Creating a Monster

Along about Day 28 of the current Coronavirus Lockdown, I ventured out into the world. It was the first time I’d shopped in a month – a household “mercy run” for fresh fruits and vegetables, treats to help enjoy the time cloistered at home, and something besides chicken on which to base a meal.  The freezer has incredible amounts of chicken in it already.

Appropriately masked, with a wipe stashed in my coat pocket, I scurried along the emptiest aisleways, on my mission to get in and out of the store as quickly – and safely – as possible.

By avoiding the main aisles (and with a need to replenish Mr. Dog’s stash of treats) I found myself zooming past a rack of dog supplies in a back corner of the store.  My eyes lit on a bright and shiny stainless steel water dish, and I stopped in my tracks.  Of course, the beast is already well cared for, but he likes spending time outdoors on the deck.  For an affordable price, I could get him an extra water dish for the deck.  Done!  It seemed a happy little extravagance in the midst of isolation, when so many other things are delayed or deprived.

While in the midst of unpacking groceries and wiping them down, I came across the new water dish.  I took the stickers off and washed that as well, filling it with cool water and heading toward the deck.  The dog followed me out as he always does, and I introduced him to the new bowl.  He drank happily, and I was feeling quite self-satisfied with my inspiration to provide for him.

NewDishEvery successive trip outside, the dog has gone straight to his dish for a long drink.  It was cute as well as rewarding.  For a while.

Then, the dog began a new routine that included a lot of barking.  Insistence that he HAD TO go out.  Why?  Not any of the normal dog reasons.  He wants to drink from his outside water.  Evidently, his clean and full inside water is not sufficient.  He requires outside water.

Why?  Why?  Why?  The outside water is cooler this time of year.  Maybe he likes that.  He’s always enjoyed being out, so maybe adding water makes the back deck his personal little Nirvana.  And maybe it’s just the novelty of having something new.  He’s probably bored in lockdown, too.

In any case, now he wants to go out all the time.  It’s been four days.  Every time, he heads straight to the new water dish, and drinks like he hasn’t had water in days.  He might lie down on the deck for a while.  He might snuffle around the grill enjoying the interesting smells lingering there.  And then circle around to the water dish again.  Of course, his enjoyment of the water creates a need for more trips outdoors.  And the cycle continues.

I’ve created a monster.


(c) 2020, J. Cools

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