Hi there, friends. Something very serious has happened that is different from all the other fun things. Mom says that I shouldn’t talk about it except to say that Bodie and I were being naughty and we jumped on the wrong lady. Now we’re not allowed to leave the house for 10 days.
I thought that people were “innocent until proven guilty,” but Mom said that only applies to human people. If dog people scare a human, then they are grounded without trial whether they are innocent or not.
“But Mom, why would the lady say we did something when we didn’t?” I asked.
“Because, Oscar, she’s scared of the world and so she sees boogey men everywhere she goes.”
“You’re always telling me that I’m too scared of strangers, but all I do is yell at people. I don’t get to call the police and make them stay in their houses. That’s just not fair.”
“I know, Oscar. It’s not fair at all.”
“And Mom, you’re scared of everybody and everything too. You’re always screaming and shouting on our runs and getting all freaked out. Whenever we’re running and we see another person you try to go real far away and run past as fast as you can. So… strangers are bad, right? This lady got too close for safety. Obviously she was a scary person. And obviously she really was dangerous, because look what happened.”
“You’re absolutely right. She was dangerous. But sometimes being brave means that you can’t protect yourself from a Scary Thing, no matter how frightened you are. I know it’s not fair, but sometimes people expect you to be a little bit scared and still do nothing. If you can’t be still when you’re a little scared, then something even scarier can happen later. It’s awful.” Then Mom got real sad-looking. “I’m sorry I made you so scared of everything. I was just trying to protect you from people like this.”
“Oh, I’m not so scared. I know you’re not really scared of running. You’re real quiet when it’s just you and me. Don’t tell her I told you this, but Bodie thinks you’re a real ‘fraidy cat. You’re always way more yell-y when she’s around and she thinks you must be scared of running. Or else why do you always scream and howl so much when we do it? The harder she runs you, the more you freak.” Mom didn’t say anything to that. She just looked even sadder.
Anyway, the day after we jumped on the Wrong Lady, a couple of nice people came to my house. Bodie got to meet them, and they gave her treats but I didn’t get to meet them. I sat inside the house barking through the window and I got no treats. The visitors said that we seemed like good dogs and commented on how beautiful our muscles are and that it doesn’t look like we have babies. Babies ruin your body, everybody knows that.
What’s that? Oh, mom says they were looking for “rabies,” not “babies.” Well we don’t have that either, and Mom showed papers that said that we’d both been stung by the no rabe-bees, but the people said that it didn’t matter. We needed to stay home anyway. No matter what.
Mom says exercise helps manage anxiety. Maybe that’s why since we can’t leave the house Bodie and I don’t just have ants in our pants, but we have ants all the way up to our ears. Even the littlest sound startles me, and I have to run around the house barking till my voice cracks. Especially in the middle of the night. Bodie can’t stop running in and out of the yard to check for squirrels, even if she knows there are none because she just checked a second ago. Mom is anxious too, and I can tell she’s been crying a lot. We tried to make her feel better by digging her a swimming pool for her to put all of her tears in, but she asked us to please stop digging, she would rather have a yard than a swimming pool.
Mom has been staying home and running on the treadmill in solidarity. Every time she does, Bodie bemoans how unfair it is that she can’t run too and so she barks at Mom about all the reasons that life is unfair. I join in, obviously.
So Mom tried to teach us to use the treadmill too. Um, NOPE! It was cool when it kept popping out treats when I wasn’t looking. But when it starts making that noise and you try to stand on it, the darned thing actually fights back and pushes you back on the floor again. Heck no! We’ve each tried putting our front paws on it for just long enough to get the tastiest treats, but I don’t think that we’re going to make it a habit. Mom may be happy running in place, but I think that running is for exploring the world, not staring at the wall in the corner.
-Oscar the Convict