OMG HI HI HI HI We’ve never met before we’re not even meeting now but I’m so excited I’m running around and around and around and ar—oh, oww oww oww oww oww oww Now I’m sad and hurt and angry Oh that’s right that’s why I’m writing to you You have to help me, something so weird is happening I just don’t get it I don’t get it at all I oww oww oww oww I did it again.
I love being outside I’ve always loved being outside don’t you love being outside being outside is the best My humans used to let me outside and I would run and run and run and run and it was the best playing this Family Time game They would run after me shouting with me saying things really loud but I couldn’t really hear them ‘cause I was running so fast trying to catch those big metal things that can run so much faster than me—OR CAN THEY?—how do I know if I don’t try to catch them Anyway it was the best of times They would pay so much attention to me we would run around all the other human places for hours and hours and hours and after a while they would take shifts and not everyone would be out together but someone was always out with me and if I got real close to the house again everyone would come back out again and play again Oh it was the best I could do whatever I wanted.
But something’s changed now and I don’t know what It’s so weird really really weird—ANOTHER DOG! Let’s play together yay yay yay yay—owww oww oww oww oww there it goes! This is what I need your help with Now whenever I try to leave my humans’ territory and play with friends or play the Family Time game or mark a new tree with my pee I get this huge painful pain in my neck and I don’t know what’s happening It doesn’t happen when my humans take me on a walk but it happens when they let me out or when they open the door and try to close it before I get out like they’re pretending they don’t want me to be outside It only happens when I get near the hard gray stuff at the edge of the grass or near the fences or near the bushes that I used to love to bury things under.
I’ve tried hard, Labby, I really have I dug a real deep deep hole The deepest hole you’ve ever seen I’ve gotten pretty far but then the pain happens again even underground so I don’t think it’s a bee—I hope it isn’t I hate bees I tried to eat one once but it wouldn’t stay still and then I finally caught it in my mouth but it made my mouth hurt real bad—it feels different from the bee It only hurts for a minute then it stops which feels great great great great Oh so great I think I’ll be OK so I try to jump the fence but midair the pain starts again and I fall—BUT I found that old fluffy chew toy the humans tried to take away before I buried it real good and deep and hidden and now the white fluffy meat on its insides tastes like yummy dirt It’s oh so good yum yum yum even though it feels weird when I poop after but it’s worth it it’s so so good.
It stinks it stinks so much but I could have gotten my humans’ attention by picking at those pretty little trees on the paths—they’re the worst they hardly taste like anything and you can eat them in two seconds they’re not filling at all not filling like a cat would be Oh yeah that’s what I was talking about—But I cannot stand that bad cat.
The humans next door have this stupid fat ugly cat It’s so stupid and ugly and I know if I could just get over the line I could get it ‘cause it couldn’t outrun me—I can almost outrun those metal monsters!—It used to have to stay inside its house like a scaredy-cat—haha, CAT hahaha I get it—but now it just sits outside one foot over the barrier STARING at me with its evil eyes, licking itself and spitting up gross hairballs onto my yard and I can’t do anything about it But I need to because I need to show the other dogs and my humans who’s boss and get that evil cat.
What can I do, Labby, what can I do?
Look, a chipmunk! I’ve got it I’ve got it—ooowwwwwwwwww!
Anne Gould Northgraves is a senior cinema and photography major who is a longtime tail-wagger, first-time barker. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.