Monday, March 24, 2008

McSweeney's: Observational Notes for the Veterinarian Regarding My Dog Hank

from McSweeney's



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Dear Doc:

As you suggested, I've monitored my beagle for canine depression. Here's the list of behaviors:

  • Hank plays less fetch. Hank would say it's because no one throws him the ball lately. But we're all making sacrifices and Hank needs to show more initiative.
  • With the children no longer living at home, Hank acts lethargic.
  • I believe my wife's nervous breakdown and bed rest have resulted in Hank developing psoriasis. Is that possible?
  • Indoor urination. Sadie, a dog with my formerly secret wife and family in Elmira, urinated indoors when she was a puppy, but that passed.
  • Not sure this is important, but my Binghamton wife's breakdown may have had something to do with her learning about my 17-year affair, along with the four children and separate life I've been living in Elmira. Anything to do with Hank's psoriasis?
  • Hank seems nervous. I'm no veterinarian, but I wonder if this has something to do with the pit bulls my father-in-law has guarding our yard, which continuously try to fuck Hank.
  • Incidentally, I'm no longer allowed in my house in Binghamton. My father-in-law sits on the porch with a shotgun. This makes Hank edgy.
  • Did I mention I haven't been within 30 yards of Hank in weeks? My monitoring is done through binoculars from the neighbor kids' treehouse. I buy them beer, they promise not to tell. Hank still not playing fetch.
  • From my vantage point, it's difficult to tell if the pit bulls are having relations with Hank or just wrapping their front legs around his waist to anchor him to the yard and keep him from escaping. I sense Hank knows I'm watching. He is planning his escape.
  • Hank eats less frequently, as do I. Hank's hunger strike is likely due to his missing my companionship. Mine is due to the inaccurate warrants out for my arrest on polygamy charges and the fact I cannot obtain food because of the misleading ransom posters around town.
  • I was hoping to move Hank in with my second family in Elmira, but the authorities have contacted them. My second father-in-law also has issued misleading ransom posters for me and my Elmira dog, Sadie.
  • That reminds me, Doc—there is no Sadie. Like myself, Hank has two identities. In Binghamton he's Hank. In Elmira he's Sadie, and has cancer of the hind leg. Hank (Sadie) has to wear a bandaged paw around my Emira family on account of we always pretend we're going away for chemotherapy. Hank really hams up the illness—that dog can act!
  • The pit bulls have been trying to prevent Hank's escape six or seven times a day. Hank is very determined to join me as a fugitive! Strangely, each time he gets loose from one pit bull, instead of running away, he runs toward another. Can beagles develop Stockholm syndrome toward their captors, Doc?
  • Hanky lonely.
  • Hank plays dead more frequently. As if, by lying uninvolved, he can dissociate himself from the decisions he's made in his life and the repercussions that await. Hank doesn't sleep, just paces. Hank. Must. Eat.
  • Doc, that was me that broke into your house last night for clothes and food. I suppose if you trust your life to 16-year-olds you're supplying booze to in order that they keep you fed and hid, you shouldn't be surprised when you're eventually chased out of a tree house in the middle of the night by drunken teenagers, who strip you naked and hunt you through the woods for sport. Apologies to your family for any inconveniences that resulted from my breaking and entering.
  • And also for my re-breaking and re-entering the following morning.
  • And later that afternoon.
  • By the way, Doc, I'm living in your kids' tree house. Any more of this bean dip left?
  • Doc, the cops somehow found my hideout in your backyard. I'll contact you when the time is right. Give Hanky Boy a big kiss, check on his psoriasis, and tell him arf-arf from Daddy! Thanks, Doc.

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