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Oscar and the Intruder


Before our lives changed, I used to spend most of my days sitting at home and waiting for things to happen. Sometimes nothing happened at all between when Mom walked out the door in the morning and when she came back in at night, but I still had to keep my wits about me to avoid getting murdered.


I only had a few seconds to react when I heard the clink-creek of a bad guy coming through my front gate. If a mailman or UPS guy reached the door, it was already too late.


When I heard their trucks growling for blood at the end of the drive, I snapped to attention to find out who the murderers were coming to massacre today. I listened to their hungry bootsteps prowling down the row of houses, reading the numbers like a menu.


Dan was first in line, but he was useless as a guardcat. Dan was such a pushover that he didn’t even guard his breakfast when his handsome neighbors barged in for a visit. Behind Dan was a selfish cat whose name I never learned. Selfish Cat just hid and left the rest of us to fight off the bad guys for him. Lucky was next in line, but he only barked if his gate opened, hoping the murderers would think no snacks were home. Which left only me to protect the whole neighborhood.


Despite my ferocious barking from the moment they dismounted their murder-mobiles, sometimes the prowlers were desperate enough to come all the way to my house. I always scared them off by barking mean things through the front door before they broke in, and so survived to nap another day.


One day, a man I'd never smelled before came through the gate.


“You go away, or you’re really gonna be sorry!” I shouted through the door. And then, “Hey, booger brain! I’m talking to you! Turn around now or else I’m going to open a can of whoop-sass on your butt!”


I paused between thundering barks to listen for screams of terror and maybe the ratta-tat of his paws as he sprinted away. Instead, I heard the scritch, scratch of a not-terrified person walking toward the door. Don’t you dare knock! I thought at him.


I waited. No bark. A jingle.


“You don’t think I’d be fooled by a silly trick like that, do you?” I roared. “I know those aren’t dog tags, they’re just your keys!”


Then I heard a rattling coming from the other side of the door.


“Hey! What the heck do you think you’re doing? You can’t just…”


He couldn’t, but he did, and now he was inside the house! I didn’t know if he was a dog-eating man or what, so I ran to the bedroom. If I hid on the bed, I could make him chase me round and round until he died of tiredness.


He wasn’t so tough after all, because he gave up after just fiddy or a hunerd times around the bed.


“Take a hike, buster!” I growled after him as he finally backed out the door.



I listened until I heard his murder-motor driving away, and then I turned a circle to get ready for a nap. That’s when I smelled it. Why, that sneaky meddler had left a doo in my bed. I don’t know how he did it without my noticing, but there it was on the bed in front of me. And who else could have done it?


Now I had a different problem. Mom also sleeps in my bed, and she would almost certainly be grouchy if she had to change the doo-vay cover before bed. Between the intruder and worrying about Mom being mad tonight that I just had to tear a hole in Mom’s favorite sweatshirt to relieve my anxiety about it all. When I was finally feeling better, I cuddled up to the turd and settled in for a nap.


But no sooner had I closed my eyes, Some Lady tried to come into my house. I had met Some Lady once before, but Mom had been home back then to supervise her. I wasn’t sure whether to bark at her or ask her for pats, so I watched instead.



“Hi, Oscar.” She reached out an arm with a treat at the end.


“Well why didn’t you say so?” I chomped. “Golly, what a funny misunderstanding. You should be more careful, though. There was a murderer on the loose in this house not long ago. Good thing I barked him away before you got here. One can’t be too carefffff… Hey! Where did this leash come from?”


As Some Lady tried to lure me closer to the door, I thought about how sad Mom would be if I wasn’t there to say hello when she came home and my heart got so heavy it became an anchor. Then I remembered that the last time Some Lady was here, Mom had looked like she wanted the lady to like her. Maybe Mom wanted Some Lady to like me too, and that’s why she’d exaggerated my puppy school GPA.


So I let Some Lady lead me outside. Big mistake! She put me in a van that was just like the ones all the kidnappers on TV use.


Who would protect my home from dog-eating intruders if I was going to be with this lady now? What would Mom do without me?! Would she be upset if she came home and I wasn't there to greet her with wiggles and squirms?


I watched my Stuck House disappear in the back window, and then I turned around to see the dog-eating man was driving the van!


Most stressful day ever!



This part of the story has a happy ending though, because it turned out that Some Lady’s kidnapper bus was going to the dog beach. When the van stopped, I led all the other dogs in a jailbreak. My new friends and I ran and ran in the sand, and I showed them the trick about chasing the waves and biting them before they go back to the ocean.


When it was all over, Some Lady was very nice and took me back to my house rather than making me live with her at her house. Before she left, Some Lady filled my water bowl all the way to the tippity top, which was nice of her because something about the beach makes me thirsty.


I drank all of my water in a few big gulps, and then lay down to sleep off the excitement until Mom came home. The sun was looking straight into the window when I woke up, which meant that Mom would be home soon. I hoped that she would hurry because I really had to go potty.



I stood by the door and waited and waited and waited. After at least two long minutes of waiting, I couldn’t hold it anymore. I squatted in an out-of-the-way corner and went potty until my piddle puddle was a lake, and then an ocean that stretched all the way into the kitchen. Then I went back to bed to wait for Mom.


When Mom finally came home, I burst through the door to tell her about my day.


“You’ll never guess what happened while you were out!” I said. “First, a man tried to break into the house and kill me. But don’t worry, I scared him away. Then this lady came and dognapped me and took me to the beach, and it was horrible…” (it wasn’t really horrible, but I didn’t want Mom to be jealous), “...and when I came home the man had broken in while I was away and ripped up your sweatshirt and pooped on the bed. Then, he went potty all over the floor. Also, where do you think we should sleep tonight?”




 

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