Appreciation Day at the Funhouse:
The Tunnel of Love
Alex Martin, a young
man in his mid-twenties is visiting the Funhouse
amusement park with his dog, Bonnie, on Canine Appreciation day. A day
where dog owners can bring their dogs to the Funhouse and have some fun
with them. And that is what Alex has done with his Old English Sheepdog.
He came to the amusement park with Bonnie before 8 o clock and waited
with nearly a hundred other dog owners for the gates to open. He talked
with the other dog owners about the care and maintenance of their pets
as well as how much they like them. And while the dog owners talked
about their dogs, the dogs romped around in the area in front of the
gates. From time to time Bonnie would come up to him and would want his
attention, which he or one of the other dog owners would give. Alexs
conversation with the other dog owners gets cut short when two of the
park attendants come up to the front gate to allow him, the other dog
owners, their dogs and the other tourists to enter. Alex notes that the
park employees in the spirit of Canine Appreciation day have dressed up
in very life-like dog costumes. One of them is dressed up like a German
Shepherd dog, the other is dressed up like a jolly Newfoundland dog. The
attendants allow Alex and the other dog owners to enter the Funhouse
first with their dogs. He beckons Bonnie over to him as the line of
people starts making their way to the front gate of the Funhouse. He
reattaches her leash to her collar and soon the both of them are walking
side-by-side into the Funhouse.
Alex and Bonnie spend the first two hours with the other dog owners and
their pets in a small fenced-in area of the amusement park. The
fenced-in area has been fashioned into a miniature amusement park for
their pet dogs. There is a fountain in the shape of a huge, red fire
hydrant for the dogs to play in and drink from. There is an obstacle
course for the dogs to race around in. There are games where the dogs
can get treats for picking the right shoe or bone from a pile. And there
is even a place where dogs and their owners can rest in the shade. The
only rule this dog park had was that the animals had to be wearing their
leashes. While Alex was there with Bonnie, he couldnt help but notice
how some of the dog owners bore a slight resemblance to the dogs they
owned. There were women who wore their hair in the fashion of their
poodles, their Afghan hounds and their cocker spaniels. Some of the
older dog owners who had bulldogs and mastiffs had frumpy-looking faces
like their dogs. And there were those men and women who wore clothing
that bore a slight resemblance to their pets fur coat. The sight
Alex shake his head with silent mirth about how some dog owners can get
really attached to their pets. But aside from the appearance of the
other dog owners, he and Bonnie had a great time. As they leave the pet
amusement park and head out for the rest of the Funhouse, they pass
another park attendant who is dressed up as an Old English Sheepdog.
Bonnie stops Alex from leaving the canine amusement park and drags him
over to the shaggy park attendant. Smiling with an impish grin to his
face, Alex lets Bonnie lead him over to the park attendant so that she
can get attention from what she believes to be another of her breed. As
they approach the guy dressed up in the Sheepdog costume, the guy squats
in front of Bonnie and pats her on the head. She is wagging her docked
tail happily and presses in close to the park attendant. While giving
her affection, the park attendant talks to Alex.
You sure got a beautiful Sheepdog here. Whats her name?
asks him in a deep almost growling voice.
Thanks, her name is Bonnie. How did you know she was a girl under
of that fur? Most people who see her the first time think that she is
guy. He gets down next to Bonnie and rubs her shaggy back. Bonnie
even harder with pleasure from all of the extra attention.
The park attendant gets up from his crouch and looks at Alex from under
his shaggy eyebrows.
I can tell by her scent that she is a girl.
Her scent? Alex asks the attendant with a slight frown to
How can you tell what gender she is by scent underneath that shaggy
headpiece of yours?
The park attendant gives Alex a toothy smile and pats him on the head.
Alex bristles initially at the touch but forces himself to relax. He
realizes that the guy is just playing his part and doesnt mean anything
insulting by treating him like a dog. What Alex doesnt notice is
park attendants playful little pat on his head has done something
him. His lean, muscular body becomes stocky and muscular and his dark
brown hair begins to lighten up. His hair has also grown thicker and has
become slightly unkempt. His face begins to lighten up as white fuzz
begins to appear and promise him a beard and a mustache. Without missing
a beat, the park attendant explains how he knew Bonnie was a girl not
I was kidding you about how I knew her gender by smell. Before I
to work here at the Funhouse amusement park, my family bred Old English
Sheepdogs for a living. So I know under all of that fur that your dog
a girl. Sorry about leading you on like that.
