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To understand our second hike of the weekend, you have to understand what happened the night before. After hiking the trail that the Real Man recommended, we drove a few miles down the highway to the next mountain. I thought maybe Mom was looking for the Real Man to give him her review in person, but he wasn’t standing in the middle of the road where we’d left him anymore so we drove back to the trail we hiked last week instead. By now the white dirt surely would have melted, and we could explore the secret valley that was hiding underneath.


hum-bugs and went to sleep, but by the middle of the night I had to pee something awful. What’s worse, I didn’t know how to tell Mom. Since I’m supposed to stand at the door when I want to pee at home, and because Mom usually leaves the Covered Wagon by the door next to the driving chair, I sat in the driving chair and waited for Mom to notice she was sleeping alone. But she didn’t wake up. So I whimpered in that lion-hearted way that way that Chuck Norris does when he needs to go potty. That worked, and I could hear Mom stirring. “What is it, buddy?” she mumbled. “Is there something out there?” “Mooooom, you’ve got to let me out of here or I’m going to die!” I whimpered boldly. “Come back here,” Mom said gently. Then she rubbed my belly, which just made me have to pee more. “You’re safe,” she said, laying her arm across my pee pooch so that I had to pee more. I had to pee so badly that I was shaking, but a gentleman should never leave a frightened lady alone if she thinks there’s a bear or yeti outside, so I lay there with her until she felt safe. “Why are you trembling, bub?” she asked. “Are you cold?” “No, Mom. Something very, very bad is going to happen if you don’t…” But then she fell asleep before I could finish.



the day before, Mom was worried that I would melt into a legless puddle if I got hot, or hungry, or thirsty, or tired, so she hurried up like we had a plane to catch at the end of the trail. We hiked the 4 miles up the mountain the same way we hike from the car kennel to the office in the morning: fast, with purpose, watching our surroundings for danger, but never stopping. The sunrise was painting the sky behind the mountains and between the trees in a way that was very peaceful, but Mom hurried through the sunrise like it was a rain storm that would turn her hiking companion into a puddle if it caught us.









Oscar the Pooch



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