Alligator Anxiety

Although I have lived with Doc for over nine years, it is often hard to predict what she is going to do next. So I was certainly surprised and rather concerned when she told me she was going to leave me for a few days to search for alligators in the Everglades of Florida. I am just a dog and even I didn’t think that sounded like a very good idea, but she assured me it would be fine and that she would call and send pictures. Believe me, I was not feeling reassured and all that I could think of was the lyrics to a song I heard long ago called Poke Salad Annie, with the line, ” Gators got your granny, chomp, chomp.”

The morning she dropped me off to stay at the veterinarian’s office, she kissed me good by on the top of the head and got in the car and drove away like she didn’t have a care in the world. Was this the last time I would ever see Doc? How could she act so cavalier when I was obviously in distress? The nice vet tech that was caring for me sensed my anxiety and told me it would be ok, that Doc would be back safe and sound before I knew it, but I still fretted.

It seemed like ages before I heard from Doc and after many sleepless nights due to a combination of worry and a howling beagle named Fred in the kennel across from me, I finally got word that Doc had sent a message and a video. The video actually showed Doc on an air boat in the Everglades and it was not reassuring . There, right next to the boat, was a huge beast of an alligator that the boat Captain called Cee Cee. The Captain started making baby gator noises to lure the alligator closer to the boat. Then he announced how alligators are carnivorous! Carnivorous, what the heck? What is Doc thinking being so close to an alligator that it could make an afternoon snack out of her? Sometimes I just don’t get humans.

A few more days passed after receiving the video and I had decided to move on with my life without Doc if I needed to. Then, late one night, I was busily following one of the techs around in the back of the office while she did her chores when they called back to say that Doc was here to pick me up. I had made up my mind to act angry if I ever saw her again because of the drama and worry she put me through. When they took me outside to her car, at first I acted like I was more interested in sniffing a leaf on the ground than seeing her, but as soon as I looked up and saw her face my tail waged uncontrollably and I hopped into the car beside her. I told her how worried I had been while she was gone. “Grover, she responded, you have to trust that I would not do anything to put myself in danger. Sometimes I just need to get away and try a new adventure. That’s what makes life interesting.” ” I understand, I responded. But next time you feel the need for a new adventure couldn’t you pick something a little tamer like visiting the largest ball of string in Missouri?” Doc just sighed and rubbed me under the chin as we headed for home.

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