Alex smiles before standing up next to the park employee in his dog
costume and gives a return pat to the guy. He is briefly surprised when
the guy acts like Bonnie. The guy leans into him and pretends to pant
contentedly like a dog.
He is just
playing the part. Ease up, Alex and enjoy yourself. He says
to himself before breaking out into another smile. Well I can see
how you knew that my dog is a girl. He laughs. And I can see
influenced you to wear an Old English Sheepdog costume on a day like
The park attendant
lets out a barking laugh and pets Alex on the head
again with barely concealed mirth.
Yep, my family
life certainly had an influence on me today. But how
about you? Has your Bonnie had any influence on you?
The question forces
Alex to think up a response to the guys remark. And
as he tries to think up about all of the ways that Bonnie has made an
impact on his life since he got her as a pup, he begins to change again.
This time he starts to be like the other dog owners in the small
amusement park behind him. He starts to bear a slight resemblance to his
own dog. His body becomes a bit more stocky. And his clothing begins to
feel tight in some spots and loose in others. A prickly, itchy sensation
creeps over him and makes him feel uncomfortable. But he ignores it. His
hair grows even thicker and is now a shade of blonde. A thick, white
beard and mustache cover his face and his eyebrows have grown bushy. His
stocky body has also grown hairy. The hair thickening on his body isnt
the same color. On the back of his legs, the hair is darkening while on
the arms it appears to be lightening up. His eyes have also changed.
They are no longer blue but brown. Alex doesnt notice the changes
happening to him. The park attendant gives him a playful swat across the
back when he is unable to give him an answer.
The cat got
your tongue? He asks Alex with a growl.
say for sure how my dog has influenced me. All I can tell you
is that she has changed my life from the first day that I got her and
that she is my best friend. He absentmindly pets Bonnie on the head
she sits down on her haunches next to him.
all? The park attendant asks him with a cock to his head.
What do you
mean about thats all? What else do you want me to say
about her He asks the guy with a frown to his lips. He rubs his
ear in puzzlement and is almost surprised by the feeling of pleasure he
gets by doing it.
You told me
that she has changed your life from day one and that she is
your best friend. But is that all she is to you, a friend? Dont
love your dog? Dont you wish you could understand her better and
things from her point of view? The park attendant asks him before
bending down again to give Bonnie a rub behind her ear.
Alex finds himself stumped by the guys questioning of his relationship
between him and Bonnie. Of course he loves Bonnie, how could it be
otherwise? And he knows that he tried many times to understand her. But
he also knows that he has never tried to see the world from her
perspective. He looks down at his dog who is looking back at him.
How much do I really know about you, girl? He says softly
to her. He
looks back at the shaggy park attendant and realizes that the guy has
struck a cord inside of him. I wish we could understand each other
His depressing thoughts
brought on by the park attendant are interrupted
when a shaggy mitt firmly grips his shoulder. He looks up to see the
park attendant looking back at him with concern.
Sorry if I
was being a little ruff with you about the master and pet
relationship thing. I just wanted to know where you stood with her.
guy says apologetically.
No you hit
home with some good questions. I am not sure where I stand
with her. I love Bonnie so much that there are times where I wish we
could understand each other better. Alex says with a depressed look
his face. His look makes the park attendant take a step back from him
and Bonnie. He turns his head away from them and looks like he is
cocking an ear up as if he is listening to something only he can hear.
He then looks back at Alex and gives him another toothy smile.
Have you seen
all of the attractions in this canine amusement park? He
asks Alex questioningly.
I think I have,
that was why Bonnie and me were leaving to see the rest
of the Funhouse. Are you trying to tell me that there is an attraction
here that I have missed?
The park attendant
in the Old English Sheepdog costume gives him another
toothy smile and then musses up his thick, unkempt hair with a furry
mitt. The guy acts like a big, friendly dog for a moment with him and
then goes back to being a park employee. Alex finds himself responding
warmly to the guy. He playfully goes along with the mussing of his hair
by rubbing his face in the guys shaggy chest with pleasure. They
away from each other and look slightly embarrassed from what they did.
