Airing of a grievance (Henry writes)

Dear Readers, who stumble across this bit of unfortunate correspondence, please note that Henry, aka HRH, is an occasional contributor to my blog — a guest “pawthor,” if you will. He even has his own category on Lit Bits and Pieces. For an essential bit of perspective on what you’re about to encounter, my oldest son belongs to Henry. That is all I can really say in this regard, as Henry would not be dissuaded from airing his grievance … alas… who am I to deny anyone a forum? My humble apologies. – The Management

My Dear Him:

It is with immense forbearance that I have not addressed this issue before now, but the time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of this thing…

You and I have lived inseparably lo, these last five years, beginning with the day you came to redeem Me from a life behind bars (my having landed there through no fault of My own). I shall not go into the haunting particulars of that time, other than to say your appearing was, essentially, the day My life began in earnest.

You have proved yourself, for all intents and purposes, a good and loyal servant to Me, and I would be remiss to leave this unacknowledged. In fact, you remained constant to Me even when you took in the Her and the Little Her with those two lowly mongrel creatures of theirs in tow. I was never consulted on this matter, nor was My authorization sought, a serious violation of and in itself; but due to your theretofore slavish attentions to Me, I deigned out of the generosity of My heart to permit the Hers and their, ahem, dogs. Where We were two, We became, overnight, without the slightest bit of advance notice, six.


Where I have been most accommodating of these arrangements on your behalf, as this menagerie of collected pets seemed to please you, and because I want nothing more than your happiness, second only to My own happiness, parameters have been crossed one too many times. Boundaries have been infringed upon. We have clearly reached The Point of No Return. Accordingly, I have no choice but to lodge a formal complaint in writing (which, as you know, is no small feat, considering that I must type one painstaking letter at a time with the tips of My forenails, which are curved to a ponderous and complicated degree at present due to your failure to perform My pedicure on a regular schedule).

In short: I have tolerated the mongrels and have endeavored to act kindly toward them, even to engage them. I have been gracious and accepting of both Hers, especially when there is a scent of Food or those fond delights called “Treats” on their persons. I have not appreciated the close proximity that the Hers insist on having to you, prompting Me, on occasion, as you will recall, to break up said proximity by wedging Myself between them and you as a reminder that you are, first and foremost, My Him. Let the record duly reflect.

Then, this evening, this very evening, as I tried yet again to fit the whole of Myself into your, might I say, rather pitiably undersized lap, only to be told “You know you cannot fit,” causing Me to retreat to the opposite end of the settee to nurse my wounded feelings…just to watch, right before My very eyes, as the Little Her climbed in exactly where I was told I could not fit. She is, in fact, larger than I, just slightly more vertical, yet you carefully encircle Her in your arms whereas I am left to My lone and lapless Self.

And she sits there, still. The pair of you looking terribly content.

I am hereby officially airing My grievance of this utter injustice and demand that corrective action be taken at once. If the matter is not rectified to My liking… well, I wouldn’t stoop to something destructive in regard to, say, the furniture or carpet, as I have too much wherewithal for that sort of protest; no, I will just continue to stare at this egregious display until you remember to Whom you belong. Which you have so obviously forgotten.

You have been notified.

I am waiting…

Signed, sealed, and delivered this day by HRH (Henry Rollins Haley)

Absolute affrontery. I command you to remove the Little Her from your lap AT ONCE.


The annual Slice of Life Story Challenge with Two Writing Teachers is underway, 
meaning that I am posting every day in the month of March. 

This marks my fifth consecutive year.

Henry politely suggests renaming this Challenge to The Tournament of Champions,
Wordsmiths of the World, Master Crafters of the Writing Guild, Order of the Padfoot. He seems quite Sirius.
He also believes it would be a kind gesture to rename the site and recommends
Too Writing Creatures.
He fears the number is misleading.

36 thoughts on “Airing of a grievance (Henry writes)

  1. Henry, it is a joy to hear from you again! You poor baby. I agree with you one-hundred percent. You are right to officially air your grievance about Little Her. For Your Him to tell you, “You know you cannot fit,” is outrageous! Your Him needs to give you equal or more lap time.

