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Freedom and outlaws


hard hiking yesterday, Mom decided that we were close enough to push on to our next stop before bed time. So after hiking more than 15 tough miles, we got in the car and kept driving. We got to a place called Monument Valley just in time for sunset, which practically happens in the middle of the night in the desert because you’re so close to the sun. We stopped to watch the sunset, and then Mom kept us up late doing chores.





I was still barking at the crummy people when I saw something really strange. It was a dog that was off leash, but I could tell that he had no responsibility. Something about the idea of someone having all that freedom and no accountability to the rules really freaked me out. “HEY! Where are your people?!” I shouted at him. He just ignored me. “You need a bath, pal!” I shouted. He ignored us and went to the other people. “Don’t you speak English?!” I shouted after him.

“What’s up with him?” I asked Mom. “You know how we’re just pretending to be homeless?” Mom said. “Well he actually is homeless.” “You must be confused. People can be homeless, but dogs aren’t homeless. If they ever lose their homes, nice people pick them up and find them families.” “We’re in a different nation right now, Oscar. They have different rules about the services that they provide. They don’t have the resources to put their homeless dogs in shelters because they need to take care of the people first. So the animals run free and have to take care of themselves.” “But how does he open the dog food fortress?” I wondered. “He must be dying for a bed and some toys to rip up on it. Why don’t we take him home?” I suggested. “We have enough to share.” “Oscar, that dog has never lived in a house or with a person. A dog that hasn’t grown up with all the privilege you have might be more uncomfortable living in a house than he is living off the land. He wouldn’t know all the rules and would get yelled at all the time. He would spend his time wishing for responsibility that he’s not ready for in the city, and everyone would be unhappy.” As we drove around that day, we saw lots of wild dogs and even a horse grazing at the gas station. I thought it might actually be a nice life living in nature without rules or schedules. We could buy a car-house of our own and just be stray drifters forever. But then I saw a dead dog lying by the side of the road. No one had taught him how to be safe, and no one came to hug him and kiss him and make him feel better while he died. That made me feel very sad and lonely, and I started to think about not just responsibility, but also all the security I get because I follow most of the rules.


Grand Canyon. Mom was upset, but I spent the time napping and didn’t think it was so bad.


-Oscar the good citizen, usually

#Navajoreservation #Dogsmonumentvalley #MonumentValley #Wildcattrail #Trailrunning #straydogs


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