But none of the other dog owners and the tourists seem to mind.
Come on, there
is one attraction for Canine Appreciation day that you
and your dog havent tried out yet. He pulls Alex by the hand
area of the park that he didnt visit during the two hours that he
with Bonnie. Bonnie walks alongside the two as they wind their way
through the crowd of dog owners and the pack of dogs playing about. As
they do so, no one not even Alex seems to notice that he has changed
some more. He has gone beyond bearing a slight resemblance to Bonnie and
the guy in the Old English Sheepdog costume and has started to resemble
a real sheepdog. His head has started to grow bigger and longer toward
the back. And the hair on the top of his head has turned completely
white except for a patch of light gray hair around one ear. The top of
his ear lobes are starting to droop as the rest of his ear lobes begins
to disappear. The tip of his nose is starting to darken and flare up at
the nostrils. His lips are starting to darken too and loosen up. His
teeth are becoming pointy. His white beard and mustache grow thicker
while his eyebrows and hair begin to cover up his eyes. His neck begins
to thicken and lengthen and move its way to the back of his head.
T-shirt is pulled out of his jean shorts as his chest begins to deepen
and lengthen. Alex begins to walk with a bear-like shuffle as his hips
and feet begin to change. And all over his body the thickening layer of
white and dark gray hair has begun to resemble a puppys fur coat.
above his hips and underneath his pants, a bulge forms. Without really
thinking about it, Alex begins to pant to keep cool in this hot weather.
Alex, Bonnie and
the park attendant get through the crowd and the pack
and reach a hillside that is a natural border between the canine
amusement park and the rest of the Funhouse. Alex sees the opening of
cave on the side of the hill they are approaching. The cave opening is
framed by a concrete arch that shows the nude figure of a human male on
the left and a female German Shepherd Dog on the right. The carved
figures in the archway are looking at each other with love in their cold
stony eyes. Alex lets go of the park attendants furry mitt and stands
still with Bonnie at his side. He looks at the cave opening and the
archway before turning to the guy in the dog costume.
What is, is
this... um? He tries to speak to the park attendant but
cant come up with the words. The guy looks at him bemusedly before
realizing that Alex wants to know his name.
My name on
the Funhouse grounds is Patchwork. And what we are standing
before is the Tunnel of Love.
of Love? Isnt that supposed to be where people in love with
one another get on a boat and sail into a dark, water-filled tunnel? He
asks Patchwork questioningly. Bonnie walks away from Alex to sniff at
the stone carving of the German Shepherd.
This is sort
of like that attraction. The only difference here is that
this attraction was designed to show people that love isnt restricted
by species. People like and love other people. And people like and love
their pets. Patchwork tells Alex who is still looking askance at
he is hearing.
What, do you
think that a person cant love his dog as much as he loves
his fellow human being? That dogs dont know the nature of love or
love is purely a human thing? The attendant asks Alex.
not that. Its just weird to see such an attraction in this
place, thats all. I mean there are restaurants where people can
their dogs, pet hotels and dog parks. People treating their dogs as
human just seems a bit weird to me. This Tunnel of Love takes the cake.
Alex stammers back.
Patchwork comes up
to Alex and grabs a hold of his shoulders. He looks
Alex in the eyes.
Do you still
wish that you and Bonnie could understand one another? Do
you still wish to see things from her point of view?
Yes, I do,
it is just that I dont see how walking through a darkened
tunnel is going to make me appreciate her all the better? He says
defensively to Patchwork.
Patchwork gives him
another toothy smile and pats Alex on the head
again. And this time Alex likes the feelings of happiness and pleasure
that his shaggy friend is giving him. So much so that he begins to pant
contentedly. And the action makes him transform again. He begins to
look more and more like Patchwork. He begins to take on the appearance
of an anthropomorphic Old English Sheepdog. His ears drop to the sides
of his large head. He squints as his vision goes black and then comes
back into a world of flat grayness. His eyes look like those of a dogs.
