The appropriate doggy protocol
"Strong, powerful, fragrant." Snackler read the bitches mind.
She wasn't in heat. This was not her time. Even if it had been the time, he had no time now, maybe in another-when. There's a time and place for everything, and there was always time for Snackler when he was entrusted with one of ROM's fancy pods.
Earlier, after saving the man from the landmine. He had pointed his pod toward lunch. With no other assignment on his chart for the afternoon, Snackler headed for an afternoon of rest and recreation.
His paws pointed the craft off in the direction of ancient Babylon. This was Snackler's favorite time place. Dogs were treated with respect in Babylon. His pretty, fluffy, and flirty bitch was always there. She never aged and waited for him to show up in the garden. She always stayed, just the same way he left her. There was no need for drama or change. This was Snackler's happiness time-place, and he kept this particular time-space secret as best he could from everyone.
These Zoroastrians were his kind of people. Animals had rights and were treated quite lovely. In some cases better than humans. There were laws in place for the protection of dogs. Don't even consider harming someone's house dog. If you survived the penalty, then your back would be permanently scarred from the hundred lashes you received. The harsh penalties were an effective deterrent to ancient violent crime.
Ahura Mazda cared for dogs and Hammurabi too. Beating and killing a dog would result in lashes, a flogging, that was a whipping. The whipping would be given to the limits of life. Perhaps even ending the life of the dog murderer. Dogs were that important to the families of ancient Babylon.
The pod opened its door and Snackler hopped out into the garden like a happy bunny rabbit. The garden belonged to his favorite bitch. Her master called her Beltis.
Beltis was two years old with a long nose and pretty tongue, which she could curl all the way up the tip of her nose. Her wet tongue was capable of covering and cleaning her nostrils. The white and red fur of her torso was short and always well-oiled. The home's servants cared for her well, and frankly, it was a joy for them because Beltis was so sweet.
Her master called Snackler Zaidu. It meant hunter and Snackler was happy to be given such a brave additional name. If Snackler were to have an earthly home, then this was it. He cherished his moments spent in this minor noble's garden. Beltis was his 'girl,' even when she was not in heat. She was his happiness and pleasure.
Carefully, so no human could see, Snackler presented the fresh mutton bone he'd hastily prepared to Beltis. Nobody could see how dexterious he was with his paws. His paws were as strong and agile as a human hand, especially Muranu, Beltis's master. Snackler was a stray and had none of the rights of an official house dog. Muranu tolerated him. Partly because he was a dog lover at heart, and Snackler had given Muranu a psychic nudge to accept this stray male dog. Likely the nudge had been unnecessary because Muranu genuinely liked Snackler.
Beltis excitedly took the bone into her mouth. Slobberingly happy, she stared at Snackler. He could feel her thoughts of love. It was almost time for dinner, so Beltis rushed behind a bush to save the bone for later.
Soon Muranu arrived at the backdoor with a clay bowl full of broth, scraps and grain. It smelled delicious.
"Oh, Zaidu! When did you arrive? You're just in time for dinner, I see. Wait for me, I'll be back with your bowl."
Soon he returned with another bowl in his hand and placed it down next to Beltis. She was already inhaling the meaty stew.
"Eat, Zaidu. You're a good boy." Muranu said, while roughly patting the top of his head.
Snackler gave him a quick bark and thought some love at Muranu. Then he buried his nose into the bowl just like his girl already had. So excellent! "Bone-appetit my sweet." He thought and laughed to himself over the pun.
"All gone," Beltis thought and nuzzled at Snackler's bowl.
He gave her a growl. This was appropriate doggy protocol. Yet he still moved aside and let her finish his soup anyway.
He enjoyed watching her lick the bowl clean. After which, she let out a delightful bitchy bark and ran towards the back fence. Snackler followed her. Beltis sniffed a bit, squatted and then daintily peed.
Snackler sniffed after the short squirt. His keen olfactory senses detected the health of this young dog. He then picked up his right rear leg and expertly retrenched the same spot of sandy soil.
Beltis watched. Pleased with Snackler's marking of her spot. She ran to her favorite tree. Circled a few times and then plopped down to rest.
"Sleepy," She thought.
Snackler lay down beside her, his head resting on her shoulders.
Snackler thought back, "Sleepy."
Then he closed his eyes and started a wonderful nap. It felt like moment, but time and sleep are often disjointed. The company was great. Belts, was his bitch, and he lay full-bellied and content with her.
The tingling meant his pod was approaching. It hadn't actually moved, Time-space had moved around it. The pod sat in space just outside of the hyper-pyramid, which bent back to a point where it touched the time and space of Beltis and old Babylon. This time and space folding and unfolding was a constant in the Universe. Potentially any time or place could be reached through shortcuts available inside the dimensions where ROM existed. While possible, it was rare of find a sable pattern to exit and enter. The pattern between ROM and Beltis's garden existed and was stable. These stable patterns were used when ROM's crew needed to make time changes. Most other times and places were visible on ROM, but events were not changeable during these viewings. The events had to connect just so. The quantum chromodynamics busily coloring the gluons and quantum gravity connecting together precariously with advanced gauge theory even with the advanced computational ability of ROM, these moments were still few. Snackler wasn't going to share this particular moment with anyone. It was his, and the doorway to Beltis's yard was a special exit. He had found this doorway by chance and never reported it. It was his, and he kept it as his personal treasure.
"Of what use was ancient Babylon to anyone anyway?" Snackler had thought to himself at the time.
He nuzzled Beltis and got up on his feet. Taking the opportunity to add another bookmark to history, he marked the tree again. While he was still enjoying a good shake, the beam collected and unceremoniously lifted him to the pod. I'll be back, he thought at Beltis, and he was gone with the wind.