After work on Friday, Mom, Dr. Remy’s Dad, another collie and I left work together. “Oh great! A night out with my Friends! I can’t wait!” I said. “Where are we going? Are we gonna have bro time?” Then we walked to a car I didn’t know, and Mom opened the door. “Go on, Oscar. Get in,” Mom said. “That’s a little weird, but okay…” I said, hopping onto the couch in the back. And then, “Wait, Mom… aren’t you coming?” She kissed me on the forehead, which really was a very strange thing to do before getting into the car for a night out with the boys, and then said, “Okay, you be good. I’ll be back.” That was even curiouser, because that’s what she says when she leaves me alone to guard our car while she runs an errand. “But aren’t you coming?” I asked. She didn’t say anything. Instead, she shut the door in my face and started walking away. Then Dr. Remy’s Dad and my other collie got in the recycle bin chair and the driving chair, and we drove away without Mom. “Wait, you guys. We forgot Mom,” I said. “She’s one of the guys just like me. We can’t leave without her.” But we did.
haven’t been training for a marathong!” I said, alarmed. “Well I didn’t tell her that, because I didn’t want to worry her.” “But why did you have to go all the way to Michigan to find a Friend to run with? I mean, I know you’re unpleasant, but surely you could have tricked someone closer into letting you ruin their marathong.” “You know all that running that we’ve done tied together on a leash so that you know where to go, when to turn, and if things are dangerous? My Friend can’t see, so she also needs a running buddy to make sure she doesn’t trip or bang into something.” “You were a Seeing Eye human? Oh, Mom, you’re not trained for that either! Puppies train for that from the time they’re babies; it’s not something that you can just pick up in a weekend. And not everyone’s suited for it. You have to be calm in crowds, and… well…” I didn’t want to hurt Mom’s feelings, but she stinks at crowds more than most of the other things she stinks at. So I changed the subject. “Wasn’t she so disappointed when she thought that she was getting a trained Seeing Eye human and she got you instead?” “Well, I guess I tricked her, because she didn’t ask, and I didn’t tell her I’d never done it before.” Mom was talking fast, like even thinking about Michigan was an exciting thing. “And I really wanted to go!” “Why? Surely there are plenty of great reasons to visit Michigan other than to ruin someone’s first marathong.” “Because my fastest days are behind me, Oscar. I’ve run enough marathons that I know I can finish even without much training, so they’re just not exciting anymore. They feel more like a chore. I’ll never experience the excitement of my first marathon or my fastest marathon again, but it still makes me sad to stop. So when there was an opening to experience a marathon for the first time again, I asked My Friend if I could share it with her. It seemed like a win-win.” “You won?” “Yep, we both did. I got to be an experience vampire, and she finished a marathon!”
I thought this Michigan human must be desperate for Friends if she was willing to run a whole marathong tied to Mom, but it sounded like Mom’s Friend had as much fun showing Mom Michigan as Mom had seeing it. “It must have been very exciting running with someone brave enough to run into the unknown every day,” I said. “Were you really proud to be running with her?” “I was! I was so proud to run with her, but I think that everyone who finishes a marathon is inspiring. Do you know what we talked about to motivate us when we were tired and our legs hurt near the end?” “Inspiring visually impaired people like Helen Keller, Ray Charles, and Nancy Kerrigan’s mom?” “Nope. I described the other runners around us who were also struggling, and how heroic they were. There were walking people who started running again, or people who had horrible cramps and had to stop and stretch, but kept walking. Everyone was suffering, but we were all still moving. Everybody has something making their life difficult. Sometimes it’s something really obvious like that they can’t see or their legs don’t work, but other people have difficulties that you can’t see that are just as tough. Even a bad attitude can make life a challenge sometimes. So I’m inspired by anyone who keeps going when things are tough.” I definitely understood how hard it can be to have a bad attitude because I had helped Mom with that a gajillion times. I guess that everyone has some things that are difficult for them, and some things where they are stronger. Like how Mom can open the food fortress and take me places where I can’t go alone, but she can’t start a conversation with other humans without my help.
Oscar the Old Lady Whisperer
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