His nose is now black
with a wet look to it. And his nose and mouth
begin to grow outward into a puppys muzzle. His teeth take on a
look as he lolls his tongue out and pants. His facial features are
getting blurred by the large amount of white fur that now covers his
entire face. He leans his forward a bit as his thick neck continues its
journey to the back of his head. His chest is still deepening and
lengthening out. And he can feel his spine beginning to straighten out.
He knows without really thinking about it that he can still walk on two
legs or drop to all fours should he desire it. His hands are now
paw-like with four stubby, claw-tipped fingers and a non-opposable
thumb. Callused pads cover the palm of his hand and the tips of his
fingers. He is beginning to stand on the tips of his feet. The tips of
his feet are paw-like and the long bones of his feet are growing longer
even as the rest of his legs grow shorter. And growing out from
underneath his clothing is a layer of soft white and gray fur like the
fur coat of a puppy. Alex then becomes aware of the changes that have
happened to him since he and Bonnie met Patchwork at the entrance of the
little canine amusement park. He looks down at his paw-like hand and
then at his stocky fur covered body. The look on his face is one of
shock and surprise. He looks at Patchwork with a confused look to his
eye. Patchwork comes up close to him on his left while Bonnie leans
against his right. Patchwork gives him a knowing look and tries to
happening to me? How am I turning into a dog?
Take it easy,
Alex. I am right here and everything is going to be okay.
Do you remember a few moments back when you wished you could understand
Bonnie better? Patchwork says to him in a soothing voice.
Alex nods his shaggy
head and finds that it is getting harder for him to
think. He finds it easier to act on instinct. He begins to relax as
Patchwork rubs his back before explaining about the changes.
Well, my employer heard your wish about you wanting to understand
Bonnie better. So she decided to grant you your wish by re-making you
into an Old English Sheepdog like Bonnie. Trust me I know what you are
going through. I spent quite some time as a real sheepdog myself. It is
scary at first but you get to enjoy it later on. And there are a lot of
perks being a dog.
Alex looks at him
from under shaggy eyebrows with an incredulous look.
But he begins to find himself growing comfortable with the notion that
he is going to be an Old English Sheepdog like Bonnie.
dogs get a lot of sympathy from humans. A human is likely to
take a stray dog off the street than he is with a fellow human being.
Look at how you treated Bonnie. You gave her a home, your time and
money, food and lots of attention. And she gave you her love in return.
Second off, your life will be a lot simpler. No taxes, no worries and
problems, dogs are a self-centered lot. Anything we cant consider
home, a mate, a thing to eat or a thing to avoid, we ignore. Trust me,
boy, you will like being a Sheepdog. Do you trust me that everything
will be okay? He asks Alex questioningly.
I trust you,
friend. Woof! Did I just say woof? Alex begins to find
himself eager now to complete his transformation. Patchwork lets out a
barking laugh at his surprise.
Yes my shaggy
friend, you just woofed like a dog. Now how about you
prove your love to Bonnie by taking a walk with her in the Tunnel of
Love. I will await for you on the other side of the tunnel. He tells
Alex and then he looks down at Bonnie who is panting eagerly for her
master and soon to be mate to go with her into the tunnel. Have
walk you two. And with that statement, Patchwork leaves Alex and
at the tunnel entrance. Panting easier now, Alex crouches down next to
Bonnie and gives her a back rub. She reaches up and nuzzles him on his
muzzle. And without knowing how or even caring about it, Alex begins to
understand her and he likes what he sees. Without a word, the two enter
the tunnel and into the chilly darkness.
The Tunnel of Love
is wide enough for Alex and Bonnie to walk
side-by-side with one another but it isnt tall enough for him to
fully straight up. He leans his head forward by a bit and has to stoop
bit. But that is okay with him because of the way his neck is now
positioned on his changing body. The tunnel is also chilly but he
doesnt mind that either because of his thickening fur coat. Upon
entering the tunnel, he discards his shoes and socks. They were
beginning to be torn apart by his stretching foot bones. After walking
another few feet, Alex took off his pants and underpants after the lump
underneath them started hurting him. Twisting his body around, he and
Bonnie watch as a docked tail slides out of his rump. Bonnie sniffs his
rear end and causes him to let out a barking chuckle. He gives her a
toothy smile and tries wagging his docked tail.
