped. Thinking hard. His mouth took on a bit more of a determined look. Like he had come to some kind of decision. “No. Not a fag. Gay. I'm gay. That's just how it is. So I need to just deal.”

I liked how he seemed less sad and more like he was seeing something else now, so I wiggled and wagged my tail.

“I have no idea how, but somehow I need to just deal. I'm so tired of fighting myself. It's stupid and a waste of time. If Mitch wants to be an asshole about it, fuck him. Really. I can make other friends....” His voice tailed off a bit at this, like he wasn't really sure. But then he said, much more firmly, “I can make other friends.”

I'm not sure if he really believed it or if he was trying to convince himself. Maybe some of both. But I liked this mood way better than the one I'd seen the last few weeks.

“I hope Mom and Dad don't hate me.”

I couldn't imagine that ever happening. The love they had for him was so strong I could barely smell anything else sometimes. So I told him so by lightly butting my head against his arm.

He laughed. “Okay, okay. I just wish I knew ahead of time though, it would make it easier. Besides, they don't have to know. Not yet. Maybe some other time, when I'm ready.”

He looked way happier now. I wagged my tail harder.

“You know, Worf, you're a really good listener.” I wiggled in delight at the praise. “You're the best dog in the world. The best dog in the universe. Come on, let's go for a walk.” He stood up.

Oh wow! See?! I told you. I told you I'm the luckiest dog in the world. And have the best friend anywhere. I raced to the door, looking back at him and waiting for him to get his shoes and jacket and the leash.

We went to the dog park. He threw the ball for me again and again and again. I ran and chased it and brought it back. I made sure I showed all the other poor dogs just how proud and lucky I was. Their people were nothing like mine.

Then he played chase with me, and wrestled with me. We both got real dirty. He laughed and smiled and giggled the way he used to for a while, only he had a bit of a deeper voice now. It was so much fun!

When we got home he opened the door and we barged in. His mom said, “Luke? Where have you been? I've been worried...” But she stopped. She must have smelled his happiness. He was smiling and laughing and dirty, and so was I.

“I just took Worfy to the dog park for a while, Mom.” He looked down at himself and grinned evilly, then moved towards his mom to give her a big hug.

“Luke! You're filthy!” She was laughing and smiling. I liked it, so I ran around them, panting. “Don't you dare hug me until you've had a shower and changed.” But she let him hug her anyway, and he scampered upstairs for another shower.

“Worf, what did you do? He seems way better.” She patted my head.

I agreed that he was better, so I wagged my tail.

The next few weeks were weird. Luke was better than he had been, but not nearly as happy as he was the first day he talked to me. I could tell he was trying, but I'm not sure it was working as well as he wanted. He did spend more time with me though, and seemed to really appreciate me being there for him and listening when he wanted to talk. I liked doing that.

Friday night a few weeks ago it was just him and me home. The alphas went out somewhere.

We were sitting down watching some old movie. Well, he was watching. I was just lying there. I didn't much see the point of TV.

Actually I don't think he was really watching either. He kept looking at a piece of paper in his hand and fidgeting.

“God, I'm such a loser,” he said.

I cocked my head and looked at him.

“I mean, it's Friday night, and here I am at home by myself.” I must have looked hurt, because he added, “Well, at least I have you here. But I'm a wimp. I should phone him.”

If it would make him stop calling himself names, then I agree. He should phone him. Whoever 'him' was. I looked at him, then at his phone on the end table beside him, then back at him.

He watched me do that, then said, “Fuck it.” He reached for his phone, picked it up, and began punching a number in. Then he stopped, seemed to change his mind, and opened the texting app instead. Maybe that was easier or something. I watched him type something in. He waited fifteen long seconds, then finally, emphatically, pressed the send button.

Then he waited. After a minute, looking a bit hurt, he set the phone back down on the end table. But instead of watching the movie, he kept looking over at it. Then he picked it up. Then he put it down again. He looked away from it, then back at it again.

“Fuck,” he said. “Fuck, fuck, fuck. I knew I shouldn't have texted. I'm an idiot. Now I look like a complete dweeb.”

He took my head in his hands and said, right into my face, “Why am I such a dweeb, Worfy?”

His face was right there, so I licked his mouth and nose. Because I loved him. He smiled and let go.

“Well, if he didn't want me to talk to him, why the fuck did he give me his number?” he said.

I thumped my tail in agreement.

He got up and went into the kitchen. His phone chirped. He didn't hear it.

He came back a minute later with a snack and sat down. He tossed a dog cookie into the air near my head, which I caught neatly. I thanked him by wagging my tail again. Then I looked at his phone, which he was now ignoring, and back at him.

He ate half his snack before he saw the blinking light on his phone. He stared at it with his eyes a bit wide for a few seconds before he picked it up.

He read whatever it said, then, smiling, he texted something back.

He was in a real good mood for the rest of the evening. Especially after lights out at bedtime.

The next day he had a real long shower and splashed on some real strong smelling liquid afterwards. Then he seemed to take a long time figuring out what clothes to wear. He grabbed my leash and looked at me. “We're meeting Nathan at the park, Worf. I'm nervous. I'm not even sure he's gay. I don't how this stuff is supposed to work.”

