|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
It's a Dog's Life
The smell and sounds of the surf washed over Don as he sat watching the beachgoers on a lazy Thursday afternoon. He enjoyed this particular beach because they allowed animals to roam off leash, and a number of dogs frolicked with their owners through the crashing waves. The hot sun was relaxing, and Don wasn't looking forward going into work that evening, but the bills beckoned. He lazily packed his lounge chair and Igloo thermos, making his way towards the parking lot. The dinged pickup coughed angrily as he rolled over the rounded pebbles on his way out, sending a cloud of dust billowing behind. He waved to the blonde whose Irish setter he had often played fetch with as he passed them on his way home. She waved back.
Her phone number sat written in his wallet- he would have to remember to call her tomorrow and invite her to dinner. They certainly seemed to get along well in the dozen or so times he had seen her.
He thought of her as he turned onto the highway, letting his mind wander to the strains of the Beatles. As the last vestiges of the sun dripped over the horizon, the old Ranger bounced through a number of holes in the dirt driveway of Don's home. He remarked to himself that perhaps he should spend one afternoon working around the house instead of lounging on the beach, then remembered that there really wasn't anyone else for at least a mile around him. He had initially thought the solitude of this old house deep in the middle of nowhere would be a great place to settle down, and the advertised 'fixer-upper' was just the right price. A sizable mortgage and no willing buyers had kept him here for the last 4 years. "Dad always did say 'rent 'til 30,' now I know why..." he remarked to himself as he fumbled for the door key. This said, he closed the door behind him and wondered what to make for dinner. The usual selections of frozen dinners was about it, so Don closed his eyes and picked one, stuffing it into the microwave and punching the 'on' button without even bothering to see what his entree would be- it was one of the few surprises that was left in his life. At 29 years old, Don had expected life to be a little more exciting than work, eat, and sleep. The beach was about his only social outlet in this sleepy Massachusetts town. Tourists in the summer, boarded up tourist traps in the winter... he at least had a job at one of the local factories, making machine tool parts for 40 hours a week on the evening shift. The pay was passable, and he had Friday and Saturday nights off. Life certainly could be a lot worse, but it certainly wasn't as good as he thought it should be. The microwave beeped as the local network started the evening news. He heard something about a leak of some sort at some biotech firm, but was only half paying attention when he disappeared into the kitchen. When he returned, the sports anchor was talking about the Red Sox latest blunder. Don remarked to himself that the dried chicken strips he was eating were better than the Sox, and clicked over to 'Jeopardy.' "I'll take 'Famous Authors' for $400, Alex." Don stuffed a french fry into his mouth as he watched. "This author made an golden ass out of himself." A squinty eyed librarian chimed in. "Who was Apuleius?" The audience clapped unenthusiastically as she passed the $8000 mark. Don probably would have remembered that. She picked again, "'Sports' for $800." The daily double. The audience cheers became almost genuine as she bet a goodly $6000. "This baseball player will be remembered for the ball squirting between his legs in the 1986 World Series." Don nearly choked. He may have been only 10 years old when it happened, but anyone knew that was Bill Buckner. The librarian looked baffled. "Uhm, who was Wade Boggs?" The audience groaned as Alex Trebek shook his head. "Sorry, it was-"
Don set the remote down and shook his head as the TV clicked off. "Anyone would've got that one..." He pitched his Red Sox hat onto the couch as he stripped out of his beach clothes to jump in the shower before work. "I'm gonna be late..." Some soap and a razor later, Don looked almost human, tossing his hair back and straightening the cuff of his work-shirt. He stretched, and wandered out to the truck. He felt a bit stiff as he wandered outside, noting idly that someone must've dumped some manure nearby. The stench outside was rather bad. No matter, he had better get off to work and fast. The truck bounced into the lot at Sergeant's, stopping abruptly on the curb as Don missed the mark of his parking spot. He cursed, and backed the Ranger up, straightening his vehicle. His ankle was almost as stiff as his back was, he must've twisted it when he was loading the truck at the beach and not noticed it. He punched in at 9:01pm. Nobody cared. He took his place in the middle of the line and began working the lathe, turning raw metal into something a bit more functional. "Hey Don, you hear about that leak out by your place earlier today? One of them factories down there dumped a load of crap by accident. Police had the whole area sealed off for hours!" Don blinked and shook his head. "I was slummin' it on the beach, Jesse. Didn't see nothin'." His foreman laughed a bit. "Never did trust those new-fangled operations- ever since the FDA approved those genetic tests in 2002, they've been asking for this kind of trouble."
