Who’s a good boy?

I can tell from the look in your eyes and the tone of your voice that you mean to imply that I am the good boy in question. You’re offering me praise and support. And I’m wagging my tail and excitedly padding my feet as if to say, “Is it me? I hope it’s me! I’m the good boy! Yes I am!” But you should know that is a charade.

Look in my eyes. Really look into my eyes and you’ll see the truth.

I am NOT a good boy, not by any definition.

Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I am a good boy. Maybe I’m totally mistaken about the nature of good and evil. So sure, call me a good doggie and I won’t argue with you. It could be that I just have a guilty conscience and need to get something off my chest. I doubt it, but I suppose it could be true. Whatever the case, I should come clean. Even though you are a human who is only, by my estimate, somewhere between eighty and one hundred and seven years old, it’s way past time for you to know the truth. You need to know.

I don’t really have what you would call a moral compass. And I’m not just talking about the poop. You think you know about the poop. You joke with your friends about how much I love to eat poop, that I prefer it to steak. But it’s not a joke to me. And let me take a moment to correct you: I don’t eat poop, I savor it. Mine is fine, but the cat’s poop is better. Another dog’s poop is also acceptable. I don’t discriminate. You think you have cured me of my late night foraging trips into the litter box, but I have only become more stealthy. I do it now more than ever, silently, joyfully. And then you are all too eager to let me lick your face, to let me kiss your mouth.

“Ew, your doggy breath! You need a mint!” you exclaim with joy before giving me the green chewy bone, which you believe will solve the problem of my bad breath. But it won’t. Nothing could ever. Not considering my preferred diet.

But that’s just the beginning. I have done things. Oh, the things I have done. The times I have watched you with your girlfriend. The items around the house I have intentionally marked as mine and the precious items of yours I have chewed to bits. Knowing that I did both of those things not out of boredom, but by design. The small animals in the yard I have pursued and caught, whose lives I have unceremoniously snuffed out. The joy I felt each time as I did it. The shame that followed. Then the rising desire to do it all over again. The cycle I can never break, that I never want to break. The doors I have scratched to feel the splinters under the pads of my paws just to fucking feel alive. The plans I have made while I watched you sleep.

Check your browser history. I’ll wait. We’ll see if you still want to call me a “good boy.” Or will you maybe want to call the authorities? Or is it possible that you still don’t understand what I’m trying to communicate to you? Yeah. That seems to be the case. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to come clean, you’ll never get the message. There you are, ready to give me some of your breakfast, a piece of buttered toast, the rest of your scrambled eggs, as if I’ve earned it. As if I deserve it. As if I’m not currently plotting your demise.

So, okay, sure. I’m a good boy. I’m a very good boy. Yes, I am. And I do want a walk later, a nice hike up in the canyon. In fact, that’s perfect. The canyon. Those canyon trails are exactly what I had in mind. Yeah, good boy. Very good boy. With a very good plan.