Not So Fast on the Rebound

Dear Goddamned Beagle,

This was your third Somerville Dog Festival with me; three September Sundays of riding around a fairground filled with thousands of human, and hundreds of canine visitors. On a golf cart. Obviously.

This year you kind of lost it when I prevented you from running the obstacle course. Though you strongly disagreed with me, this really was better for your aging neck. Caution is not your strong suit, though. You have to admit that. The backflip off the golf cart was uncalled for, if impressive. The howling was just unseemly.

Through our efforts, with many friends also giving time and effort, we’ve done good things at the Festival. We’ve helped to feed thousands of pets in situations less fortunate than yours. We’ve taught hundreds of people things they can do with their dogs in the city and have fun together. We’ve shown them how to teach their dogs to come when called – something you do, by the way, incredibly well when we demonstrate it every year at the free class sessions, me holding a microphone, showing each step, you in the midsts of utter chaos, utterly unfazed, completely focused. You are, in fact, the only being of any species who seems to understand a public address system, who’s speaking and where to look, and therefore doesn’t peer up at the sky, bewildered, searching for the source of the instruction as I give it.

Why this rapt attention and precision recall only happens when surrounded by 3,500 people, two PAs, a play with an announcer and dog actors, try-it lanes of agility, nosework and weight pull, two trick training rings, hay bales, a lure/obstacle course and food trucks I’m not sure, but we really need to work on this. Alone in our back yard, it can take minutes for you to look up from the dirt you’re eating before coming when I call.

No matter our difference of opinion on some things, I appreciate that we share the same condition each year after the event. You express it better than I do, but not by much. We’ve had a long, hard day, and we don’t bounce back the way we used to. Let’s go to bed now, Beagle. There’s coffee and naps in the morning.

Love,
Your Person

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