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Oneonta Chronicles (Submissions from our on-line community)


We got the new dog from the Susquehanna Animal Shelter. “Some kind of terrier” they say. The wife and I got the new dog booties. “Muttluks”. She doesn’t seem to mind snow, but the salt is hard on her feet. I’ve never tried to make a dog wear clothes before, but that’s OK because she has probably never worn clothes, so we’re even. They are complicated things of black leather, suede and elastic, little bits of velcro and reflective safety straps.

I have the TV on while I try to figure them out. They shut down the federal government last night. I am rather taken by this. I like the idea of a little less government. Perhaps we could make this a yearly event? A man in a suit and a tie is explaining why This Is Bad. I don’t care, I’m just trying to figure out how to slip a half inch tube over a two inch leg without ripping off all the fur. The Muttluk people have videos showing that this is not just possible, but that dogs like it. I believe them just slightly more than the man with the tie.

Experimenting, I find that if I put my hand in the bootie and make a fist, it will briefly loosen up enough to let me slip it on the dog. She has a little history of learning bizarre new things from me and puts up with having her legs manhandled surprisingly well. The man on the TV is explaining that Coast Guard ships will rust at their docks, planes will stop flying, cities will burn, and when NASA closes down, GPS satellites will fall in a cold steel rain. I decide this is probably a good time to take a walk, now, before the sidewalks stop working.

One thing it doesn’t mention in the videos is that the new booties make a whapping noise when she walks. I guess I would write it as *FLUP* *FLUP* *FLUP*. The dog in the video doesn’t do that. Maybe mine is just an enthusiastic walker. It is in the single digits today so I add the red saddle blanket before we head out. It is icy too, so I put on my own black overshoes. Now she can see that I’m doing it too. So long as you are dressed properly, there really is no bad weather in Oneonta.

The sidewalks are still working. The dog is going *FLUP*? (pause) *FLUP?* *FLUP*FLUP*? *FLUP*FLUP*FLUP*! The booties are working. I look both ways, but no satellites are coming down on my block. We are somewhere up on the next street when it hits me. She is wearing a red coat. I am wearing a red coat. She is wearing black boots fore and aft. I am wearing black gloves and boots forward and aft. She has a short, neatly trimmed beard. I have a short, neatly trimmed beard. *I* have somehow become one of those ridiculous people who dress like their dog! The horror! The horror! I pray briefly for a rogue GPS satellite to come and free me from my shame, but apparently that is shut down too.

The dog gives me a big terrier grin. There is an improbable amount of snow on her. *FLUP*! she says, *FLUP*! I recall that in a small town one is responsible for ones own entertainment. Clearly, there is only one thing to do. I pick up a boot, whap it down. *flupp* No, that’s not it. *Flup* Almost. *FLUP*FLUP*! Yes! Got it! Off we go, flupping madly. Let the satellites fall. *FLUP*! I say, *FLUP*!

By: Ken M.

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