It was a cold Friday after Thanksgiving morning as Foley emerged from her tent for her morning constitutional. She heard the galloping of paw hoofs and turned to see General Mollie running to her with a missive in her mouth. Foley saluted her. Mollie spit the missive on the ground.
"It's from General Levi," Mollie said. "He is offering to surrender."
Foley took a long puff on her pipe and read the message. "Very well," she said. She called me over and asked me to write a message to General Levi. She would meet with him at the Appomattox Dog Park.
Foley then gathered her Generals: Hattie Mae, Hobo Hudson, Luca, Cocoa Puff, and Kolchak. Foley announced that they, along with her and I, would be walking to the dog park to hear his terms. "Walk?" Hattie huffed. "I just did my nails!" It was agreed that Hobo and I would carry sticks in our mouths and Hattie would lay on a chair constructed on these sticks.
We set out following a trail in the woods, Foley leading us, barkless. We came to a clearing, and saw an old school house, and could smell the enemy. One of the men stood in the doorway, then turned and said something to those gathered inside. General Levi then came to the door, and called for us to come.
We ran excitedly across the cold ground. We can't help it. We're dogs. Just before we entered the house Foley pulled up short, turned to us, and looked us in the eye, reminding us to keep our dignity.
We entered. While Foley was in her informal Tanner duds, Levi was dressed in his best skinny leg jeans, a pressed Duran Duran concert T-shirt, and a Germanna baseball cap, turned backwards.
Foley introduced her staff, knowing that General Levi was familiar with them all. General Levi then introduced his staff: General Confusion, General Malaise, General Chaos, General Mayhem, and General Anesthesia.
Levi then sat down at a wooden table in the center of the room, his scabbard scraping the floor. Foley looked up at the chair, wagged her tail, got ready to spring, thought about it, growled, took a couple of practice lifts, then jumped into the chair and slid across. Luckily General Cocoa Puff was on the side using her paws to keep the General from sliding off.
Foley righted herself. She told General Levi she read his twitter feed. He seemed to have no recollection of hers. They briefly chatted on the trials and pleasures of running an on line network. Then Levi's face grew serious. He snapped for, and got, a Corona with a twist of lime, from General Mayhem.
He took a sip. He drummed his fingers on the table. He shifted in his chair uncomfortably. "Too many losses," he said. "We suffered too many losses. When you defected we were confident you would come back. But we just continued suffering loses."
He took another pull of his drink. "First it was you and Pocket, people really enjoyed your blogs. But you foolishly put them on blogger so people could still read them. Then Tanner Bub. I underestimated his popularity. And Hattie Mae. When we lost Hattie Mae it seemed half our army went looking for her.
"Then we lost Erin. Not only did we lose her, but she shared our secrets, exposed our weaknesses, and left us with bland layouts. Zoe Boe: Those drawings were so popular. And Luca, Junior and Fred with their contests; Hobo with his kitty enterprises, Every day we lost another key member, and others would follow."
Foley Monster sat up, not showing any emotion. "We just kept suffering loss after loss, and even if some of your army spent most of their time with ours, when they were with you, we were losing activity, driving our rating down.
"That's when I made my deal. My deal with the Ning weasels." I saw Foley stiffen slightly as what she long suspected was confirmed. "I was sure if they started charging you for using their site you would reunite with us, but somehow you raised three years worth of money. It was then I knew the war was beyond winning.
"I still tried to get you back, contacting you via e-mail, even dropping all the rules that had driven you apart in the first place. But you had become too strong. So, after meeting with my Generals we have decided to surrender the castle, and all of Doggyspace to you, on your terms."
Foley Monster snapped her paws. I brought her a bowl of water. She licked some. She then looked at Levi, her fur dripping water. "I accept your surrender General Levi. The was is over and fairly won. But I do not accept your terms." General Levi took a drink with shaking hands.
Foley Monster put her front paws on the table and stood. "We have no interest in Doggyspace here. We only ask that you step down as leader and never bother another pup again. You see Doggyspace has thousands of dogs, but us pups, we prefer a small town, where you can leave your doors unlocked, where everyone knows your name, where everyone has a kind word to say to one another, where you have all laughed and cried together."
General Levi did not seem to understand. "We have surrendered but you don't want any of the spoils of war?"
Foley Monster told him they never wanted war. Just to have a nice, quiet, happy place to meet with friends who don't create drama or bark mean words. "We have some members who spend most of their time in your big city, and that's fine, but they still like to come out to our little spot in the country and put their feet up and rest. Some of us like to go up to the city some of the time, and return home to quiet. There are some pups who want to be in the hustle and bustle of the city all the time, and some, like us, who just want to live quietly, laughing, crying, loving, and playing."
General Levi took another sip of beer. He then leaned over to Foley. He offered his hand. Foley offered paw. They shook. The war was over.
General Levi then sat back and laughed. "I already got an offer on my army," he said. "I'm netting $800.00 a month. With you leaving the army in my hands I will be able to sell it," he paused, holding his pinkie finger to his lips, "for $10,000 dollars."
Foley jumped down from the chair. "Well congratulations General. That is quite a score for the heartache, pain, and lost friendships of a two year war."
General Levi stood. "That's what you never understood Foley. It's not about the friends, it's about the money. And now I can go to New York City and afford a pizza with extra cheese."
He nodded to his men and moved towards the door. "Just out of curiosity, who are you selling your army to?" General Hobo asked
"A great man, lost his job to affirmative action, now he lives in Texas, George W, Bush," Levi said,
"Well, there goes the hope for better spelling," Kolchak barked.
The men made for the door, then climbed on their horses. General Levi looked down at the little Yorkie General: "Congratulations Foley Monster, you do have a very loyal Brigade but let me tell you. You will never be successful at this. When you were raising money to pay the weasels, and people were sending you checks, you should have just taken the money and run, that's what I am going to do."
Foley and her generals watched Levi happily ride off into the sunset. He stood up in the saddle, and let out a "yahoo!" scaring the horse, which bucked, and threw him almost entirely from it's speeding body, except for his foot, which was caught in a stirrup, and he was dragged across the cold, hard ground, until the frightened horse, unaware of what was slowing it down, gave a violent thrust, and Levi's foot became loose from the stirrup, and he flew high through the air, against the setting sun, and over a cliff, disappearing into a shallow creek below.
"Hate to see that," General Hattie said.
"I don't think we've seen the last of him," General Hobo said. "I think he is a Bumble, and Bumbles bounce."
"Regardless, I don't think he'll be bother us for awhile," Foley said. She looked at her Generals. "Let's go home and be with our friends."
"That was a beautiful thing you said about the Tanner Brigade being a nice, small town," I said. "Did you mean it or did you say it because you know that Doggyspace is a huge soul sucking money pit?"
"Because I meant it," Foley,
"And because Doggyspace is a huge, soul sucking money pit," General Hobo said.
"Yes, that too," Foley said as they turned and headed for home.