Don stopped for a minute. "What exactly did they dump?" He knew the 'factory' that Jesse was referring to was Genetitech, which had opened 3 years ago and had routinely had inspectors scuttling around it for various 'problems' ranging from improper procedures to 'accidental' deaths. He'd stayed as far away from it as he could, and probably wouldn't have moved so close to it had he known it was going to start business just after he had settled in. "Wasn't so much dumping as it was a spill! Whatever they were working on leaked out, and they didn't catch it for at least an hour. The EPA is gonna shut them down for good, hopefully- that place is a disaster waiting to happen!" Jesse laughed. "You're the only one who's still living in that area, or they'd have been shut down 2 years back after that explosion that killed that guy." Don joined in as the other workers laughed, too. "Yeah. I can't believe they're still in business. That's almost as bad as th-" His laugh turned to a sharp cry as he grabbed his shoulder. "Shit... aw, shit.." Jesse looked a bit oddly at him. "You okay, Don?" Don lowered his arm slightly as the pain subsided. "Nothin', Jess, just twisted my arm a bit earlier today. I'm okay, real- Ow! Dammit." A renewed pain shot from his arm to his hip, doubling him over. "Okay.. maybe I'm not okay. It's probably a bad sprain." He tried to lift his arm up, but it wouldn't move without pain. Jesse looked around a bit at his workers, then turned back to Don. "Best take it easy, Don- it's a slow night- why don't you head on home- we got it covered here. Rest up this weekend and be back Sunday night, okay?" Don nodded. He didn't like to shirk his responsibilities at the factory, and Jesse knew that Don wasn't one to fake an injury to get a night off. "Get that looked at tomorrow if it still hurts, y'hear? I can't lose you, yer too valuable."
Don held his shoulder and nodded, making his way back out to the truck. He noted that the parking lot looked exceptionally clear tonight, then caught glimpse of the full moon high overhead. He shook his head and laughed, careful of his shoulder and ankle as he started up the truck. He was a bit glad that he didn't drive a stick, his arm was really hurting now, and his ankle felt twice its size. He pulled out of the lot and headed for home. About two miles from the factory, Don felt a sudden serious pain shoot across his hips, causing him to cry out. He doubled over, easing the fire in his leg, and looked for a place to pull over. As luck would have it, there was a small park just off the main road. He rolled into the lot and looked for a pay phone to call for a ride. He suddenly realized that all his friends worked in the factory, and he didn't want to have to save face the next week by admitting he couldn't make it home. Another sharp pain in his leg gave him alarm, and he fumbled through his pocket for a quarter, when he ran across a piece of paper. "Of course!" It was a long shot, but he dialed the seven digits, and waited expectantly for someone to pick up. "Hello?" "Uh, hi. This is Don- from the beach? Is Sherry there?" The blonde answered, "Yes, this is she- how are you doing?" She sounded rather pleased by his call. "I'm doin- uhn- fine.. well, actually, not so fine. I hate to do this, but I've hurt myself somehow- I was wondering if you might be able to take me to the hospital? I can take you to dinner tomorrow if you could-" She cut him off, sounding concerned. "Where are you?" Don gave her the necessary details, and she said she could be there in half an hour. Don hung up the phone and slumped against the hood of his truck.
Another sharp pain shot through his hips and back, causing Don to stand up suddenly. Hot flashes overcame him, and he dropped to his knee, gasping for breath. It was suddenly very warm, and hands fumbled for his shirt and belt, freeing his chest to the night air. He started to itch fiercely, and soon his pants sat puddled next to his shirt as he began to scratch his thighs and belly. Pain continued to course through his body before subsiding to a very dull throb. "At least this is bearable," thought Don, before he noticed that his ankles were swollen to twice their size... "What the hell?" He reached down to touch his ankles, half expecting them to reply with more of the shooting pain he had experienced, and was almost relieved to find that they didn't hurt at all, if nothing else, they only felt warm to the touch. He tentatively rubbed them, feeling the tendons shift slightly under his fingers. He jumped back in shock as the realization that the tendons were shifting took hold in his brain. "Oh God.. what the hell is happening to me?" he shouted out to no one in particular as his feet lengthened visibly under the moonlight, growing thinner and longer with each passing second.
