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Cold and dark

For Mom, the week after Thanksgiving is as busy as the week before Christmas for Santa’s elves… or as busy as the week after Thanksgiving for UPS workers. That being said, she has been very careful about planning both of our miles so that we can finish *together* on Saturday, as long as we stick to The Plan and run 4 miles a day each morning this week. But since Mom is working 12-hour days, that means that we have to be running before 5am every day this week. Which means that we have to be up at or before 4am every day. Have you seen 4am lately? It is dark and cold and not very nice at all.

Mom’s alarm is set to only vibrate in the morning so that it doesn’t disturb NotMom, but this morning the phone fell on the floor and so was vibrating and vibrating next to my bed for a minute or two before Mom noticed. Usually, hearing the phone go off and seeing it light up is my cue to jump in bed and step on NotMom with my pointy elbows and knees to kiss Mom in the face. This morning I held very still so that maybe Mom would just go back to sleep. Finally, Mom woke up and picked up the phone. I kept holding very still. I was a dog-statue. She shined its screen on me, which is usually my cue to get a move on… I pretended to be asleep. She nudged me with her toe. Finally, with a groan I got up.

As we walked down the hall to the bathroom (her to the people bathroom, me to the dog bathroom) she looked at me. “You’re lucky I love you,” she thought at me. “ME?! You’re the one that’s making me run in the middle of the night. You’re lucky I love YOU!” I thought back.

I went to the bathroom (my bathroom is unheated, mind you!) and then curled up in the blankets on the couch while Mom got ready. When she was dressed, she came over and hooked the leash on my collar. I was a dog-statue again. “C’mon Oscar,” she whispered. I looked at her but didn’t move. She took a few steps away, pulling the leash to its full length. I put my head back down and snuggled in tighter to the blankets. Finally she gave me a little tug, and I figured that she really wasn’t going to give up on this dumb plan, stretched and went outside with her. She’s lucky I love her.

Do you want to know how early it was? It was so early that the unauthorized trail users that I usually bark at as they pack up their tents and sleeping bags were still asleep on their benches and under their bridges. It was so early that no bicycles lit up our reflective strips. It was so early that when I came back home, NotMom hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet, let alone finished making me eggs! It was just uncivilized. Mom sure is lucky that I love her!

–Oscar the long-suffering Pooch



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