Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak.

“Psst — hey! Reader people!  I did it!  I escaped!  Karen left the crate door unlocked, and I snuck out!  I’m free!  What a badass I am!  Of course, I’m a wanted dog now.  Look, see?”

Iggy?  Where did you go?  I found your drawing!  Do you want it?

“Don’t say anything, reader people!” 

There you are!

“No I’m not!”

Iggy, I can see you.

“No you can’t!”

Iggy, I’m looking right at you.

“No you’re not. I’m still in the crate.  Not escaping.  Nope.”

You’re in the living room.

“No I’m not!  Um… okay.  Maybe I am.  But you can’t catch me!”

Whoa, Iggy, slow down–

“HA!  Now you’ll NEVER get me!”

Okay.

“You know why?”

Fine, Iggy, go ahead.  Say it. 

“I’M ON THE LAMB!” You know, after that you don’t deserve to hear this, but–

“What?  I’m on the lamb.  Anyone on a lamb can’t go to prison.”

–your thirty days of confinement are up. 

“What?  Really?”

Really.  It’s all over, and you’re okay.  You don’t have to stay in your crate anymore.

“YAY!  I LOVE YOU A LOT!”

I love you too.  By the way, Iggy, it’s l-a-m, not– 

“I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!”

–ah, never mind.  I love you too, Iggy.

“I’M FREE!”

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Day 29.

“Karen?”

Yes, Iggy?

“Can I ask you something?”

Sure, Iggy, go ahead.

“Do you suppose dung beetles feel pride?”

What?

“You know, like, do they get a huge bit of dung, roll it to wherever they bring it, and go, ‘Look at this killer hunk of dung I found all by myself, damn, I’m a kick-ass dung beetle’?”

I’ve never thought about–

“And what if they find a really huge hunk of dung, how do they get it back to wherever they bring it?  Do they climb up and walk backwards on top of it to roll it, like a circus act?”

What?

“Do they even have dung beetles in the circus?”

Iggy, I have no idea.  

“I mean, are there little kids at the circus going, ‘Ooh, Mommy, look, dung beetles’?  Are they waving flags with dung beetles on them?  Wearing little hats they bought at the souvenir stand that have antennae sticking out the top and and dung beetle eyes on the front?  ‘Look, Mommy, I’m a dung beetle’?”

I have no clue, Iggy.

“Neither do I.  I’ve never been to the circus.”

How does this even occur to you?

“I’m going mad.  Lemme out.”

Not yet.  

“Now please?”

 No.  Sorry.  

“Okay.  How about now?”

No.  Sorry, Iggy, you still can’t come out.

“Okay, what about now?”

No, Iggy.  One more day.

“Okay.”

Good boy.

“Thanks.”

Sure.

“You suck.”

 

Day 27.

You know, Iggy, I wish we knew exactly how you got heartworms.

“Bad luck, I guess.”

You’ve been on heartworm prevention since we adopted you. Something went wrong. It’s not just bad luck.

“It floats around. It’s got to land on somebody.”

But it makes no sense that–

“It was my turn, that’s all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has.”

Well, just a couple more days and your confinement is over.

“Good.”

Yep.

“Forty years I been asking permission to piss.”

Relax. It’s only 30 days of confinement, not forty years. Besides, you’re only two years old.

“I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so.”

Damn right you can’t. No peeing in the house.

“Hmmph.”

You’ll live.

“Karen?”

Yes?

“I understand you’re a woman who knows how to get things.”

What?

“I need a—“

Not happening. So don’t get your hopes up.

“Hope is a good thing—“

Not this time, it isn’t.

“–maybe the best of things—“

Nope.

“—and no good thing ever dies.”

Give up.

“I will be hoping for a poodle.”

Could we put on something other than The Shawshank Redemption now? It’s doing things to you.

“I hear the bite reflex is so strong they have to pry the victim’s jaws open with a crowbar.”

Right, that’s it. Gimme the remote.

Iggy copes with loss.

“Hey, what did I win?”

What?

“The photo contest.  What did I win?”

Oh, that.  Sorry, Iggy, you didn’t make the finals.

“What?!  I didn’t?”

I’m afraid not.

“But… but… *sniffle* you mean nobody thought I was cute?”

What the — are you crying, Iggy?

“They thought I was ugly!  They thought, ‘Ha, look at that stupid Schnauzer, thinking he can win a cute dog contest.  He’s all wormy and stupid and hideous!’  *sniffle* I bet they laughed at my picture!”

Aw, Iggy, no!  You got hundreds of votes!

“I bet they just felt sorry for me!”

Aw, hang on, let me open the crate.  Come here, I’ll scratch your ears.  

“No.  Don’t want anyone scratching my ugly ears!”

Don’t be like that.  Do you want a rib bone?

“No.”

What about a chewy hedgehog?  You love those.

“No!”

Is there anything you do want?  Your Kermit?  Your squeaky chicken?

*sniffle* I dunno.”

Come on, Iggy, name it.

“Really?”