Not much of
a tail is it, girl? He tells her with a growl to his
voice. He looks at the tail again and then at his changing hips. His
rump looks like it belongs on a bears. It is gray and well rounded.
rubs his furry paw-like hand over it and shakes a bit from the weird but
pleasurable sensations he gets from doing it.
of petting myself before, it feels good though.
He ditches his T-shirt after spending a minute or two just of just
rubbing himself all over with his paw-like hands. He finds himself
discovering how nice and pleasurable it is to have a nice thick fur
coat. And his little discovery makes him appreciate Bonnie even more.
After dropping the T-shirt he admires his furry body and then gives
Bonnie some loving attention. She licks him on the muzzle and looks
happy. And then without another thought, he drops down onto all fours
next to Bonnie and tries to walk. He walks awkwardly next to her. And
doing so he triggers another change in his body. He starts to look less
and less like an anthropomorphic Old English Sheepdog and more like the
real thing. His ears and eyes disappear under a thick veil of shaggy fur
so that only the tip of his nose and his lolling tongue can be seen. The
patch of gray fur that started near his right ear has grown over his
right eye. His muzzle grows out a bit more. And because of the thick
layer of fur covering his face and head, his head looks bigger and
rounder. Alex finds himself not worried about being able to see that
well with all of that fur covering his eyes. He finds himself enjoying
being able to hear and smell better. He can hear Bonnie and himself
panting and their hearts beating. He can hear the rustling noise of
their fur coats and the soft clicking of their nails against the stone
floor. He can also hear the sound of the wind blowing through the tunnel
and bringing him interesting scents to his nose. The smell of Bonnie
being next to him is also a pleasure and helps soothe the part of him
that still cant believe whats happening. His neck has almost
completely reached the back of his neck and has begun to merge smoothly
with the back of his head. His chest and hips are still developing but
Alex knows that soon he will be able to trot on all fours with ease. His
back is continuing to straighten out and his loins have begun to rise
above his forelimbs. His arms are still human-like but they are growing
in length to match his shrinking legs. His hands are still paw-like but
he knows that soon that they will become a useful pair of paws, perfect
for digging. Halfway through the tunnel, Alex trips and falls flat
against the floor. He whimpers a bit but Bonnie is there for him. She
uses her head to push him up into a squatting position. He squats in
front of her and pants with exertion. She stands on all fours next to
him and pants with him. Instead of petting her and giving her praise,
nuzzles her. He finds that no words are needed to express how he feels
about her now but he says them anyway.
the pick-me-up, Bonnie. Woof! He tells her and nuzzles her
again. Do you know how much I love you now?
She woofs and tells
him without saying anything how she feels for him.
His heart swells with canine pride. He finds himself looking forward to
being the father of her pups.
I am going
to like being your mate and being a big friendly sheepdog.
Do you suppose, woof, that Patchwork will find us a friend who will love
having a pair of sheepdogs as pets, woof? He tells her in a voice
is barely recognizable. Bonnie just stands there next to him and pants.
With a shrug, Alex gets up onto all fours and the both of them resume
their journey through the Tunnel of Love.
By the time, Alex
and Bonnie reach the end of the Tunnel, Alex knows
without looking down at himself that he has changed some more. He knows
that he now resembles a huge Old English Sheepdog the size of a Mastiff.
He also knows that there is very little of his humanity left. But he
finds the loss of his humanity to be no big thing. He is happy to be a
sheepdog. His soft puppy coat has grown harder and shaggier. It makes
him look bigger than he really is. His head now completely resembles a
sheepdogs. Only the tip of his nose and his tongue can be seen under
all of that fur. His neck has reached the back of his head now. His
shoulders are starting to become the withers of a dog. He still has
human arms but they are losing their flexibility and usefulness as arms.