    Fran, I love Henry’s post, again! I think possibly, Henry has improved his writing skills. Thank you for making me laugh. Maybe your “Henry writes” posts should be made into a book. Have a great Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Dear Gail: Deepest appreciations for your insightful extension of sympathy with regard to the treatment I have suffered. I shall not forget it. I am honored by your words about my writing prowess as well. You are too kind. Yours Truly – HRH
      Gail, many thanks from me as well! I love Henry Writes and to date I think his substitute virtual teacher post is my favorite. So much fun – thanks for joining in. -Fran 🙂


  2. Fran, our Fitz came to us as a rescue named Henry a few years ago – yet another common thread we share – the love of dogs and a Henry! This piece is priceless! The legalese of the writing voice of a distinguished dog shows us Henry’s personality and high expectations. This was my favorite line: She is, in fact, larger than I, just slightly more vertical, yet you carefully encircle Her in your arms whereas I am left to My lone and lapless Self. Poor lapless Henry! He issued a perfect call to action!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am continually amazed at how the patterns of our lives is cut from the same fabric, Kim! Henry IS a distinguished, noble beast – even his play has an air of reserved dignity to it. He is one of the most loving dogs I have ever known; I am convinced he has a soul. While the post is humorous, his extreme devotion to my son moves me to tears. Thanks so much for reading his Slice and for your words.


  3. This piece is terrific and takes on new meaning as my daughter, son-in-law and their dog visit. There are different rules for her dog than for mine. His is afforded more privileges and is never caged. I can hear my Mitra righting a similar post, once his nails are clipped so he can type.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Poor Henry and your “lone and lapless self”. That is a line that will stick with me. You are so very eloquent. I have so often found with children that their writing voice is compromised when they compose letter-by-letter at the keyboard, but you, Henry seem to have maintained the flow, even as you over-curled, non-pedicured claws click-clack at the keys. Kudos….and might I say I was impressed by your use of “theretofore.” Wishing you the best in your quest for justice.


    • My Dear Sir: Words cannot adequately express my appreciation for your sympathies regarding My given situation. Indeed, the quest for justice is relentless. How kind you are to make mention of My writing prowess. A tedious undertaking, indeed, with the current shameful state of My nails (it is a wonder that I do not make myriad typographical errors on account of this, but as you are undoubtedly aware, One labors on when One has a message of such vital import). Your sentiments are a balm to My spirit. My best to you and the benevolent behemoth Farley, as well – HRH (Henry Rollins Haley)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Henry! Jealousy befitting His Royal Highness. I do hope he got some head pats, a belly rub, and some treats as recompense for this egregious error on Him’s part.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this so much — I giggled and had my heart strings tugged. What a great mentor texts for students — so many have attached with pets, new and old, this year. I bet they would love to give this a try. You are such a gifted writing -I always love reading your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I read this first thing this morning and loved it so much. It reminded me of the beginning of Bunnicula. You surely can give James Howe a run for his money. Oh HRH, delightful Henry. You also gave me an idea since I am struggling to write a poem for an online workshop I am in. To take on another voice, persona and bring them so beautifully to life. (PS since this is my first time meeting Henry, I am not sure who the Big Her and Little Hers are….not a big deal, but curious….obviously they are maybe visitors who brought their pets along?????) I am a strange-dog phobic person but adore our grand-dog and I can so see Henry’s angst when he can’t get to sit on the lap he desires!!! This is a delight. I agree with all of the (regular) commenters above!!


    • Thank you for these words and this clarifying question! A year and a half ago, my son married and acquired a beautiful, three-year-old daughter. She and her mom already had two dogs…almost a canine version of the Brady Bunch. Henry, noble beast that he is, had quite a bit of adjusting. He’s utterly devoted to my son; it’s quite emotional to see.


