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Marine Mammal

Oscar the marine mammal here. My doggie Siri (a.k.a. Mom) tells me that this 2-month stretch of bad weather is going to break soon, but not yet. So it was back out into the wet this morning. I have gotten used to the rain and cold, and have developed ways to cope. For example, because the dog bathroom at my house isn’t weatherproofed or heated, I hold my pee and poop for when I’m out on a run. That way I can stop multiple times and Mom lets me sniff the smells that have come out of the ground with the rain until she wises up. We have given up on me staying dry for long enough for my flea and tick stuff to soak in, and Mom says that she’ll just reapply when the rain finally stops, since most of the fleas and ticks have probably drowned anyway, or committed suicide from seasonal affective disorder. We’ve given up on running back and forth in the 1.5-mile stretch between where My Trail is closed on each end due to flooding, and explored the detour through a truck yard and a Best Buy parking lot. Mom has stopped torturing me with baths every week and just lets me be filthy. Instead, she bought a better vacuum.

I’m scared of the new vacuum.

But back to this morning: Mom and I went back to The Wetlands that Smell Like a Fart and just ran and ran and ran. We got rained on at the beginning, and it took me awhile to notice when it had actually stopped raining, because the air is full of rain even when it’s not falling. Surprisingly, the Wetlands are usually one of the least muddy places when it’s rainy, but it was still covered in swimming-pool-sized puddles. One stretched across the whole trail, and there was no way to get to the other side other than fording it. There was one spot in the middle that was a little shallower than the rest. It was about the width that a human can clear if they take a running leap, or a little longer than an Oscar. Mom hesitated, so I went ahead.

As she wound herself up to take her running leap, I decided to help. “Here! You want to go this way,” I said, running into the shallower water. But just as I reached the center of the puddle my leash slack ran out, which is my signal to stop. So I did.

“Here! You want to jump over it right here!” I said again, standing exactly where Mom was supposed to jump.

Mom said some nice things to me in her teakettle voice that she uses to beg me to do things I don’t want to do, but there was no way that I was going to go into the deep part of the puddle. So I stayed where I was, right at the jumping spot. Finally, she adjusted a few inches to the left, took a mini running jump (she only had the length of the leash to get up to speed after all), and went for it. Mom is no long jumper, and the splash hit me in the face. She made the same sound she makes if she steps in one of my poops in the dog bathroom. “You sure messed that one up,” I told her.

We wound up running 13 whole miles and fording that puddle 3 times. I was pretty tired by the end, but after some water, breakfast and a quick nap while Mom was in the shower, I was back to my chipper self. As I dictate this to Mom, I am also chewing the heck out of a rubber bone hard enough to tear off one of its epiphyses.

-Oscar the marine mammal


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