He was right. Even though he just had a long shower, and was covered with that scent liquid he put on, he smelled real nervous.

“You're coming with me. You'll stick up for me, right? If it all goes wrong?”

I had no idea what could go wrong, but I liked walks, liked the park, and loved being with him, so I didn't see the problem. Besides, I hope he knew I'd stick up for him with my life. Of course I would. In a second.

He hooked up my leash. “Bye, Mom. I'm taking Worf to the park. See you soon.”

I don't know why he didn't tell her we were meeting a friend of his. But she looked him up and down, sniffed the air, and tried to hide a smile. I think I could sense amusement. “Okay, have fun. See you soon.”

“Thanks. I will.” Luke looped my leash around his hand and I trotted after him as he opened the door.

“Oh, Luke?” his mom said as we walked through it.


“Do I get to meet him?”

Luke blinked and reeked of embarrassment. He opened his mouth to say something, but seemed to change his mind, and off we went without a word.

We made it to the park, and Luke only had time to throw the ball for me twice before I saw another boy walking up to us. Luke stood watching, nervousness and anticipation oozing from his pores. I stood between him and the new boy, ready to protect my friend.

I didn't need to though. As soon as I could smell him I knew he was fine. Heck, he smelled as nervous as Luke did. I wagged my tail to let him know I thought he was okay. Then ran up to him and mashed my nose into his balls for a good sniff. The boy laughed and pushed me away.

“Worf! No!” Luke said to me. I stopped sniffing the new boy's bits and looked at him. I love my best friend, but humans are so weird about stuff like that. Don't they know you can get to know someone a lot quicker and better by giving them a good crotch sniff?

The new boy smiled at Luke.

“His name's Worf,” Luke said to the new boy. “Looks like he likes you. Sorry about that...”

“That's okay. He's just being a dog. Chocolate Lab, right? He's a beautiful dog.”

I wagged my tail at the compliment.

“Thanks Nathan. And yes, he's a great dog, except for sometimes.” Luke ruffled my fur to let me know he didn't really mean it.

Good thing I was there. I gave them both something to talk about. Their nervousness went away pretty quickly. Nathan threw the ball for me a few times while he and Luke talked. They were both still being so tentative, it was funny.

We walked along one of the pathways. Luke was holding my leash in his left hand. He asked Nathan if he wanted to walk me, and handed the leash to Nathan. When their hands touched they seemed to hold them together longer than they needed to while passing the leash over.

While walking they kept bumping their hands against each other, each time letting their fingers lock together a millisecond longer. Eventually they just held on and walked while looking at each other, smiling, and blushing every few seconds.

A guy on a bike rode up behind us and rang his bell. Luke and Nathan dropped each other's hands and looked a bit scared. The guy passed us, mostly looking at me though.

“Nice dog!” he said.

“Thanks,” Luke answered, smiling at the man.

The man smiled back at Luke, then at Nathan. “Don't stop on my account, guys. You make a cute couple.” He smiled again and rode away.

Nathan and Luke looked stricken and kept walking, but after only a minute they reached for each other's hands again.

Nathan came over a bunch of times over the next few days, mostly after school. Sometimes Luke went to his place. I could smell his house on Luke when he got home. They were holding hands more often now, and when Nathan left one day they were standing in front of each other, holding both their hands together. I watched them staring at each other. Luke moved his head forward a fraction. Nathan did the same. Luke moved his a bit more. Then so did Nathan.

Luke smiled at their silliness, then got brave and moved his head the rest of the way. Nathan met him halfway and they kissed. Then they moved a bit apart, smiled, and did it again.

I watched them. Next time they came apart Nathan looked over me. “You don't mind, do you, Worfy? Can I share him a bit with you?”

I thought that was just fine. Especially if it made Luke so happy. So I ran up to Nathan and licked his hand where he held onto Luke's. They both laughed at me, but a nice laugh.

“I'm thinking he doesn't mind,” said Luke.

I thumped my tail in agreement.

The next few weeks it seemed like they were together all the time. I didn't mind. They both paid a whole lot of attention to me and played with me and took me with them for walks over and over again. Sharing Luke was easy! Especially with someone as nice as Nathan.

That night Nathan was staying for a sleepover. I was a bit annoyed, because Luke made me stay on the floor instead of up on the bed with them. Oh well. I guess there wasn't a lot of room up there. Especially with them moving around so much.

A few hours later I looked over at them. Boy, it took them long enough. Weeks. Why didn't they do that in the first place, like me? They were finally getting to really know each other, the way that always works. Nose to crotch, sniffing and licking. Both at the same time. They even took off their clothes to make it work better.

Luke saw me watching. “Quit watching, you perv,” he said to me, smiling. I tilted my head, but didn't look away. They both laughed at me, then went back to getting to know each other. Boy, they really must have wanted to know each other well.

I didn't mind. Luke was happy. So I lay down and went to sleep, content.

Told you I'm the luckiest dog in the world.

The End