Sleeping/Thunder - Nancy Cech

I’ve been a little nervous that I’m slipping into “crazy dog lady” status. I make fun of it, that I’m one shy of a kennel’s license, but there are days that it does make me worry ,just a little bit. I find myself smiling and nodding at the dogs I pass on the street and then sometimes have to remember to acknowledge the owners. And here’s the big confession, today as I was walking back to work from the dentist I slipped into fantasyland as I often do, but instead of dreaming of a trip to Italy or sunbathing in the warm rays of the Caribbean sun, I started to think about what if my dogs could text. That’s right. What would it be like if my dogs could text.

If my black lab Rookie were a human she’d be a surfer girl. Labs are the easiest going dogs on the planet. They are always happy and nothing is ever complicated. They are the boy and girl scouts of the dog world, they’d be a part of Up with People and they’d likely collect beanie babies. The “Life is Good” motto would be on every piece of clothing that they’d own. Rookie is strong and direct. Straight forward and honest. Her interests involve water sports and ball. She loves to eat and even though she’s over 50lbs she can curl up to the size of small dog when she wants to sit in you lap. Here’s how the day would go with her.

8:00am: “Mom, Where did you leave the leftovers?”

5:00pm: “Mom, you were planning on cleaning the carpets this weekend right. It’s no big deal but I threw up that bag of treats you left out for me. Hey next time could you please make it easier to get to? I had to climb up on the kitchen table and then chew my way through the cabinet lock. I know you didn’t mean anything by it, but it took me forever. We’re going to the park tonight right? See ya.”

My yellow lab Haley, well she’s a stereotypical dumb blonde. Haley is sweet and beautiful. Wants nothing but to smile. My son has said if Haley was really his sister she’d be riding the short bus to school. Well Haley wouldn’t even attempt to text, it would be too complicated. Instead I’d get a voicemail.

9:00am “Hi. Is this on? How do you work this? Hi. This is Haley. Can you hear me? Hi. Are you sure this is on? Hi. I’m Haley. Who’s this? Rookie? How do you work this? Bye.”

9:03am “Uh is this on? Hi. Do you know where we left the toy box? I was looking for my stuffy. Oh never mind, there it is where it always is. Someone must have just brought it back. Bye.”

Yep. Short and sweet. But my French Bulldog Rocky, well he’d text me all day every day.

8:05am “Maman, Alo Maman. Are you thinking of me? I am thinking of you. I know you are thinking of me. I need to go on patrol. I will report back”

8:30am “Maman. Do not be angry with me. I ran across a dried poop on patrol this morning and couldn’t resist. I had une petite snack. I could not help myself. You know me. It is so hard to say no. I love you Mamam.”

8:35am “Alo. I miss u. I need to go on patrol again.”

9:00am “Maman, I do not know about these other dogs that live here with us. A leaf fluttered on to the deck and they slept right through it. I screamed at the top of my lungs to alert the neighbors and no one did anything. Why are these dogs here? They never help. They are useless. I need a nap. I wlll check in soon. Much love. Yours forever, Rocky”

10:30am “Maman. When are you coming home? I need you to pet that special place on my forehead. I pine for your touch. No one else knows that magic spot. Right between my eyes above my nose. I am thinking of you now There is no one else in the world I love more than you. I wait for you anxiously.”

1:00pm “Maman, I fell asleep on your pillow. I sleep in your bed imagining you are here with me. I left as much hair as I could, wanting to make sure I am always with you.”

2:00pm “Alo. That cat came back today. I know you told me that was our cat and I should leave it alone. But I do not believe you. It is an alien that wants to take over our lives. I will protect us all and chase away that cat.”

2:10pm: “I was triumphant. The cat has fled. Such nasty creatures. You can thank me tonight”

3:00pm “The black dog you call Rookie jumped on the kitchen table and got your pack.The one we take to the park that is filled with treats for me. She ate all the lamb nuggets and would not share no matter how many times I asked. She is a bad dog. You need to punish her”

4:30pm “Mamam. I think the clock is broken. Time stands still. You are not home. I love you desperately and miss you so.”

5:30: When I enter the door I am met by the greeting committee. Tails are wagging. Bodies are shaking with glee. Rookie brings me a stuffy; Haley leans up against my legs. But Rocky. Rocky fills the room with joy. The smile on his face is as wide as his entire body. He leaps and spins the air. After he knows I am pleased with his performance he leans in and whispers in my ear...”Maman, when is dinner?”