Letter to My Dog

Copyright 2003 W. Bruce Cameron


Dear Dog:


Since you seem to have so much trouble processing the English language no matter how loudly it is spoken to you, I thought perhaps I could communicate with you more effectively if I wrote down my thoughts.

First, please allow me to assure you that you are not starving. In fact, if the newspapers bothered to publish a canine version of those irritating "body-mass indices" that my daughter so delights in reading aloud to me, I'm sure we would discover that you've got far more waddle in your walk than is strictly necessary. The way you visually track every bite of food I take, with a trembling expression of frantic pleading, is most annoying.

Speaking of walks: We've been taking the same route around the same block for nine years. For you to sob, whine, and tremble every time I get out your leash is just crazy.

And would you please stop rolling in road kill? Dead animals smell like...well, like dead fish. There is a reason I give you a bath every single time you roll in something--it is NOT a coincidence.

Here's a news flash: Our next-door neighbors LIVE THERE. They have a right to be in their own yard! Stop barking at them through our windows! Your crazed fury is especially irritating in view of the fact that when you actually encounter them in person you flop on your back and let them rub your tummy. As a guard dog, you're about as intimidating as a gerbil.

The following are not digestible: Balloons. Crayons. Socks. I can show you evidence out in the yard. Stop eating them; they are not food!

I do not mind rolling down the window for you when we are in the car. I don't even mind that the air rushing up your nostrils makes you sneeze. What I do mind is that you always pull your head into the car to share your sneeze with the back of my neck. Keep your head in or out, that's all I ask.

Our front door is three inches of solid wood; you cannot tunnel through it. Stop clawing! Don't we always let you out when you need to go?

The bushes in the back yard cost a lot of money, but there is nothing of value hidden under them. Stop digging for buried treasure!

The stuff in the trash can is not your food. Oh, and your expression of shocked innocence when we accuse you of dining at the garbage buffet is not nearly as persuasive as the forensic evidence left strewn around the kitchen. Stop blaming the cat; she doesn't eat anything that costs less than a dollar an ounce.

Oh, and speaking of the cat, just because she gets to sleep on the bed doesn't mean that you do too. Did you think we wouldn't notice all the dog fur on our bedspread when we got home?

And another thing: I do not wake up at the same time every day! On days we don't work, we're allowed to sleep past our normal waking time. Stop licking my face because your internal clock says it is time for breakfast. Don't dogs DO weekends?

Look, you do make me crazy sometimes. But I suppose I have to admit that even though you're lazy (you probably won't even bother to read this letter!) and don't seem very bright, you do have your positive attributes. You're the only one in the family who will get up and pace with me in front of the window when it's past curfew and my teenage daughter is parked in the driveway with her date. You're the only one who likes my cooking, and you share my opinion that we don't need a cat. After nine years of living with you, I suppose life just wouldn't be the same without you.

Wanna go for a walk?

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