from the blog series Dog, Interrupted by Walter the Dog By now you’ve heard the story from Matt’s lips: Walter ran away. What you didn’t hear, dear friends, is the reason I elected to venture beyond the gate. Don’t get me wrong, I love Matt more than I love whiffing the raunchiest of dog anuses. I lick him and jump on him every day of my dog life; and I wouldn’t trade our relationship for all the Pup-peronis at PetSmart. However, there are certain moments when you just have to run and smell the everything. Let’s rewind to Monday. The loud sound happened like it does every morning. Matt touched the box that makes the commotion and it stopped. It’s almost as if the guy has magic powers. Knowing that the blaring buzz signals the beginning of our day together, I hopped up and stared at Matt until he pulled himself out of bed. He groaned happily, for he greets the start of each day with pure elation. Matt and I are very similar in this sense. The anticipation of going out in the backyard delivers a loftier high than weed smoke blown in your ears (At least from what I’ve heard. I never earhaled. Although, I did once experiment with some “special” Scooby snacks.). I go out and vacate my bowels, for which I’m awarded a treat. It’s our daily routine and I know it like my tongue knows my crotch. Now, here’s the peculiar thing. For the life of me, I can’t recall what occurs each day after I receive my reward. I want to believe we just hang out and play tug-of-war all day…but I can’t say with any measure of certainty. Alas, as I marked territory on this particular morn, something struck me as atypical. Peering around the corner of the house, the deviation from the norm became evident. The gate was ajar. You’re probably saying to yourself, Dumb dog, you needn’t flee simply because such an opportunity hath arisen. Per contra, this was no ordinary yearning for freedom. Truth be told, ‘twas the vision of that infernal gate that kindled my desire to abscond. Gazing upon the gap in that omnipresent barrier somehow perfected my memory. Like Trent Reznor or Johnny Cash, I remembered everything…and it hurt. Suddenly hyper-aware that my morning treat is followed by a daylong abandonment, running away seemed like the only option. For if I returned inside, Matt would leave minutes later to head God-knows-where. Probably the park. He climbs into the big metal thing that moves and makes wind. It steals him away through that damned gate. So, I ran. I frolicked, I smelled and I lived it up until I couldn’t force another solitary drop of urine from my bladder. Aromas beyond the gate proved strangely arousing…yet different and scary. Though, perhaps different and scary is better than the same and lonely, I thought to myself. All I knew for sure was that I couldn’t bear to watch him walk out that door again. Walter the Dog was on his own now. A runaway train never going back. Somehow I was neither here nor there; when my ears perked up. Kuh-puff. That sound. It was the sound of…joy. Kuh-puff. Frantically, I burst forth from a neighborhood yard to pursue the comforting noise. That’s when I saw him. It was Matt. He was bouncing the semi-flat basketball that I like to chase. He’d come for me…and he brought an instrument of play as a goodwill gesture. “C’mon, Walt,” he whispered tenderly, grabbing ahold of my neck belt. “Let’s go home.” And we did. Then I forget what happened next.
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