I Wish I Had a Talking Dog


In the time of COVID, I’ve had lots of time to think about lots of things from the calamitous effects of climate change to the life enriching benefits of having a talking dog.


Yes, I have a dog.  Her name is Gracie.
She’s a beautiful, brilliant, occasionally obedient, always adoring, companion.
She’s definitely my best friend, but she can’t talk.  Not a single word.

Self-isolation has allowed me the luxury (actually the necessity of keeping myself a safe distance from the ledge) of living inside my imagination.
I have the time to exist in another cosmos, to indulge my frayed nerves and overwrought anxieties in order to calm my senses while I cavort in an imaginary world situated a few light years from COVID, which is Earth’s new name in the Galaxy.
My new home is called DISNEY WORLD and here Gracie can talk.

In Disney World, Gracie speaks three languages, plays an Oboe in the local chamber orchestra, and is accomplished at ballet, archery and disc-golf.


She wakes me in the morning with a lick on the cheek and a commanding, “Get your Winnebago-sized buttinsky up and in the kitchen.”
“No more canned food for me. I want blueberry pancakes, made with buttermilk, apple-cured, crisp bacon, and some oat bran toast, lightly browned, served on my TV tray while I watch the Adventures of Rockie and Bullwinkle,” she stipulates without a pause to breathe.

“And don’t forget the Smuckers.”


I’m up.

After KP duty, we’re off on our morning walk around the two lakes located in a nearby city park.
“This collar chokes me every time you pull on the leash,” she complains.
“Have you ever heard of a harness?
“It’s more civilized and will protect me from dying of asphyxiation,” she gasps.

We’re back from our walk and I’m on Amazon shopping for a dog harness.

I’ve returned my credit card to my wallet and we’re now lazing in our over-sized, aptly named “lounge” chair perusing selections of TV original series as well as newly released movies.

“It’s my turn to choose what we watch,” she doggedly asserts.

“’Tiger King’ did it for you.  While Joe Exotic rots away in jail, you, too, deserve to be punished.

“You will remain disqualified from making any more TV selections and all remote user privileges are hereby revoked,” she proclaims in her best jury foreperson imitation.




Arguments are a waste of good energy in my book, so I submit and we watch 55 episodes of “Buddha”, performed in Nepalese with English subtitles.


A week later, we’re back to our daily routine except this time, Gracie wants to put the harness on me and take me for the walk.

“What’s fair is fair,” she insists as I snap on my harness and we head to the park.


There’s something about wearing a harness that makes me feel I’m now, back in charge.


As soon as we return home, I need one more thing from Amazon:  A muzzle.


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