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Oscar the tourguide

I usually would have gone for a long trail run today, but now that Mom and I are hustling to support our tramping lifestyle of the poor and homeless, I have to give up my life of leisure temporarily and work on my days off. I don’t mind working on the weekends because Mom said that if everything goes well, then we might leave on our next adventure as soon as Friday.

To pay for our adventure we are hosting 2 guests at our house* this weekend while their dad runs the Big Sir Marathong. Being a marathong coach myself, I offered to teach Oreo and Buddy everything that I know about being a supportive coach. “The best way to cheer is to stand by the side of the road, and then sprint out onto the course when you see your dad run by,” I explained. “…that way you can bark at the top of your lungs how proud you are of him, and you can also clothesline a few other runners with your leash. If you do a good job they will trip and die, and your dad will be more likely to win. That’s called being supportive.” “But will he be running by here?” they asked. “We definitely want to be supportive…” “I’ve been to Big Sir and it’s very far from here…” I said. “I don’t think that we could run all the way down there, even if we started running right now.” They looked disappointed. “But there are other things that you can do from here to let him know how proud you are of him,” I assured them. I asked my assistant to make us some signs, and then I showed them how to stand in front of the sign so that they were always blocking some of the letters. My pupils did an okay job, but not perfect because Mom eventually managed to get a couple of photos with both dog and sign fully visible.

After we were done cheering, we needed something else to do to keep our guests entertained, so I offered to bring them on a guided tour of one of our favorite trails. A pack of 3 dogs leading one human on a single track trail requires very advanced leashing skills, but I am a leashing virtuoso and I know all the most advanced ways to get tangled. I made it so that Mom didn’t speed us up at all, and Oreo and Buddy could smell every last inch of our 3 mile loop at their leisure. Thanks to my expert guidance, we were able to turn a 3-mile hike into a 2-hour excursion, which is great value for money.

There are no trash cans at this trail, so usually when Mom and I run there as private citizens I try to poop in the brush off the side of the trail so that we don’t have to pick it up. But because we are a couple of professionals, Mom played custodian and carried our guests’ poop for all 3 miles, and then packed it out in the car with us. That meant passing the bags from hand-to-hand hundreds of times whenever Mom had to untangle the leashes. Now our car smells like dog doo, but Mom said that we should tell ourselves that that’s just the smell of money. If that’s true, then our whole back yard must be full of money!

I also provided value for our guests by making the hike more exciting. Whenever we met another dog or runner on the trail, Mom made us pull over and wait to let them go by. Buddy and Oreo stopped to wait patiently, but I didn’t want them to get bored and give us a bad review, so I said, “Watch this!” Then I waited very still on the rock that Mom had us all balancing on so that the other dog could pass. “Hold…” I instructed as the oncoming dog got closer and closer. Then, “Hooooold… hoooooold!” And then, the second the dog came within inches of my nose, I shouted, “Now go bananas!!!!” Then I launched myself off the rock, pulling Mom with me and our guests really got into the spirit of the thing, barking and yipping like crazy. We had many raucous times with everybody screaming, including Mom. It made the oncoming dog or runner run away from us every time.

-Oscar the entrepreneur

*Mom wants to call our venture a ClaireBNB, but she has no star power like I do so I told her that idea was dumb. I looked up synonyms for “hotel” and found the word “fleabag,” which sounded pretty cool and modern. So I suggested “Oscar’s Fleabag Motel,” but Mom said it sent the wrong message. Since this is a partnership, I had to listen to her opinion even though “Oscar’s Fleabag Motel” is a great hotel name. So we’re still working on branding…


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