  8. Henry’s voice is perfect. His grievance could not be more thoroughly rendered. And that face!
    What a great piece this is: the lodging of a formal complaint, no mean feat with his curved toenails; the Hers and the scent of food and treats; let the record duly reflect. I look forward to reading more guest blog posts from Henry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, Diane; delighted that you enjoyed. It’s great fun to be Henry’s ghostwriter; probably my favorite post is one in which he was a substitute virtual teacher (after my son sent me a photo of Henry wearing one of his plaid shirts. Hilarious!).


  9. Henry is much more polite than my girl. Bailey would protest in the form of incessant barking until she gained access to the lap, or until someone distracted her with a treat!
    Thank you for allowing him to share his struggles and I hope he eventually receives the lap time he desires.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks – Henry is a noble beast, quite refined even in his play; he is so full of love. I adore that dog and miss him since he moved out with his “new” family. His extreme devotion to my son is so moving. Trust me… he is quite spoiled by my son!


  10. Henry, to be aggrieved falls far short of the mark, in this case. Him is, indeed, fortunate, that you have too much wherewithal to express your displeasure in an, ahem, costly and destructive manner. Hers bring a certain pleasure to one’s existence, but they can be trying. Hold your head high, good sir, and I am confident you will once again find yourself in an appropriate situation.

    TL;DR: Girls. As the philosopher frog once said, “You can’t live with ’em, and you can’t live without ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Most Kind Sir: Allow Me to express my deepest appreciation with regard to your keen insight into My situation, that I have, in fact, grounds for more than a simple grievance. I do, after all, strive to carry Myself at all times with deportment befitting of My noble nature. As to Hers: I am perfectly willing to interact with them on a daily basis (one can never have too many belly rubs, for example), as long as said Hers do not attempt to usurp My inalienable rights in regard to My Him (as he is, first and foremost, MINE). My patience has indeed been tried past the point of mere mollification, but know that I am much gratified by your commiseration, most wise and discerning Sir. I take no small comfort in your words. You and the Philosopher are kindred spirits, INDEED.
      Most Empathetically Yours – HRH (Henry Rollins Haley)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Henry, what you have to put up with and how well your facial expression depicts that! Totally a ‘hard done by’ look. What adjustments you have had to make and we do hope you will learn to welcome them with warmth eventually!
    Thanks for a delightful slice on behalf of Henry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Dear Celia (I do hope I’ve gotten the name correct; My profound apologies if not): How kind you are, to walk a way with Me in My proverbial “shoes.” Please know how I take your words to heart. I would like to say that the Hers in Themselves are benign and affectionate creatures, for Whom I do possess a certain degree of fondness. I simply must draw the line about lap rights, however. My Him is MY Him and that is that. I believe in share and share alike, but only inasmuch as I get My full share first. I am deeply gratified by your gracious words and stellar insight. This goes a long way with Me. Yours Truly, HRH (Henry Rollins Haley)


  12. This is an absolute delight! Although…I seriously think this mutt-ifesto could very well have been written by my dog Peep, who has had the suffered the indignity of our bringing another Her into the home. And you have the details (literally!) nailed down, as my dog could also express: “I must type one painstaking letter at a time with the tips of My forenails, which are curved to a ponderous and complicated degree at present due to your failure to perform My pedicure on a regular schedule.” Oh, heavens, YES. What they endure. Guess we’ll just have to keep giving them extra treats and belly rubs, and hope it all comes out even some day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Henry attached himself to me as well, in the couple of years that my son lived back at home before marrying and becoming the dad of my great joy of a granddaughter. He is a dog who deeply craves closeness to his people; while he carries himself with absolute dignity even in play, he is driven by a need to be touching someone at all times. When I go to visit, his excited antics are so heartwarming; he scrooches up next to me, stares lovingly at me the whole time, and puts his paws across my lap to claim me as his, as well. It is one of my life’s great honors <3. His devotion to my son brings me to tears… many thanks, Lainie. Let us remind the Henrys and the Peeps of the world how very much they mean to us. Lots of belly rubs should help.

      Liked by 1 person

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