Tuesday, March 31, 2020

My Dog Safe With Buddha

When they came out with the latest virus, naturally I was concerned. What am I going to do, drop dead with all the other losers? I always heard it growing up, “Get your exercise. If you don’t, you’ll deserve what you get.” By which they didn’t mean all the girls or boys, but a short life, a sudden death, maybe dangling from a rope.

My concerns are like everyone’s. I came into the world a few years back, relatively speaking. My memory’s hazy on the subject, but there were apparently 15 billion years when I wasn’t here, but which had already completely ended. Then, after that vast span, I popped into the world and since then have hung on for dear life. Saying, “I will not go willingly back into the void. I’m here, deal with it!” This I’ve said through times of war and peace, and I turned out to be such a good draft dodger that I was able to dodge all the charges. With some regret, if you remember my pitiful longing for the service in my post, “The Drill Sergeant I Never Had.”

My big problem with the virus these days is, What’s going to happen to my dog if it happens to me?” My current dog I got on a fluke. Her mother was in the yard minding her business when a smaller dog got through a crawlspace in the fence and consummated their brief relationship. Yielding five puppies, one of which was mine. So it was someone else’s problem and we’ve been joined at the hip now all these years. Had I been a block away, had I not answered the phone that day, we would’ve never met.

But we did, and we’ve had a special bond since then. I’ve seen her through many things, learning to love dog food, etc., and I get her the best. We have to keep going. I’m all she’s got, but with my advanced years naturally I worry what could happen. Now, then, there’s a virus going around that threatens people of my demographic, older gentlemen who breathe and touch their faces. The store’s even out of paper towels, that’s how hard up we are. Because I use paper towels to clean up my dog’s poop. And suddenly they’re more precious than gold.

Anyway, have I mentioned, I can’t die! Because what would become of her? She’d wake up and not get her expensive food, not go out to poop, etc., She’s already kind of upset about the paper towel shortage. This other thing, my demise, I don’t want to have to lay that on her too. She might stroke out and I’d be left alone, with my last roll of paper towels that I was saving for special times, her birthday, the day she was spayed, etc.

Beyond the frills of paper towels and things, there’s the sorrow she would feel if I were suddenly stricken by viruses and died. “Why did he have to abandon me? Was he thinking of the time I accidentally peed on the kitchen floor?” That’s terrible, I don’t want this dog to have one ounce of troubles or sorrows. You might remember, that’s how Buddha started out. His dad kept him from it. Then he discovered, “Shit happens,” sat under the Bodhi Tree and was enlightened. If I die, my dog will have things to deal with, heavy stuff, and might even be found peeing at the base of a similar tree and thereby come to a place of inner knowledge.

So far, though, I’m still alive.

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