Jail Time!

I thought I was in jail every time Mom put me in a time-out. A  time-out is when Mom says, “Bad dog, lay down & stay there forever!” in a loud, angry-sounding voice.

My Mama loves on me most of every day, so the “Bad dog” thing I know is temporary & doesn’t bother me much. The “Lay down” I’ve been doing successfully since I was a pup. Thank you very much.

Stay” is somewhat ambiguous. If Mom is preoccupied, the “stay” is extremely short. The minute her eyes are looking elsewhere, or she’s chatting on the phone; I’m gone; headed for the hills. If she has a hot temper going & stomping around while using many naughty words, I wisely keep my butt planted.

The “Forever” part confuses me. I think “Forever” means till the end of time, yet my “Forever” is usually 5 to 15 minutes long. When Mom calms down, softly pets me & sweetly tells me, “I’m a good dog,” I know my “Forever” has ended.

Remember when I said I thought jail & a time-out were the same things? Well, I was big-time wrong! Jail time involves mug shots. Yup, I was up against the wall looking straight ahead & then to the side. I’m grateful Mom didn’t embarrass me more by making me wear black & white striped pajamas.

Captivity followed the mug shots. My jail cell is the very back of Mom’s auto. Not the nice large cushiony back seat I usually call my travel space but the crawl space behind the back seat. Yes, there is a big back window where I can gaze longingly out of but hardly enough room to turn my big butt around in.

What was the horrible infraction that got me sent up the river? Mom put a garbage bag outside the night before the dawn. She let me out in the morning to do my business while she drank her coffee & got ready for her day. Midmorning on this beautiful sunny day, she comes outside & starts screeching like the world is ending. I made the mistake of running toward Mom instead of running for the preverbal hills. Silly me, I thought she was under attack & needed my deep-throated growls, sharp fang-like teeth & menacing size to save her from imminent death.

Quickly I found out that she needed a garbage collector, not a mighty & heroic dog. Last night some rotten animal got into the garbage & made a substantial yucky mess. My poor misguided Mom thought it was me! A total case of mistaken identity if there ever was one.

Long ago, I did trash a hotel room getting into the tossed Kentucky Fried Chicken. The garbage goodies were too irresistible. I only did it once & had to sit in a corner “Forever.” I learned my lesson & always leave garbage alone.

This morning of sunny beauty, My Mama was not listening to a whimper, I muttered. I was convicted & sentenced in about 30 seconds. Mug shots & jail in another 30 seconds. Mom was on a rampage.

With tears in my big brown eyes, I watched Mom start to clean up the big garbage mess. Suddenly, she stopped, pawed around a bit, looked up at the sky & took a deep breath. A miracle happened.

The miracle was that a cute, masked animal that, in reality, is horribly mean was the culprit. I don’t know how Mom figured out it was a raccoon who did the deed & not little ol me, but I’m grateful.

To be honest, I’m incredibly grateful for the whole episode. My Mom felt so bad for blaming me & doing the jail thing that I got all kinds of, I’m sorry, loving attention & tons of, I’m so sorry, please forgive me, treats. So many treats, in fact, that I was getting a tummy ache.

The whole jail thing wasn’t a pleasant experience for either of us, so I’m pretty sure it will never happen again.

The moral of the story: It’s never the dog’s fault. It’s always the mean, masked raccoon.

Be Kind,

Luv, Otis

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