His hands have resumed their transformation into paws. His thumbs are
shrinking into mere stubs on his arms. His chest and back are well
developed. And as he walks, his four-legged gait becomes smoother and
smoother. He privately chides himself as they trot about how clumsy he
used to be as a biped. But the thought stops there as he becomes more
self-centered and concerns himself with doggy things. He finds working
by instinct to be so much better than thinking things through. They trot
some more toward the tunnel exit. But before they can reach it, they
smell a familiar scent together. Their drop ears perk up and they begin
to pant with excitement. Alex lets off with a woof and bounds forward
with Bonnie coming up right behind him. Woofing and barking happily,
they exit the Tunnel of Love and come face to face with a white-haired
man. But they know that the man is their friend Patchwork. They bound
to him as he crouches down before them with his arms wide open. They
practically knock him over with their enthusiasm. They are panting
excitedly and wagging their docked tails with glee as they tried to give
their friend several wet ones across the cheeks. Patchwork chuckles at
all of the attention they are giving him.
me your friend, Patchwork in human form. Ugly arent I? It
sure has been awhile since I have taken on my old human form. He
them while giving some loving attention in return. They woof and caper
about him until he beckons them to sit. Alex and Bonnie like the good
dogs that they are sit obediently in front of him. He looks at Alex who
is panting contentedly.
So Alex, do
you understand your mate better than you did before?
Alex woofs and pants contentedly before reaching over to Bonnie to
Well I must
say that as a sheepdog, you have grown quite handsome. You
are no longer the ugly human being I met eariler. You look almost ready
for the dog show ring, dont you boy? Let me bring you down to size.
moves toward them and sits between the two large, friendly dogs. They
nuzzle and lick his cheeks. He affectionately rubs their backs. And as
he does so, Alex begins to shrink and change some more. He beings to
grow down in size and his bodily proportions begin to assume the right
canine proportions. The last of his humanity begins to rapidly disappear
from his body. His arms become legs and his hands finish becoming paws.
His body becomes bear-like under its thick shaggy coat of white
gray. Within minutes, Bonnies owner has been turned into a real
English Sheepdog, just like her. A really big and shaggy sheepdog.
Sitting next to him, Patchwork looks him over with a practiced eye.
There we go,
now you are truly an Old English Sheepdog. What do you
think of yourself now, boy? Alex twists his shaggy head around to
at his carefully groomed fur coat and looks pleased with himself. He
looks happy and begins to pant some more before licking his friend
again. His friend carefully pushes him away and rubs their backs again.
Yes you certainly
have become a rather handsome sheepdog. But dont you
think that you should get a new name for yourself? How about I name you
Alex now Clyde happily
barks at the sound of his new name and he makes
his friend rub his shaggy back vigorously till he pants contentedly.
Bonnie and Clyde, a nice pair of names that has a ring to it, dont
think? No I dont suppose you do think anymore. You are just content
be a sheepdog now. He receives another lick from Clyde. He chuckles
before their eyes, his entire body shimmers. And before they know it,
Patchwork the Old English Sheepdog is back. They greet him again as if
they met him the first time. They sniff at each other and wag their
tails. Patchwork then walks away from Bonnie and Clyde. He walks a
couple of feet in front of them, turns back to look at them and gives
them a woof. They get up onto all fours and trot after him. They make
pleasing sight. Three friendly Old English Sheepdog playing in the park.
From her private
tent, Circe watches from her mirror the trio of
sheepdogs walking and playing with each other. She smiles before
switching her mirror back to where the other dog owners are with their
dogs. And her smile gets bigger when she sees that some of the dog
owners have literally gone to the dogs to be with their dogs. She sighs
It is so nice
to see dog owners appreciating their pets by becoming
either their pack mates or as their mates. Nice indeed since Canine
Appreciation day is a day where you can join your dog on all fours and
grow a nice fur coat and give up your worries. Have to remember to give
those who want to stay as dogs some new homes and people who will love
them. Maybe some day Bonnie and Clyde will bring their new master here
so that he or she can appreciate them better as I only know how.
smiles impishly at the thought. With a wave of her hand, she makes her
enchanted mirror show Patchwork, Clyde and Bonnie are up to. She sees
that they are back in the pet amusement park with the other dogs and
their former owners.
What a beautiful
couple those two sheepdogs make.
She watches them
as they sit next to each other and pant contentedly
away. She then flips her mirror to other parts of her amusement park and
watches as the other tourists become a bunch of party animals. She then
gets up off of her couch and heads to the front door of her tent.
Oh well, enough watching for the day. It is time for me to teach
another group of tourists what it is like to be mans best friend.
laughs softly to her self.