With a presidential election coming up next Tuesday, our three dogs have been discussing the possibility of voting.
I know eavesdropping is rude, but I couldn’t help overhearing Buddy-the Chihua-mutt and Betsy- the-Shih-tzu-Wannabe plotting through the backyard fence with Lizzy the Lab. Being fluent in Dog, I could make out their conversation while they thought I was dozing on the deck.
Buddy is the Head Dog, who, despite his tiny size, thinks he can boss the two females, Betsy and Lizzy. And oddly, they obey him most of the time, Betsy because she hates controversy, and Lizzy because she thinks he’s cute. She doesn’t realize that she’s 10 times his size and doesn’t have to obey anybody if she doesn’t want to.
Anyway, Buddy started the discussion.
“As citizens of America, it’s our duty to vote next Tuesday,” he declared.
“Can we vote?” Betsy asked? “We’re dogs, in case you haven’t noticed.”
“Of course we can vote!” Buddy assured her. “This year everybody is voting by mail. All we have to do is rob some mailboxes of those mail-in ballots, slap our paw prints by a name, and steal three stamps out of the desk drawer.”
Betsy looked at him sceptically. “I repeat,” she said with a tremble in her voice, “We’re dogs. I don’t want to get caught doing anything wrong. I might miss supper!”
“The good thing is,” Buddy continued, ignoring Betsy’s fears, “Mom was thoughtful enough to give us human names--Buddy, Betsy and Lizzy. The vote counters won’t know we’re dogs!”
“Actually,” said Betsy, getting into the spirit of the adventure, “we could vote in person in some places. Not here in Simpson County, where they keep a close eye on things, but I bet we could trot over to another state where they don’t care who votes and walk right into a precinct!”
Lizzy wanted to get in on the discussion. “But won’t the people in the other state see that we’re dogs?” she asked.
“No.” Buddy replied patiently, “We’ll put on masks like we’re afraid to get COVID. They can’t see our faces!”
“But won’t they see our long tails?” Lizzy asked.
“Look, in some places they let people vote who aren’t even citizens!” Buddy replied. “So it shouldn’t matter that we’re dogs. It won’t matter that I’m a Mexican dog, Betsy’s a Chinese dog, and Lizzy’s from Labrador, wherever that is.”
Warming to his subject, he added, “Heck, they let dead people vote! How are they gonna refuse the right to vote to three sort-of upstanding American dogs?”
“Yeah,” Betsy chimed in. Dog Lives Matter! But how are we gonna get up to the voting screens? I’ve seen them on TV, and they’re high! My legs are only about 6 inches long.”
“Well, I’ll be okay with my long legs, but we could claim that you’re handicapped,” Lizzy suggested. “They’d have to get you a box to stand on. Or maybe two boxes.”
“Okay,” Buddy said, “let’s move on to who we’re all gonna vote for. We don’t want to vote for different people and cancel out each other’s vote.”
“Who’s running?” Betsy inquired.
“Ooo! Ooo!” Lizzy howled. “I bet I can outrun all of them! Wanna see me run?”
“We’ve seen you run, Einstein,” Buddy growled, finally losing patience. “It’s not that kind of running!”
“What kind is it?” Lizzy queried. “I can do any kind--frontwards, backwards, on my hind legs, just name it!”
Betsy said, “Presidential candidates don’t run with their legs. When they run, it means they have put their names up to be chosen for office.”
“Sounds pretty wimpy to me,” Lizzy pouted. “I still bet I could beat any one of them to town and back on three legs.”
“Moving right along,” Buddy insisted, “there are minor candidates, but the two major presidential candidates are President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.”
“President Trump talks loud,” said Betsy. “He sort of scares me.”
“Yeah,” Buddy responded, “but he gets things done.”
“And isn’t Biden the one who looks like he’s been in an underground bunker all summer?” Lizzy asked.
“Yep, the pale one who can’t remember stuff,” Buddy said.
“Which one will send me free dog treats?” Lizzy wanted to know, wagging her tail in anticipation.
“Biden will promise to,” Buddy answered, “but don’t you know there’s no such thing as a free dog treat? Mom and Dad will have to pay more taxes to buy “free” Doggy Doodles, and that means they may not be able to keep all of us fed. One of us may have to go,” he said looking pointedly at Lizzy.
“Let’s get going to town!” Betsy cried. “With my short legs, it’s gonna take me days to get to the polls. We can discuss our choices on the way!”
I haven’t seen them since, but I expect they’ll catch a ride home and be back with tales to tell by about next Wednesday.