(From outside, keys jangle and tumblers in lock turn.)
Hark! It is My Person, returning to me at last! Joy overwhelms my soul. The only way to express my happiness is to retrieve my raccoon and squeak it repeatedly. squeak squeak squeaka
(Door opens. Laptop, purse, and other workday accoutrements are placed on the table.)
Look, My Person! I am happy to see you! I have my raccoon! It squeaks! squeak squeak squeaka
“You ready to go outside?”
Outside! Yes! I love outside, because it is sunny there and squirrels and birds are outside, and sometimes Small Humans on Scooters. I have my raccoon! It squeaks! squeak
(holding leash) “You have to drop that before we go outside.”
Outside! I love outside. There are a lot of smells, and many of them come from squirrels and birds and Small Humans on Scooters. Or Skateboards. I have my raccoon! It–
IT SNOWED! My Person, we are outside and it snowed! I love snow. I love to hop in it. hop hop
This is a good potty spot. I will potty, and then we can Go on a Walk.
I love outside. I would love it more if I did not have to be on a leash. I would also love outside more if I could have my raccoon with me. Because it–
Is that a squirrel? It is! It is a squirrel! I must hop through the snow to capture the squirrel!
My Person, it is a squirrel! We must get– Why do you always have to pick that up? I swear, My Person, sometimes I do not understand you at all.
(after having disposed of the dog waste in the proper receptacle and truly commencing the walk)
If you hadn’t had to pick that up, My Person, I could have caught that squirrel. Now it is gone. I am sad.
But it snowed! My Person, it snowed! I love snow. I love to hop in it. I love to bury my nose in it and pretend I have just found a Snow Squirrel that is in my jaws and that I am shaking. The only thing that would make snow better is if I had my raccoon in the snow, because my raccoon squeaks, but if I had my raccoon, how would I pretend-eat a snow squirrel? Maybe My Person could carry the raccoon for me–
What is that smell? Ah! It is the smell of Somewhat Small Humans! If we find the Somewhat Small Humans, maybe they will be on scooters. Or skateboards. I’m not picky.
And that beautiful mound of snow! I must go hop in it and find a pretend Snow Squirrel.
(planting feet and refusing to move) “No pull.”
But the snow and the smell of Somewhat Small Humans–!
Oh, all right. But I am not happy about it. whine
(upon reaching the nearby middle school, which has just let out for the day)The source of the smell of the Somewhat Small Humans! Surely at least one of them will be on a scooter. (halting)
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY OF THEM?
“C’mon. It’s all right.”
No, it is not all right! There are too many Somewhat Small Humans, and none of them are on scooters! They are going to attack us! My Person, save me!
“Cassia, come on. We’re just a bit earlier than usual.”
Do you want to have me killed?
(having at last left the territory of the numerous middle schoolers)
We’re alive! And it snowed! I love snow! hop hop And we’re on a walk! And we’re alive! I must celebrate still being alive with food. My Person, I would like some food! I–
Oh, yes. You only feed me when I am in the Heel position. (navigates to heel position)
munch munch munch Yes, I am a good girl! And I am alive! I would like some more food. There is some snow over there that would be fun to hop in, but I would like some food. (pause) Maybe My Person has forgotten that I am here and would like some more food. I must remind her. nudge. pause. My Person, I am here! nudge.
(return nudge using shin)
That was not food, My Person.
(sometime later, nearing the local dog park)
The dog park! I love the dog park, because it has a lot of smells in it to smell, and a lot of snow to run in, because it snowed, My Person, and I love snow. And if there are other dogs in the dog park, I get to bark my deep scary bark that shows I want to play and am ready to play and sometimes we chase and other times we wrestle (veering toward the entrance) but there is no other dog in there oh well I can still run and–
“Not today. Just a long walk.”
You mean we’re NOT GOING? My Person, I hate you.
I would like some food. (heel position)
munch munch munch My Person, I love you.
(upon spotting a prepubescent roller blader while returning home)
It is not a Small Human on a Scooter, but the Small Human is on Wheels of some sort! MUST CHASE! bark bark lunge bark whine bark lunge
“Cassia! Leave it!”
bark whine bark lunge
“Cassia! Bad! Leave it!”
(the prepubescent roller blader approaches)
pull strain barkbarkbarkbark!
(the prepubescent roller blader passes by)
“I said, leave it!”
(human grumbling and bitten-off epithets)
My Person, it snowed! hop hop I would like some food. heel position, nudge
“No, you don’t get a treat after that!” (more grumbling)
(returning home at last, turning key in lock, removing leash)
“In you go.”
Our Walk is over and I am sad. There is no snow inside, or squirrels, or Small Humans on Scooters or Other Wheeled Objects. Inside is quite boring, actually–
Hey my raccoon! Look, My Person! It is my raccoon! I now have my raccoon! It squeaks! squeak squeak squeaka
* written over the course of several weeks because I am lazy and currently not all that motivated to write.