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Oscar the trainer

Today we crossed the half way point of our prison sentence. If anything good has come out of this house arrest, it’s that we’ve learned how to have fun as a family. No one in this family really plays with toys. Every time Mom tries to play with a toy, she throws it across the room within the first few seconds. I don’t know why she does it, but if someone’s going to throw their toys then they should go pick them up themselves if they want to keep playing. Mom is also very bad at tug. She keeps pulling and pulling on the toy, so I just give it to her. I’m good at sharing. Sharing is easy because she usually loses interest pretty quickly after I let go, and I get to play with the toy and rip its guts out soon anyway.

But since we have cabin fever Mom, Bodie and I are learning how to play with toys together. Mom waves the toy around and we have to guess when she actually throws it, and when she’s just faking. If she throws it, Bodie chases it and I cheer her on. If she doesn’t throw it, Bodie chases it anyway and I cheer her on anyway, and then Mom boops me on the butt with the toy and I bark at Mom. It makes us all feel better when we’re sad and anxious, and we’re getting closer as a pack.

Sometimes I get so used to my routine of patrolling My Trail that I forget to enjoy my time with Mom. It becomes about responsibilities like making sure that there are no Unauthorized Trail Users that require barking at, making sure that Mom never runs very long before I fake her out with a counterfeit pee break, cutting Mom off if she seems like she might be running too fast, and covering the distance in time to get Mom home in time for work. Now that we have to invent ways for everyone to have fun, we’re all paying attention to each other, and I’m noticing how happy my pack makes me.

Wednesdays are usually the day that Bodie and I take care of the car after our run while Mom goes into the gym and makes muscles. But since we are using our prison sentence for family bonding, Mom said that she would make her muscles at home. “Sometimes you’ve just got to make it work,” she said, which meant that Bodie and I had to help.

First, she ran on the treadmill while Bodie and I cheered her on at the top of our lungs. “Go, Mom!” “You look like a capital R when you run! Engage your abs and get your butt under you!” “Looking great!” “I can see your fat jiggling in those shorts.” “You can do it!” “I don’t really think you were built to run… Have you tried cycling?” “You’re a star!” “That’s it? Is that really as fast as you can go?”

Then Mom got off the treadmill and we had to help her make muscles without equipment. It took some effort, but Bodie and I made it work. Mom always says that I’m built like a potato, so I channeled my spirit tuber and did my best to imitate a sack of potatoes. Bodie weighs less, but she is built more like a sack of caffeinated hamsters. So when it was her turn she wriggled and jiggled made Mom practice a little more stability. We also made Mom do some push-ups and some other stuff, and then she went back to the treadmill. We did that whole thing 3 times through.

When Mom got home this afternoon she told me that her legs were more tired than if she had lifted the other kind of dumbbells. She said I’m a very good trainer, especially since I’ve been getting fat with all these treats and no exercise.

I’m happy to help…

-Oscar the trainer

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