I knew something was different when we had popcorn three nights in a row. I’m not complaining because I love popcorn. I’m a popcorn whisperer. I know it’s coming before it makes the boat smell better than bacon.
The TV is key. If I had thumbs, one rule of them would be if there’s no TV, there’s no popcorn. If my people turn on the TV, then touch the black box that makes sound come from everywhere, I get excited. Then, if dad goes to the kitchen and bangs the pans, I know it’s popcorn night!
When popcorn starts falling, we watch a long show called a movie. People use that nickname for pictures that move. Why don’t they call a moving car a movie? Movies with animals are best, especially dogs. Some dogs are movie stars and make money, so I bark at them. Pigs are my favorite though. I never smelled a pig, but since they’re made out of bacon, they must smell delicious. Probably even better than popcorn.
We usually watch movies when it’s cold outside, or raining, or when the wind howls. When it’s nice, we sit outside and don’t watch TV. I like it because people and dogs walk by. We listen to songs. Maybe people should call those soundies. Sometimes dad calls them tunes, but I think “tones” is more logical. People language is weird. I can understand a lot of it but can’t speak it very well. Luckily, I can write. I get excited and bark a whole lot during movies, except when there are wolves or bears. They scare me, so I stay quiet hoping they don’t see me.
I digress, which is easy because I get distracted. We ate popcorn three days in a row when we stayed for a long time at the place under the noisy bridge. A weird cat lived next door. There were some big dogs that lived nearby, but since we walked at different times, I didn’t get to know their smells. I didn’t really make many friends there, which is unusual for me.
Even though I’m getting old and my back hurts, I still like to play. When I tease dad with one of my toys, it usually makes him smile and laugh. That wasn’t working then, under the noisy bridge. I’m pretty sure it was because the squeaker in my toy stopped working.
One day, we got up really early. It was so dark, I wasn’t even hungry yet. Mom tricked me by putting special treats inside little cheese balls, which I can’t resist. Then she stuffed me in the bag that means we’re going somewhere. Its a blur from there, but I think we got on one of those loud machines stuffed with too many people. I hate those machines. There’s no leg room, even for me. I can’t see out the window, they make ears hurt, and all the people fart a lot – the silent kind. Its awful when you have a nose like mine. When we finally got outside again, I needed to pee really bad, but it was cold and the ground was white. Something was definitely weird.
Somehow, Uncle Gary showed up with his Jeep, and after awhile, we were at grandma and grandpa’s house. I like it there except when the ground is white, because my feet get cold and I can’t smell anything to pee on. It frustrates me. I worry about getting a bladder infection and having to poop behind the couch. I played with the toy person called Nora, and made sure that she will love pugs forever. After a few days, dad showed up with the giant car. I haven’t seen it for so long that I forgot about it. It made me happy, but it was all very confusing. We drove the car one day and stopped at Aunt Joanne’s house, where Lou lives. It might be my imagination, but I remembered him being much smaller. I went to grandma’s room and made her smile a lot, because I could tell she needed it. Then we drove for days and days. I ate cold french fries and pee’d in places that all smelled like gasoline.
When it started to get warm and sunny again, we got out of the car and were back at our boat. I have stopped trying to figure out how that happens. The weird cat still lived next door and there was a new dog that walked by a few times each day. The noisy bridge was still noisy. Dad seemed sad, which made mom sad, which made me sad. Mom says that when I get sad, my tail stops looking like a cinnamon roll, whatever that is. We lived almost another moon cycle like this. That’s like 7 months for me! I don’t like to use bad words, but it sucked.
Then one day, dad started to do stuff on the boat. He started climbing under the floor, tapping on the little TVs in the wheelhouse upstairs. Mom started to clean and put things away. Dad started cooking more and we ate some meat. He always saves me some and cuts it up small. Mom makes him because she’s afraid I’ll choke. They don’t realize I could swallow a whole ribeye. Then one day, the loud machine under the floor started and dad carried me upstairs to the sofa. We were going somewhere new.
Even though I get nervous when the boat moves, it was nice to leave the noisy bridge. We stopped at a place called Venice. It was quiet and the water was very clear. I saw a giant fish. It almost made me feel like swimming. Not really. I liked it there, except people were building things with stinky machines and there weren’t very good places to walk and pee. I could tell there were’t many dogs so was happy when we left the next morning. Dad drove the boat for a really long time. I started to worry about food and that we were going to drive the boat at night. Like that one night that lasted forever. But then we came to a place with lots of boats. It’s called Fort Myers and the sun shines a lot here. I like to nap in sunny spots on the floor. Please don’t tell any cats.
I got a new play toy with two really good squeakers in it, so Mom and Dad seem much happier now. I can see two bridges, but they’re far away and not noisy at all. Lots of people walk by our boat. They stop to talk so I bark my way into the conversation. They all seem to have dogs – some even have two. Whats really cool is that I’m bigger than most of them. Pretty sure anyway. I also haven’t seen any weird cats. Yeah, I like this place much better.