In the dog house

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My sister really is just like me. She has the same bees in her bonnet, she has the same devastating good looks, the same stubby tail, the same voice and most of all she loves to bark. She is also a cat lover, just like me.

I learned when I was little that you have to approach my cat-sister very carefully. If you come up on her real slow – at about 1 frame per second – she will let you sniff her cat butt. (Cat butts are magical.) If you are very, very good, you can be squeaking with excitement and have your tail wagging in fast forward, just as long as your nose is going in slow motion. But if you come running up to my cat-sister like a bowling ball, she will disappear lickity-split… if you’re lucky! If you’re not lucky, she’ll slap you across the face with her evil little needle claws. If you corner her and bark really loud at her, she flattens out: her ears go flat, her eyes go into slits, her head retracts into her shoulders and she hunkers down close to the ground. That’s fun because someday I want to see if I can turn her into a frisbee, but it makes Mom real mad.

Anyway, my sister loves cats as much as I do, but she doesn’t know the rules about barking and bowling balls and chasing, so she keeps chasing my cat-sister through the doggie door like a bowling ball and barking her face off. She especially likes to do it during the day when Mom isn’t around and there’s nothing better to do. But then she’s scared to use the dog door to come back inside, so she just stays out in the dog bathroom barking at stuff. And believe me, there’s lots of stuff to bark at in the dog bathroom: the wind, the neighbors, bugs, people walking by, cars driving by, ghosts, squirrels, the mail man, and even cats sometimes.

Today a different mail man came by in a different car, with a different outfit, at a different time. This was very suspicious indeed and my sister ran out to the yard to shout at him, and I stayed inside to scream at him from behind the door. We must have done a good job, because he left an apology on the door and then got in his strange car and drove away without murdering anybody.

When the Woman Who Brings Us Cheese came, she looked real concerned. She texted Mom, and then a few hours later Mom came home while it was still light. Mom sat us down and explained that the new mail man was actually a police man, and my sister now had a criminal record*. When you have a criminal record, you have to be on house arrest. That means you have to wear an anti-bark collar around your neck which transmits a signal to The Authorities when you’ve broken a rule, and The Authorities smite you with a puff of weird smelling stuff. It also means that she can’t go into the dog bathroom during the day unless Mom or the Cheese Lady are here.

But on the bright side, we had Mom back. So after a very serious conversation, my sister and I settled down to a nap for the first time in 4 days.

*For those of you humans who are alarmed by this fact, Mom has asked me to explain that it wasn’t a citation just a warning triggered by a neighbor’s complaint and nothing bad will happen as long as we all act like responsible dogs and dog owners and address the behavior right away. The complaint was PROBABLY because Mom’s tracking device notified The Authorities that she had gone out without us at the running time (5am), and this warning is the human equivalent of the stinky spray in the face. “How dare you not run your dogs 6 miles a day! Monster!”