I have been thinking (the deep freeze has kept us inside with little else to do BUT think). I owe you an apology or two or twenty.
But let’s get one thing straight: this is my apology letter to you. I know that when I am sorry you think you should be sorry, too. Emotional boundaries are hard for both of us. You can write your own letter or just do those ‘I’m sorry’ doggie things that you do so well, which will surely make me feel even more sorry.
In no particular, totally random order …
I’m sorry about the dog boots. It was really cold. My intentions were good. Never again, I promise.
I’m sorry about the whole skunk thing. But skunks will be skunks. I’m sorry I wasn’t wearing my glasses (because you thought they were a chew toy) and confused that skunk with a stray cat.
I’m sorry I had to roll you over like a big log when you were sleeping so soundly. I was cold and needed a small square of blanket.
I’m sorry you can’t eat the cat food. Yes, you were very clever moving the chair, jumping the baby gate, and breaking into the kitchen. But cat food is for cats and you are not a cat. You may think cats are super cool but eating their food will not make you one of them. It will only make you fat and then the vet will yell at us.
I’m sorry I occasionally have to leave the house without you. Life sucks sometimes. I know it feels like the end of the world, but it is not. I will always come back.
I’m sorry about that time you were mistaken for a Muppet. My bad for not trimming your bangs and yes, I know your extra fluff adds five pounds in photos.
I’m sorry you can’t eat ALL the treats ALL the time. But moderation (I’m told) is an important life skill.
I’m sorry we had to cut our walk short because of that jogging guy. It’s never OK to lunge at joggers, bikers, or anyone else doing physical activity. No one really likes exercise (except maybe those two overachieving labs across the street), but barking is not very supportive and kind of obnoxious.
I’m sorry the cat occasionally confuses your tail with a feather toy, an honest mistake as the resemblance is kind of uncanny. The truth hurts sometimes.
I’m sorry about all those times I tried to convince you that water is fun. Like that time we drove all the way from Chicago to Cape Cod so you could see the ocean. You weren’t impressed with the north Atlantic – but for the record, it is kind of a big deal and you might want to reconsider.
I’m sorry I’m not as chatty and social as other dog parents. But newsflash: you aren’t very social either. Can we just stay at home and pretend we are cats?
I’m sorry you can’t drive and must sit in the back seat. There’s way more to driving than putting your paws on the steering wheel and barking. You are very good at other things, like climbing mountains (aka chairs), but driving is different. Your attention span is kind of lacking and there’s all that fur in your eyes. Yes, I have watched the videos of dogs driving golf carts and cats riding around on robotic vacuum cleaners, but it is never going happen for you.
I’m sorry I stopped you from eating dead crunchy things. But they were cicada shells. And yes they do make a fun crunchy sound, but they are also super gross.
I’m sorry about those two overachieving labs across the street. Heck, they are probably off solving world hunger or climbing Mount Everest RIGHT NOW. Comparing ourselves to others is never a good thing. But truthfully, they make me feel like a loser, too.
I’m sorry I tripped over the cat and spilled your breakfast. My natural clumsiness and the cat’s natural ‘me-first-ness’ forced you to eat off the floor.
I’m sorry we are both kind of awkward sometimes (all the time). And yes, sometimes it is just easier to cross the street, duck into an alley, or scale the back fence to avoid the block party going on right in front of our house. Being shy is hard and occasionally leaves unexplained bruises.
I’m sorry that your first six years in your other home weren’t so great. I wish we could have found each other sooner. I’m sorry I can’t make all that other stuff go away.
And finally, I’m sorry for rainy days, deep snow, humidity, and the polar vortex that messes up your walk schedule. Climate change is hard on dogs, too. But it could be worse – and probably soon will be. So, maybe suck it up just this once.
Your humble and most apologetic caretaker
P.S.: This is all just for fun and part of my book that I mentioned last week. I will be sharing snippets (like this one) throughout the year. Feel free to add your own funny apologies to your dog (or cat) in the comments.