My sister Blake and I were having a nice day in the yard when suddenly the ground began to shake, the leaves on the trees rustled, and the tiny animals took refuge on high branches. Blake and I saw two rhinos walking down the street.
“What do you think they are doing here in Doggyspace?” Blake asked me.
“Nothing good,” I said.
We were gobsmacked when they walked towards us.
“You think we should run?” Blake asked.
“They would be on us in a second,” I replied. I stood in front of Blake as if I could protect her. Thankfully, the rhinos stopped inches from us.
“Are you the honorable Judge Foley Monster?” the rhino asked. I said I was because rule number one of dealing with a rhino is never lying to a rhino. “My name is Nick and this is my brother Joe, we are the Rhino brothers. We need your help.”
I couldn’t imagine how, and I conveyed my confusion. “Our whole species is endangered by vicious poachers. Joe and I are the heads of ‘Rhino Angels To Save the Species, or RATSS.’ We have studied different ways to protect the mortal rhinos, the best of which involves dogs hunting down the poachers and stopping them. Out of all the creatures we have seen no one is better at doing what they set out to do than dogs.”
I asked him how we could help.
“The poachers are our biggest threat,” Joe said. “The nice humans are doing the best they can to stop them, but the evil people are always one step ahead. You dogs have the unique ability to sniff out both rhinos and humans. You can tell when the hunters are getting close to us, run down the poachers, and either alert the patrols or bite the crap out of them.”
Nick said, “what we need you to do is enter dogs’ dreams, and get them to agree to learn how to track rhinos and the poachers, and then slip into the dreams of the patrolling humans and get them to give dogs a chance to go on rounds with them. Once dogs begin to track and attack the poachers, I think rhinos in the wild can live peaceful lives.”
“We would suggest it to them,” Nick said. “But, when people see a rhino in their dreams, it becomes a nightmare.”
I said that I was willing to try. (When you have a rhino on your lawn, never say no. They don’t like that word.)
The dogs I talked to were very excited to become rhino savers, and the humans were open to any help they could get. When the humans sought out canine partners, the dogs jumped at the opportunity. They formed a K9 Fast Response team, and from day one, the humans were impressed with the dogs’ dedication.
Among the dogs who have joined the K9 Fast Response Squad are black-and-tan coonhounds, Belgian Malinois, and Foxhounds. The teams that are assigned to stop poachers without dogs only have a five percent success rate, while teams with canines are successful 68 percent of the time, and that number will grow as more dogs join the cause.
Yesterday Nick and Joe came to our house to thank us. They said they were bringing a feast. They brought five leafy bushes. I don’t understand herbivores at all.
We did accept their offering and even ate a few leaves because you never look a gift rhino in the bush.
But truthfully, the dogs on patrol would have done it for nothing. Catching poaches and saving rhinos is fun, and big beasts make great allies.