Fido & Me — The Shutdown


“I can’t go to the woods?” Fido said. “The mountains are closed? What the…?”


“Not today we can’t go, and not for the foreseeable future, Big Boy.”


“But I’m a dog! I’m supposed to be able to go anywhere, except where there are no dogs allowed.”


“Yeah, tell me about. I’m starting to understand why you get all in a froth over the ‘No Dogs Allowed’ signs. At least for today, there are ‘No Humans Allowed’ signs, too.”


“I don’t get it.”


“Neither do we. There are some humans who are telling other humans they can’t go into the forest because humans in Washington, D.C., say there’s a thing called a budget impasse and nobody can go anywhere, really.”


“Give me a minute so I can sort this out.”


“I’ll give you all day, Fido, if you can shed some light on this.”


“Lucky for us that it’s shedding season!”


“Fido, I think we’re talking about two different things again.”


“But I still want to know why I can’t go to the forest.”


“Well of course you can, Fido. It’s just that if you poop and if I clean up after you with the blue bag, I’ll just have to carry it out because the dumpsters in the forest are closed and locked. The parking lots are closed and locked as well, and so on. And let’s not even get started on the National Parks, like Yosemite.”



“Because of why? This is the best-est time of the year! Everyone knows that.”


“There are some things that no one with an ounce of sense can explain.”


“But you have an ounce of sense, right?”


“I thought I did, but then the shutdown happened, and my ounce of sense is not helping.”


“OK, so as I see it, we have this huge forest, right? And we can’t go there because there is a human impasse.”


“Right. It has to do with the Affordable Healthcare Act.”


“I can’t go the vet?”


“Wow, Fido, of course you can go to the vet. You’re not affected.”


“I’m as confused as a cat on a rainy day!”


“Oy vey, me too!”


“There’s only one way out of this.”


“You’re always good for an idea, Fido. What is it, this time?”


“Let’s go for a walk!”


“A fine idea. Where should we go?”


“Let’s go the Lakes Basin!”


“Umm, that might not be a good idea, at least for me.”


“What’s the problem?”


“Well, Fido, when a human like me is, a-hem, in need, so to speak, having a bunch of locked restrooms is not very convenient. It’s not like you, who can go just about anywhere and it’s OK.”


“Being a human must be very inconvenient in so many ways.”


“That’s why humans have government, Fido. Government will sort it all out.”


“Government isn’t doing a really good job, so far.”


“You’re being sarcastic, Fido.”


“All right, then, let me put it another way: If an aspen leaf in the forest turns from green to gold, and no one’s there, will it still be beautiful?”


“A very good, and unexpected, Zen-like thought, Mr. Beeg. But I still like the idea of going for walk. I might suggest we make it a little closer to home than the Inyo National Forest, though.”


“Right! Because the forest is closed!”


“Now you get it, Fido! You are a smart dog.”