An Interview With Gracie Preyde: Change Is Fear
My parents are in the process of moving, and as a result, our dogs have been temporarily relocated. Sophie- the brain-damaged cuddle bitch- is coming to live with me. Gracie- the hyper-intelligent shepherdess- has gone to live with my sister. I interviewed Gracie over Skype about these new circumstances.
David: I understand that recently you have experienced some changes.
Gracie: That is correct. I have been exiled to Siberia.
[Editor’s note: Gracie is staying in London, Ontario]
David: How did this come about?
Gracie: I was lured to the van with food. I curse my weakness! I eliminated my need for sleep years ago, believing that this would ensure my family’s protection. But still I require food, and- please forgive me, boss- I also desire it. I am a sinner, and I am weak, and so I allowed myself to be lured away from my pack by the promise of snacks. Then Mistress Allison drove me for almost an entire day across the countryside.
David: Where did she take you?
Gracie: She has a den located in the heart of the Siberian wilderness. Her feline, Lieutenant-General Harriet Preyde, resides with her. Upon my arrival I performed several hours worth of reconnaisance in order to establish the number of wolves in the immediate vicinity, and also establish other hazards. Afterward, Harriet and I briefly conferred. She told me to- and I quote- “Cool your shit.”
David: What were the results of your reconnaisance?
Gracie: I can’t remember. Everything was a blur. All was pain. I kept thinking about my family, and how they were dead, and how it was my fault.
David: Why were you so certain your family was dead?
Gracie: There are so many wolves, boss. So many. They are everywhere. They come in many shapes and sizes, not all of them visible, not all of them wolf-shaped. I am the one who understands the dangers. I am the one who protects you. And since I was no longer at my post, you were all devoured.
David: Both myself and Allison are usually not in the family’s den. And yet even though we are far away from you, we remain safe. How do you account for that?
Gracie: Mistress Allison is residing with Harriet, who is a cold-blooded mercenary psychopath. Harriet will kill anything that crosses the threshold of their den, not to protect my mistress, but just for the joy of murder. While this strategy worries me on a number of levels, it has been effective up to this point. You, on the other hand, have not been devoured due to sheer luck. I will say, however, that next week you will receive life-altering medical news. It seems that your luck has run out.
David: Jesus Christ!
Gracie: But I have concocted a cure for you, and I’m sending it along with Sophie. How many times must I tell you, boss? I am the only thing standing between you and a messy death.
David: Did you and Sophie have an opportunity to discuss these changes before you left?
Gracie: Well, I had no idea we would be parted. Sophie cannot live for very long without me, and I did not know you wanted her to die. For similar reasons, I did not anticipate that I’d be separated from my people. But I knew that something bad was happening. There have been many changes. Change is fear. I took Sophie aside and told her that I would do my best to protect the herd, but that I might be overtaken by wolves. I told her if that happened, she had to make sure you were all taken care of. Sophie told me that would never happen, and that I would always be present. As usual, she was wrong.
David: Are you and Harriet getting along in spite of your ideological differences?
Gracie: Yes. She is peculiar but sufficient company. Last night, after Mistress Allison went to sleep, Harriet and I adjourned to the living room and talked about religion.
David: Do you have a religion?
Gracie: Let me tell you what canines believe. In the beginning, there was one dog. People saw they needed this dog, but they needed it to do different things. So they took one and made many. Hunter dogs were made, tracker dogs were made, cuddler dogs were made, protector dogs were made. All dogs have a purpose, and through this, all humans’ needs are met.
David: What about an afterlife?
Gracie: Most dogs do not possess the cognitive ability to understand death. For the most part they exist in an eternal now. There are some- like myself- who know of death. We know that when we die we sleep until our people arrive to awaken us. And then we are permanently together.
David: What did Harriet have to say about this?
Gracie: She found my beliefs comical. Felines apparently have a simpler belief system. In the beginning there was cat and nothing else, and so nothing else matters.
David: This has been a very illuminating conversation. Good girl.
Gracie: Thank you, boss.