You may know that I am away from home right now and this has had a peculiar effect on my Aussie dog Romeo. My wife has been in charge of helping him with his day to day operations. When my wife leaves the house Romeo has begun to look for me everywhere. He first checks the garbage cans in each room. When he feels confident that I am not in the bottom of any of the trash, he then checks under the covers of my bed.
Needless to say I feel an emptiness knowing that a quick phone conversation with him would clear this up in a jiffy, but he’s a purist. He doesn’t believe in Bluetooth (Says he doesn’t trust it) and he can’t hold the phone (no thumbs).
At the same time as all these shenanigans I have noticed that the Iditarod, an 1100 mile dogsled race through the harsh, 0 degree tundra between Anchorage and Nome Alaska, is under way.
All that I can surmise is that my loving companion (I know that my wife and dog are in the same story so it’s a little confusing when I say “loving companion” but I am referring to my dog) has somehow gotten wind of the Iditarod. Of course I don’t mean that literally or he would stand perfectly still for hours with his eyes closed breathing in the ass music of a thousand distant malamutes. The only thing that Romeo can assume, since he has no concept of coincidence, is that I am lost in the life-threatening northern wasteland. He must imagine me surrounded by huskies that don’t really love me the way he does. Dogs that only care about dog things and can’t possibly protect me from whatever horrible, arctic beasts dwell in the frozen north the way that he could.
As I am landing in San Francisco and my wife is driving up the 101 to come get me I just know that Romeo has made a break for it. After doing one more meticulous check of every trash can and verifying that I am not still in my bed, I can only assume that his powerful sense of duty and new knowledge of my potential icy grave has driven him to great lengths. I can just see him wadding up just enough hair near the front door jam that it keeps it from latching when she leaves. Then he lays low for a few minutes. Suddenly the Mission Impossible theme starts and he’s up and moving through the house, gathering his travel aids.
One last bite of cat poop, and… and… I guess that’s all he would need. What an incredibly efficient animal. I hope when I get back he has lost his nerve citing the hill by our house as possibly impassible and traffic lights being a death trap due to his being color blind. I hope he has decided that although well intended, his harrowing rescue trip is not his best use. I hope he has decided that my memory would be better served if he stayed close to home. Staying and taking care of the family. Making sure the wife doesn’t eat a whole steak. You know, cholesterol. Making sure the children have someone to dress as a hairy princess. And making sure that the cat box is clean most of the time.
When I walk through the door, back from the great historic Iditarod Trail, his reverence for me will be complete. He will shower me with hops and kisses as if to say. You made it and I will never question your ability to make through the most extreme situations a human being can endure, until tomorrow when I forget all of this.