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Running out of spite

Those of you who are rich and famous and live a life of leisure like me will understand this: It’s so hard to find good help these days! My assistant (you may know her as Mom) had a family emergency last week and needed to take some time off. She found a temp to come and tend to my needs, but it’s always so disruptive when your people take time off, and you never get as much done!

When she got back, Mom was still distracted with “chores” and “providing for this family” and said that she didn’t have time to write down my thoughts. Honestly, I don’t know what I pay her all those kisses for! So I called a family meeting at 2am. I barked at a fluttering leaf in the back yard until I was sure that Mom was good and awake, and then I announced, “Listen, no one gets to sleep around here until you take me on a proper run that I can tell my fans about.” “How about we just lie here until 4. Four is a much nicer time to wake up and run at,” Mom suggested. The nerve, I swear! A little initiative and ambition, please! “Fine,” I said. “But I’m going to bark and run around the house raising the heck every 20 minutes until 4. Then we get up. Okay?” “I really wish you wouldn’t…” said the world’s laziest assistant.

But at least my behavioral intervention worked. Mom got up at 4 as promised and took me to The Fart, which is safe to run on before dawn. I wish Bodie had been with us, because we saw more bunnies than I had ever seen in my life. We must have seen at least 16 of them (sixteen is as high as I can count before I run out of toes). Instead of darting into the bushes when I came, they kept staring at us until we got real close… And then they would sprint to and fro down the trail right ahead of us. I’m an endurance dog, so every time they slowed down a bit, I would catch up and we got to start all over again. It’s a shame Mom is so big and fat and hard to move without Bodie’s help, because I think that I would have caught one this time. And then I really would have had something to tell my fans!

One bunny was sitting in the middle of the trail waiting for us, and I was sprinting to get into the launch zone when Mom screamed, “Get off the trail, you dumb ducking rabbit!” She yelled that out loud… just like she does with Bodie. Only everyone knows that unlike dogs, bunnies don’t speak English. “What’ gotten into you?” I asked. “You seem awfully cranky.” I could smell the stress coming off of her, and every time I’d tuned into her doggie telepathy, she was saying things like, ‘How dare you…’ and ‘…and another thing!’ and ‘…with all that I’ve done…’ “I’m just angry at my boss, Oscar. And I’m thinking about all the things I would like to say to him. We’re going to keep running until I don’t have anything left to say.”

Well I don’t know why Mom was so mad at me after all of the patience I’ve had with her personal problems. I’m certainly not “ungrateful, disrespectful and out of line,” so I turned off my doggy telepathy and just chased the bunnies. But soon I was tired from chasing bunnies, and we were still running. Maybe I was out of shape from my time in prison, but it seemed like Mom sure had a lot to say because we were running FOREVER before she finally let me stop.

Once we got home, Mom gave me second breakfast, and then much to my surprise she took out the leash again. “What’s that?” I asked. “Isn’t it nap time?” “Oh no, Oscar. We’re not done. You still have to go on a 7-mile hike.” Now I was really regretting making Mom wake up early to run. Was she trying to make up for all of the missed walks and runs all in one day?

This time when we got home I went straight to the bed. “I’m calling another family meeting!” I announced and stared at Mom balefully until she joined the meeting. “There has been altogether too much running and walking going on around here, and nobody’s going anywhere until we all lie down and have a nap! Now you lie here and be big spoon…” Finally Mom stopped being disobedient and lay down, and we had a nice, long nap together.

-Oscar the Boss



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