We live in our big car all the time now.
At least, I think we do. Some days ago we went back to our giant house and I thought maybe things would be the same again.
Boy was I wrong.
My mom person and dad person stood in front of the giant house talking to the nice Kelly lady. She’s my best friend because she visited us a lot before we left in the big car, and she petted me every time.
They talked for a really long time before going into the house. Maybe it was only five or ten minutes, but that’s a lot when you just want to go lay down somewhere soft.
I could not leave and go find a soft place because it’s a rule that I have to stay with my people out in the free. We have a connector strap to make sure we stay together, but when I am inside the fence place or the giant house or the big car we do not put it on.
I was not sure what the nice Kelly lady and my people were talking about. Once or twice they moved their hands at the house.
“…really well…people lined up outside…”
“…bring you a check…”
One time my mom person moved her thumb at the huge house that looked at ours.
I knew what that meant!
The nice Kelly lady said there was a lot left, but nothing big.
When we finally went inside the giant house it was terrible. Stuff was on the floor in all of the rooms. The giant house has a lot of rooms, and every one of them had piles and piles of stuff.
The house inside made me think about how the fence place looks after scary weather makes tree parts fall down on the grass. Except now all the humans seemed happy.
I was so mixed up.
More people came inside the giant house. They were family people – the kind of people who visit more than other kinds – so I got excited.
After giving me a few pets they ignored me and started moving the stuff piles. The family people acted like the stranger people who sometimes come to the house and ignore me while they play with the big machines we have.
Or used to have. Everything but the food-making machine was gone!
I didn’t know what to do about all this, so I found a spot without stuff on it and took a nap.
Actually, I took three or four naps – the family people were there that long. Every time I woke up more and more house stuff was disappeared. And then it was all gone.
I felt happy when we came back to the giant house, but now it was all different. My beds were even gone.
Before we left to live in the big car, my mom person and dad person took stuff out of a lot of house places and looked at it. They put some in the trash, and took some to the big car when it was beside the giant house.
Things had started to get different for days before we left the giant house. I had no idea it would all get even more different.
One night my mom person disappeared. I like staying by her all the time, so I went to find her. She was in the farthest-away-ever place in the giant house, taking stinky things out of boxes.
I showed her my big sad-eye face to get her to stop. When that did not work I tried to find a soft place near her to lay down. The bottom of the room next to the farthest-away-ever place in the house is softer than all of the other rooms, but not as soft as my favorite bed.
So I left.
On my way upstairs to find my bed I saw that the door to the small-car room was a little open. I thought my dad person might be out there, and I could show him my big sad-eye face and get some pets.
I do not have fingers, but my nose works pretty good for some of the same things. Like opening doors. After I nosed the door open I saw that the dad person was not in the small-car room. But the giant door was open.
So I walked outside. I didn’t think about how I was breaking the rule about going into the free without my people and the connector strap. I just wanted to find my dad person.
He was not there.
It was dark. I was not used to being out in the free without one of my people to guide me. I was a little scared.
About two or three times before, I accidentally went outside of the fence place when someone left the fence door open. I just waited by the small-car room door for someone to let me in. That was in the sunshine time and very bright so I could see everything.
Not like now.
I walked around the big car. I think my dad person was inside. I waited at the big car door, but he didn’t come out. So I went looking for him.
I walked into the woods where my dad person sometimes takes me, but I didn’t see him or smell him. It was very dark in there. I wanted to find my people, but I was afraid to go farther away from the giant house. So I turned around.
That’s when I felt it. I had to poop. And I knew the perfect spot.
“John Lee! John Lee! Come here, Buddy!”
“How long ago did you last see him?”
“I don’t know – maybe 10 minutes ago? John Lee! Buddy!”
Later I heard my mom person say something about black dog at night who can run 55 miles per hour. I guess I am kind of invisible in the dark, but I think she forgot I was a really bad racer.
Just when I was finishing my poops, my dad person appeared! He held my collar so we would be connected, and I felt safe and happy again.
“Honey, I found him!”
“Thank god! Where was he?”
“In the asshole neighbor’s yard, taking a dump.”