A letter to the dog

January 24, 2006

Dear Kaiju,

Maybe you didn’t understand me this morning, so I’m dropping you a little note.

I know you won’t eat breakfast unless I talk to you. I can deal with that. You know we’re on a tight schedule in the morning, which doesn’t allow for as much ‘dog’ time as you’d probably like. So I’m willing to spend a few extra minutes, saying “Eat your breakfast.” I’m filling your bowl, now.” Do you want your medicine?” Here’s a pill. Gentle…. Good doggy!” “Now eat your breakfast.”

And snapping the clasp on the leash to remind you that the walk comes next. I try to be there for you, when you look up at me for approval, like every morning you’ve just discovered the art of chewing and swallowing, And you’re the first dog ever to do this so it should rate another, “Good Dog!” and maybe some extra food.

But this morning? I thought it might be nice to eat breakfast together, to save time. So I made my bagel, with extra cream cheese. And I set it down. And then I said, “I’m filling your bowl, now.”

I distinctly remember saying BOWL not PLATE. Did I say anything about the kitchen counter? Or helping yourself to half a bagel?

I think not.

I know God made you a mutant. You’re a golden retriever built on a wolf hound chassis. Standing on your hind legs makes us about the same height, but it does not entitle you to swap breakfasts with me. You may be able to reach the counter, but if I get down on the floor to eat from the bowl, I’m not going to be able to get up.

And I think, at over 7 years old, you’re a bit long in the tooth to be using ‘sad puppy eyes’ to get out of trouble.

Of course, when you laughed at me? That was even worse.

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