Yesterday was Welcome Back Oscar! Day in Mom’s and my Special Place, and they threw me a half marathong to thank me for helping raise money for their stray people puppies! I would have done it anyway, but I do love a party because then I get attention.
Mom and I were almost late to my party because our Special Place is so very far from our Stuck House. After Mom finished working, we raced out to the Covered Wagon as fast as we could and drove without stopping until the middle of the night. We still weren’t there yet, but we parked the Covered Wagon in a rest stop and did our resting for the night. Resting is different from sleeping because it takes less than 4 hours and you have to make sure to wake up and listen to all the people who stop their cars to shout to each other. We finished resting before the middle of the night was over so that we could be at our Special Place when the sun came up.
The one thing that I didn’t like about my party is that it is a tradition for four-legged runners to wear face socks in the start and finish area. Mom says it’s not nice to criticize other cultures, but I don’t think it’s nice to humiliate anyone or hold their mouths shut. How are you supposed to do fun things like bark, eat the chips that Mom is sharing for breakfast, or lick the legs of strangers when you’re wearing a face sock? Everywhere I looked there were four-legged runners smooshing their faces on the ground or punching themselves in the nose trying to get the face socks off.
Then something very embarrassing happened. A lady in a very pretty skirt said, “Is that Oscar?!” I had never been recognized before! This was my first time as a celebrity, and here I was wearing this dumb face sock. I was too embarrassed to even jump on her or try to bark a bit. Since my face was shut, I let Mom introduce me to my fan @Lynn(e?) [we couldn’t find Lynn(e?) on Facebook to give her a shoutout!]. While they were talking about human things like how slow they each planned to run, I gave Lynne my butt to scratch so that she would have something inspiring to think about when she was tired from all that running.
When we finally started running, mom let me take the face sock off so that I could grin at all the runners who had come to my party. I would smile at them as I ran by so that they would know they were doing a good job, but not as good a job as me. Since everyone here had come to celebrate me, and we were all running to the same place, that meant we were all on the same team, so I don’t have to worry about barking at anyone or being what mom calls “scary.” I smiled at Lynn(e?) one last time when we passed her in the first mile, and then pinned my ears back and started racing.
I’m an expert at racing, so I know about rules like how you’re supposed to chase the runners in front of you. Every experienced racer like me also knows that you should poop before the start, but I passed some poor boobs who were squatting right in the middle of the road because they didn’t know about this rule. Suckahs!
The dog right in front of me was a horse-colored weimaraner that I think was named Cinnamon. Cinnamon was very pretty, but she had no brains for racing. Instead of pulling her human steadily in a straight line so he would run faster, she kept running side to side and confusing him. It’s a good thing she was so bad at racing, though, or else she might have run ahead of us too far and I wouldn’t have had anyone to race with. Without Cinnamon’s butt to chase I would have been so bored that I would have run at Mom’s pace, and we would probably still be out there now.
One of the reasons we love this race is because the aid stations cater to all the runners, not just the human ones. Each aid station had a pool for either swimming or drinking, and most of them had yummy treats to keep humans and dogs from bonking. The first aid station was my favorite because not only did I get some jerky, but there were also baby goats! I ran up to one of them and sniffed at him. “Hi! My name is Oscar and I’m a big fan of your work!” I said with doggie telepathy, and puffed up my hackles, whimpered a little bit, and wagged my tail to let him know how excited I was.
I don’t think the baby goat had done media training, because instead of letting me sniff his butt he backed away from me like I was some big, scary beast or something.
“Daaaaaaad. We have an encounter…!” said the people puppy behind the jerky table when he saw me having my brush with greatness.
“Come on, Oscar. Let’s keep racing,” Mom said, pulling me away from the baby goat right when I was about to get my nose in his butt hole.
“But Mom, these are real live baby goats!” I said. And when I turned back, the shy baby goat was straining at his leash to get even further away from me. I don’t think that he has a future as a public figure at all!
So we chased Cinnamon for a few more miles. She ran at about the same distance ahead of us until the 10th mile, when we climbed the biggest hill on the course. I thought for sure that Mom would walk, but instead Cinnamon’s people walked and we ran right past them. At the top of the hill there was a rest stop, and Cinnamon stopped for a swim while Mom kept running down the hill, dragging me along with her. For the next half mile I kept checking over my shoulder waiting for Cinnamon to come back and give me some inspiration, but she never did. So I stopped helping Mom with my pulling as a punishment for her being such a spoil-sport.
When we got to the finish there were lots of fans there to cheer me on. But since I didn’t have anybody to chase, I took my time running past all of them so I could soak up as much attention as possible. I guess that wasn’t exciting enough, so the director of the people puppy shelter that I had raised money for came down and ran across the finish line with me to give me someone to chase. She was so dedicated… Some runners needed someone to chase, while others were just lonely, but she accompanied each and every one over the finish line like the best hostess ever.
After the race it was starting to get warm, and but instead of finding somewhere shady to park the Covered Wagon and nap, Mom decided to drive us back home in the heat of the day. “This way I can buy you lunch on the way home,” Mom promised. Usually that means that I get McRotguts from the drive through, but this time Mom took me to a very fancy sit-down restaurant called The 76 Station and bought me a delicious treat named after me! It was called a “hot dog,” which is a very special meat tube slow-cooked on the rotisserie for many, many hours waiting for Mom to come and order it for me.
-Oscar the Guest of Honor