What an ominous and dangerous day! Mom and I ran in the morning, and that was pretty normal. The only interesting thing that happened was that an Unauthorized Trail User said that he was going to call the cops on me, even though I wasn’t barking or even looking at him. Mom said I didn’t have to worry, that he was just a crazyperson, but when we got back to the car there was a police man waiting for us.
“Mom! No! The last time I saw a policeman I had to stay in the house for 10 days,” I said.
“Don’t worry, Oscar,” Mom said. “He’s just looking for dogs who are off leash, and you’re wearing your leash like a good boy.” But I could tell that Mom was also a little suspicious since ours was the only other car in the parking lot. She got in the car and drove away without even pausing to put on any music. Luckily, the cop wasn’t an Oscar fan and didn’t follow us.
After breakfast Mom and I got in the car again and drove a medium-long way. Usually when we go south it gets hotter and sunnier, but this time the sky got grey and cold. Mom always gets agitated in these kinds of clouds, and when Mom is anxious that always makes me anxious because I don’t understand why she finds a bunch of fluffy clouds so disturbing.
When she stopped the car I could smell lots of dogs, and people, and sheep. This must be a doggie amusement park! I was so excited to get out and meet all of the dogs and people that I ran around to all the windows to get a better view, and barked at them before I was even out of the car. When Mom opened her door, I pushed my head into her back so that I would be ready to jump out behind her to a trumpeting tadaaaaa!
“No, you’ve got to stay in here until you can be cool,” she said. Then she left me all alone in the car for six years and went to where I couldn’t see her. I barked and barked, but no one was paying attention to me!
Eventually Mom came back and got me, and I barked at every one of those people and dogs standing around and politely waiting for me to liven up the place. The best surprise of all was that the Dean of my puppy university, the lady who taught Mom doggie telepathy and taught me all of the cool tricks that make the ladies go, “Aaaaaawwww!” was there!
The Dean may be the best teacher of dogs and humans in the whole wide world, but she sure throws a lame party because all of the dogs were wearing leashes and waiting around with their humans. Every few minutes a man came and took one family at a time into a penned-in area. When it was my turn, The Man gave me some pats and then put a collar on me. “It’s okay, dude,” I said. “I already have one.” But he put it on me anyway. Then he clipped on a really, really long leash and took me over to the stage to perform for all of the bored dogs and humans. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do, but I was pretty sure I’d be great at it.
First the man walked me away from Mom. Then he stopped walking. “What?” I said, looking at him. He tapped his boot on the ground. “What?” I asked again, searching his face for a clue to what he was on about. Then I looked at Mom for clarification. “Look at this weirdo,” I said smiling and winking at her. “Is he trying to make music?”
“Oscar,” The Man said, holding out his hand with just one finger pointing out. “Look!”
“What?! Do you have treats in your hand?” I asked, trying to get a good sniff at his hand. “You may not know this…” I said, following his hand around as he waved his finger. “…but I love treats. Would you like to share one with me? Look how cute I am when I sit.”
Then The Man threw something on the ground a few feet in front of us. I looked where it fell, and… “HOLY CRAP!” I said. “There’s a spaghetti monster sitting right next to where you were tapping your boot a second ago! Hang on, let me go check it out.”
The spaghetti monster was about as big around as a rope leash, and had a shakey thing on one end that made noise, and mean eyes on the other end. I knew from experience that this was called a “rattlesnake” from when Mom and I saw a bigger one the day that I took every tick in Lake Berryessa home with me to the Motel Six Stars. Maybe the spaghetti monster was why Mom was so anxious and yelled at all the other cars on the drive down? I was very interested to sniff what could make Mom scream and run away like she had, so I leaned in to get a better sniff and… OW! Something zapped my neck like when Mom pets me after walking on a carpet in socks. It was so strange that it distracted me for a second, but soon I remembered about the spaghetti monster and leaned in again. I was so filled with suspense about the spaghetti monster that when it zapped me again I screamed like a little girl (but only for a second) and jumped 2 feet in the air. I was afraid that someone in the audience might have seen me get startled, so I hid behind The Man for a few seconds so that no one would see me being embarrassed. I’m no fool. There was no way I was getting near that spaghetti monster again and letting it zap me a third time.
Next The Man took me to a different corner of the pen where I smelled another spaghetti monster and heard a strange noise like rocks shaking in a plastic bottle. Every time I heard that noise, I felt another zap on my neck. It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t like that I never knew when it was coming. I was really starting to dislike spaghetti monsters.
Next The Man took me to a place where someone had made a little spaghetti monster flag. It smelled like a spaghetti monster, and it had the same pattern, but there was actually no spaghetti monster inside of it. It was like when Mom leaves her sweatpants on the floor in the bathroom, and they smell like her but there’s no Mom inside. Even this spaghetti monster jacket could zap you if you sniffed it or tried to look at it too long. You guys, spaghetti monsters are very bad news, and I strongly recommend that you avoid them.
Finally The Man let out the leash to its full length and Mom called me from across the pen. I couldn’t wait to see her and tell her all about the spaghetti monsters and how scary they were, but how I wasn’t really all that scared… when I noticed that there was a gigantic spaghetti monster on the ground between me and her! This wasn’t the same little spaghetti monster as before. This one was as big around as my tail, but much longer. “Oh hell no!” I said. “I’m not passing that thing! No sir-ree!” I ran a wide circle around it and refused to even look at it as I passed.
When I got to Mom, she petted me like she was already very proud of me. “Mom, you’ll never guess what happened!” I panted, wagging my tail in excitement. “I met four spaghetti monsters, and three of them attacked me, but I was very brave, and only a little bit scared. I think that you should stay away from them on our runs, okay? You may not know where they are because your nose is so blind, but don’t worry. I know what they smell like now, so I’ll keep us safe.”
Mom gave me lots of treats and lots of pets for being so brave, and The Man took his collar and long leash back. Then he explained to both me and Mom that if we ever saw a noisy spaghetti monster again that whoever saw it first had to scream and run away. It was very important that we act so scared (even if we are actually secretly being brave) that whoever hasn’t seen the spaghetti monster yet won’t miss it and step on it by accident and get zapped. “Deal!” Mom and I agreed.
Now that I know about spaghetti monsters, Mom promised to take me to more sunny, grassy trails.
-Oscar the Herpetologist (that means “snake expert.” I had Mom look it up on Google)
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