He stumbled back, unable to keep his balance, and fell with a thud onto his backside. He put his hands back to catch himself, and found his arms no longer rocked back that far without an enormous amount of pain. He clutched his biceps with his hands, and let out a yelp as his fingernails dug into his skin. He looked down and broke out into a sweat as his thumb pulled back at an odd angle to the rest of his palm, which felt much thicker than it should have. "Christ." Don resigned himself and sat back against the tire of his truck and watched the show. "At least it doesn't hurt now," was all he could think as his toes followed his hands' lead, his big toe now a lot smaller, moving towards his ankle. He leaned forward, inspecting his feet a bit more. His ankle was no longer fat, but was now far too thin, and his feet had to be at least 18 inches in length. His hands had shrunk slightly, but perhaps the most disturbing development was that he had formed dark calluses on the bottom on his toes and palm. As he watched further, they swelled slightly and puffed outwards. He touched them, and found that it was more like leather than dead skin. His toes and fingers now ended in hooked nails.. almost.. like.. a.. The realization hit him so hard he laughed. He looked up at the moon. It all made perfect sense now, in as much sense as sense made at this point. "Of course! I'm a werewolf. How silly of me." He shook with a bit of insanity at this point, his brain letting just that much of reality go. He didn't believe in werewolves, but why else would he now have the hands and feet of a wolf? He rubbed down his legs some, now noticing that their overall structure was shrinking. The knee had buckled slightly, and a thick tendon ran between his thigh and calf. This certainly would not do! "How am I gonna run the lathe like this?" His hand/paw rubbed up his thigh, exploring, then crossed over that which rested between his legs as his abdomen began to twitch and muscles spasmed underneath his skin. He watched in mute fascination as his penis and scrotum started to drop down towards the ground, slipping back towards his anus. He barely noticed the second length of flesh sticking between his legs before something in his mind said 'tail.' That had barely registered with him as his balls began to tuck themselves up closer to his cock, which looked to have lengthened by about 50 percent. "Perhaps this isn't going to be as bad as I had thought..." His body hadn't finished yet. He held up his penis as it was just about to touch the ground, because for some reason he didn't want it to get dirty. It twitched a bit in his paw (Hand! he reminded himself) and it began to stiffen, though he didn't feel aroused. His eyes widened as the tip of his cock became an oddly pinkish-white and thinned, then began to itch almost as bad as his back and shoulders. He began to rub at it, suddenly watching the base of his manhood swell thickly. He jerked back suddenly, letting himself go ashamedly, but his penis didn't drop, instead, the tip of his cock suddenly slipped down into his foreskin and almost disappeared. "Neat trick," he thought, then watched as a ripple of flesh suddenly pulled his scrotum up his belly like a zipper, attaching itself to his abdomen. The swelling at the base of his cock subsided, and the length of his phallus disappeared inside of his sheath. He touched it tentatively, feeling his cock sliding around inside its new arrangement. He giggled some more, then suddenly stopped as something else clicked. "How am I gonna explain this to Sherry?" He trembled a bit more, trying to think. His tail twitched a bit, flipping back and forth agitatedly. She would probably be here in 20 minutes. He had time. Time for what? He tried to stand up, reaching up to support himself on the side mirror of the truck. Pain shot through his leg, and he fell sideways, ripping the mirror off as he fell. He landed hard on his side, and reminded himself not to do that again. His head turned towards the mirror, and he watched in mute fascination at what he saw. He had a moderately sized beard at this point, riding much higher on his cheekbone than humanly possible. A quick look over the rest of his body revealed the same dense hair covering all of the usual spots, thicker curls over his hips and he assumed his back, judging from the itching. Thinner hairs jutted out from various places on his chest and legs, which was fast filling in. His gaze returned to the mirror. He tried to focus on what was happening to his face, but his eyes.. no, his nose, began to throb almost painfully, a fierce pressure working from within his sinuses and jaw. A loud crack shattered the silence as his jaw popped open, becoming both thinner and longer. Teeth much too large spilled over his lips, which looked to be darkening to the same color as his nose, which twisted around itself. The feeling went from pressure to sensuality as he stretched his neck out, closing his eyes and giving himself over to it briefly. He felt something odd around the side of his head, and when he opened his eyes, long pointed ears graced his temples, slowly working their way up over his head. He watched his muzzle press forward and outwards, his tongue flipping over his teeth, a drop of spittle rolling off the pink flesh and onto the ground. He blinked, and stared back at an all-too-canine snout. His paw reached up to touch it, to see if it was real. It was. He sat back on his haunches, and looked down his body. The itching continued for a short period of time as dense fur slid into place over the rest of his body. Then, it was done. Don looked back at the mirror at what he had become. "Wow." was all he could say. He went to stand up, expecting pain, but had none. He discovered he was on all fours.
