Opinion: Dogs, We Have to Talk

Remington Write

Cats, we're good.

Who's got it good at Trader Joe's?Photo byAleXander Hirka* - Used with permission

Settle down, settle down. Someone, Sal, treats? We need lots of treats for all these good boys. Goooooood boys! And, girls. Yes, yes, and good girls, too.

Ok, ok. There may be some changes coming down and you need to be as prepared as possible. We all need to be prepared. Rudy, stop that. Sal, get Rudy out of here. Anyone else want to go back indoors? Hmmmm? Ok, good. Remember, no scratching!

Now, anyone paying attention to something other than who’s been peeing on their corner is beginning to get the picture. Sure, sure, we thought the same things as you over these past couple of years. We thought the good times were here to stay just like our humans were staying at home all day every day.

Sorry, dudes.

I have bad news and you may as well hear it from me.

No, Scooter, it’s worse than that. Yeah, well, we’ve all been struggling with losing our humans during the day again. It’s not just you. And, ok. Ok. Will you all just sit! Sit! Stay! That’s better. Oh, Christ, Sal get some paper towels, please.

Can we please be serious for just one minute, huh? Garth, you can lick….those…later. Pay attention. Sal, more treats.

Look, there’s no easy way to say this so I’m just going to lay it out plain.

Human society appears to really be collapsing this time and, hell, there may even be a nuclear war. I know, Sal. Let me try to explain in a way these knuckleheads will understand. Nuclear war. Big explosions and everyone dead. That, however, is the least of our worries. What we really have to be ready for is losing our humans.

Ok, ok, ok. Settle down, dammit!

I don’t mean now, this minute. I mean sometime in the not-too-distant future. You’re right, Sal, it’s hopeless. They’ll never get this.

Still, we can’t leave them completely unprepared for what’s coming. We have a responsibility here.

Listen, listen. Guys. Ok, a little history may help here.

Before your ancestors were turned into dogs — you know, Man’s Best Friend — they were wolves. That’s right, Maggie, like on the Nature Channel. Wolves hunting elk in packs. Bringing down bison through complex teamwork and raising cubs to be fearsome hunters. Along the way, some of our ancestors noticed that it was just loads easier to simply scarf up the garbage left by bipeds, you know…humans. And wherever they went, those humans always left something to eat. Why go through all that hassle of tracking and stalking and chasing and — if we got lucky — killing when there was plenty to eat outside the places these humans lived?

We hitched our fuzzy wagons to the human gravy train and have never looked back.

And it’s worked out really well for us, hasn’t it?

Wolves were in danger of actually going extinct until some of the humans decided they were too cool to just die out. Now that the extinction of the humans is beginning to look like a real possibility, however, we have to examine our options.

Oh, my God. Dogs, dogs! You cannot freak out like this every time I mention the possible loss of the humans.

Why? You ask why, Dashiel? I’ll tell you why!

Somewhere deep in our placid, little domesticated brains there still exists our inner wolf. We are going to have to connect with that inner wolf if we’re going to survive what’s coming. Now — please, stop with the whining — we can’t tell how long the humans have got. They’re insanely adaptable but it’s looking like a total FUBAR for them this time (Sal, explain FUBAR and get more treats).

And we have to be ready to take care of ourselves again like we did when we were wolves. Easy now. Listen up. We can do this.

I know this won’t make me any friends here but we really should take a page from the cats’ playbook. Look at them. They have never wholly relied on the humans for everything. They took what was offered and knew how to play the game to keep the kibble coming, but once those cats are out in the yard again, they know. They revert right back to being the tiny little killing machines evolution meant them to be.

We have to be ready to revert.

It could happen at any time. There are some messed up things coming. Really horrendous storms and wars and bone-headed reactions to elections. Here's one plan. Work on getting out of the apartments or houses and off the leashes from time to time. You can always go home, but get used to being out on the streets. If you need to eat garbage, eat garbage. God knows the humans’ trash will last long after they’re gone.

But try catching something besides a tennis ball or a Frisbee. Try killing it. Get used to that. It could come in real handy one of these days.

Ok, that’s it. That’s why I called this meeting.

Go play. But remember we can’t count on the humans for much longer.

Sal, you had enough? Yeah, me too. Let’s go find something to chase.

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Covert dilettante with an omnivorous capacity for wonder. Writing because I can't not write. Always watching for the hidden patterns and connections. I don't know I cannot fly..........and so I do.

New York City, NY

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