Last week Mom started acting real strange. She would run out of bed in the middle of the night to shout sea lion mating calls into the toilet bowl. I don’t know what she was thinking because sometimes I like to watch the toilet flush, so I know that the hole in the bottom of the toilet is WAY too small for a sea lion to swim through, but she kept trying and trying. That day Mom spent the day on the couch and we did not run. Then we didn’t run the next day, or the day after that, even though Mom got off the couch and left Bodie and me to watch the house alone all day like usual.
Then Mom got in the car and went away for a few days. The lady that takes us on daytime adventures came and stayed with us, but she doesn’t know how to run, so Bodie and I started getting serious ants in our pants. When Mom came home, I don’t know what had gotten into her but strips of her were real sun burnt and she was acting tired. Then on Monday she STILL didn’t take us for a run. That was a WEEK with almost no running! We had so many ants in our pants that we were more ants than dogs.
“This is bull plop!” said Bodie when Mom had left AGAIN without a run. “I’m going to give her a piece of my mind.” Then she pulled a deck of cards off a shelf and started tearing each one up individually into tiny little pieces. “Yeah!” I said, grabbing a toy and ripping all the fur off of it in clumps, spitting them angrily all over the floor. “She thinks she can just stay in bed all morning and then go on adventures without us?!” Bodie said, ripping into the brim of a baseball cap. “It’s not right!” I agreed, pulling out a squeaker and ripping it into tiny confetti. “That witch!” Bodie said, starting to tear apart the corner of the rug. “We’ll show her!” I said, knocking over a mug full of junk like nails and an old bike light. Bodie chewed up the bike light in solidarity. Then she peed on the carpet.
When Mom got home and saw the cards, and the rug, and the bike light, and the hat, and the nails, and the box, and the bag, and the squeaker… she was real sad. I wasn’t sorry, I just followed her around looking sad till she took us out on our evening walk. Bodie sat on the couch with her ears flat, smirking.
The next morning we got a run. But we still had ants in our pants. “Are you sure that window can hold with you running full speed into it and pawing at it like that?” I asked Bodie. “When the cats run by outside I just get so excited I can’t even handle it!” she said. “I feel like I could chase them right up the tree.” Every Sunday in the fall and winter Notmom (who used to live with us) used to jump up and run around and shout at the people TV just like Bodie shouts at the cats and squirrels on the dog TV. Mom said that’s what sports fans do.
Maybe it was because of the ants that made Bodie more of a sports fan than usual. “Hey, Oscar. Did you know this window moves?” “Yeah. When I was a puppy I saw Mom in the driveway and ripped that screen out of my way to jump through it and say hi. It’s been closed ever since…” “But look! If you… just… push… here… you can kind of nudge it open a little bit. I bet if we really work at it we can get it open enough to go chase cats ourselves.”
We worked on the window all morning, but then the adventure lady must have thought we were cold because she closed it when she came. She must be the dumbest human ever because she actually *came back* and made it so that the window wouldn’t move at all anymore. Now Mom’s put the couch in front of the window, so we can’t get at the secret trap door, but at least we have somewhere comfortable to sit when we watch dog tv. And now Mom run makes sure we run every day. Civil disobedience works!
-Oscar the activist for routine