He trotted around in a circle to make sure that he was, indeed, without pain, and was relieved to find he had none. He nosed around his pile of clothing looking for his watch, which must have slipped free when he wasn't looking. It was 9:45- Sherry should be here within 15 minutes. He thought quickly, and began to look around. "Stay or go.. stay or go.." He wondered what Sherry would do when she got here, then decided it would be for the best if he stayed. He picked up his clothes in his muzzle, and dropped them behind the seat of his Ranger, where they piled neatly with the other shirts he had kept there. He was certainly glad he hadn't closed the door to his truck. He dropped the mirror into the passenger side footwell, and looked around. For all intents and purposes, it looked like an abandoned vehicle. He hopped in the bed of the truck, and waited. In the time it took Sherry to roll up to the park, Don had noticed that everything took on a different magnitude with his new senses- he could smell all kinds of things, the only way it made sense was to say he could scent things in three dimensions. The grass had been freshly mowed- it was wet and almost fruity. The sea, which had to be 5 miles off, smelled like he was on the beach. His truck stunk of petroleum products, but he also found he could shut out certain scents, which was a blessing. His ears picked up animals running through the brush, and cars coming towards him from before they were in sight. He wasn't sure what to make of his vision- it was both better and worse than before- certain things appeared incredibly sharp, especially when moving, the rest were there, but dulled somehow. Three cars had passed by before one turned into the park. He had hoped it was her. It was.
Sherry opened the door to her sedan as Don started wagging his tail reflexively. He barked once before realizing that she wouldn't recognize him. He also noted that she looked awful wearing that grey outfit, before realizing that everything was grey, even the grass in her headlights. She smiled when she saw him in the cab of his truck, and wandered over. "Hiya, boy! Where's your master, huh? Is he okay?" She ruffled his ears as he followed her to the cab. "Don? Are you..." She stopped when she noticed the cab was empty. "Don?" She turned and walked towards the phone. "Don? Are you there?" Don barked again, as Sherry peered into the men's restroom. "Don?" She paused, looked around, then headed in. Seconds later, she reappeared, looking a bit bewildered. "He must've been picked up by someone," she said to herself. Don barked three more times at her, "No, no! I'm right here!" he tried to say, then suddenly muted himself. "What the hell am I doing?" "Oooh, such a pretty dog. Your master must be at the hospital by now. I'm surprised nobody picked you up, leaving you out here like this. That's a good dog for staying in the truck, yes it is!" She rubbed deeply into Don's shoulders and flanks, causing him to waves his hips and tail wildly. "Maybe I should take you home until Don is all better. Come on, boy!"
She patted her hips. Don wasted no time jumping from the cab and to her side. She smelled incredible to him, he hadn't noticed the length of penis slipping from his sheath. By the time he did, he was glad she hadn't, either. She walked to her car and opened the back seat, and he jumped in. Sherry closed the door and looked back at Don in better light. "That's funny, Don never mentioned having a Shepherd before. He should put a collar on you, too. Wouldn't want you to be picked up by Animal Control, nonono!" Her tone of voice began to irritate Don a bit. He was a man, not a.. a.. dog? He looked at himself once again in the rear view, and damned if he didn't have a nice dark saddle over his back! She started the car and drove off to her house. The motions of the car soon sent Don off into a deep sleep.
It's a Dog's Life copyright 1997 by Ray Benson.
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