If I can get it for you, I will.  I hate seeing you so sad.  A marrow bone?  How about some jerky?

*sniffle* Okay.”

Okay, what do you want?

“HA!  I WANT A POODLE!  YEAH!  YOU SAID ‘NAME IT’!  I WANT A POODLE!”

You manipulative little–

“All perfumed and poofy-tailed–”

–bastard.

“–and shaved!”

No.

“Another Schnauzer, then?”

No more dogs.

“A girl Schnauzer would work!  We can shave her!”

Nobody’s shaving any dogs, because we’re not getting any more dogs.

“She’d have to have her face shaved, in the very least.  The mustache and beard would just make her look menopausal.  Oh — no offense, Karen.”

Get back in the crate.

 

Iggy, outside.

“So much time in solitary–”

You’re not in prison, Iggy, you’re getting over heartworm treatment.  

“–but still, I remember this.”

What do you remember?

“The breeze.  The smell of grass.  The feel of the sun on my fur.  I remember it all.”

You should, you were just outside ten minutes ago.  Are you gonna pee or what?

“Ooh, a small slug crushed between my toes.  I remember that too.”

Oh, yuck.  Come on, we’re going back inside.

“Wait!  Let me walk just a few feet over this way.”

Okay.  Are you finally going to pee?

“Let me sniff a little.”

Okay.  Then you’ll pee?

“I might.  I just might.  Just need to sniff a bit.  No, a few feet over this way, let me sniff here.  Maybe.  I might.  Hmm.  No, a few feet this way.  Wait, no, just a few steps over towards here.  No — wait, no, maybe.  I might.  Okay — oh wait, hang on–”

Iggy, come on.  You can’t be outside this long.

“One second, let me just sniff here.  Wait — no.  Over here a couple of feet.  No, over here.  Wait, hang on, I think — no, never mind.  Over here, maybe–”

That’s it, we’re going inside.

“Ah HA!  HERE!”

Okay, good.

“Wait, never mind.”

You don’t really need to pee, do you.

“Not really, no.”

Right.  In we go.  

“Okay.”

Okay, slowly — don’t run through the door, Iggy — slow walk back to the crate.  Let me remove the leash, hang on.  Okay, in you go.  

“Okay.”

Good boy.

“Karen?”

No.  You just said you didn’t have to pee.  We’re not going outside again.

“You didn’t ask if I had to poop.”

Ugh.  Fine.  Okay, come out of the crate — slowly, Iggy.  Let me get the leash on you.  All right, walk — no running!  Good boy.  Walk to the door.  Okay, let’s go.

“Okay, just need to sniff a little bit.  No, a few feet over here.  Hmm.  A few steps this way.  Okay, wait — no.  Let me sniff over there a bit–”

Are you going to poop any time soon?

“No.”

You just said you had to!

“No, I said you didn’t ask me.  I didn’t say what my answer would be.”

Back inside, Iggy.

“Can I bring some slugs with me?”

No. 

“Will you get me a poodle?  I really think I deserve a poodle.”

No.  Get in the crate, Iggy.

Vote for Iggy (again! And again, and again…)

“Hi everyone, Iggy here!  I’d like to take a moment to ask you to vote for me in this contest — it’s sponsored by a supermarket chain and the winner gets $750 in marrow bones and treats.”

Well, actually, it’s a $750 gift card to use in the supermarket.

“Yes.  On marrow bones and treats.”

Or, you know, human food.

“You don’t need human food.”

What?

“Well, look at you.  You could afford to skip a meal or two.”

Watch it, Iggy.

“All of it?  My field of vision isn’t that big.”

You know, it would be easy for me to lose track of how many days you have left in that crate

“I kid!  I kid!  You’re gorgeous!”

Much better.

“You look like a poodle!”

Okay, this is backfiring.  Anyway, readers, please vote for Iggy.  You can vote once every day until the contest ends on October 21st.

“If you had a poofy tail, I’d swear you were a perfectly groomed purebred show dog!”

That’s enough, Iggy.

Iggy, terrifying.

“Hi folks, Iggy here! Getting over heartworms and tired of confinement? Just lie down in your crate and breathe really fast — you’ll be out of the crate and going on a car ride before you know it! Of course, it’s to an emergency vet, but what can ya do.”

What? You did that purposely?

“Huh? Oh… um… hi Karen!”

Don’t “hi” me. You faked that whole thing?

“Um… kind of.”

You scared the hell out of me!

“I went on a car ride! It was fun!”

Fun? At two in the morning?

“Any time is a good time for a car ride!”

No, Iggy, two in the morning is not a good time for a car ride when I have to be at work at eight.

“I didn’t have to be at work, though. It was fine.”

It was not fine, Iggy! I got a huge vet bill!

“It was totally worth it! Car ride!”

Ugh. It’s almost five now. I have to work in three hours. See that bed there? I’m crawling into it now, and I’m going to sleep. Lie down in your crate and nap.

“Okay.”

Good night.

“Good night.”

. . . . .

“Karen?”

Mmmph.

“You asleep?”

Mm hmm.

“Okay.”

Mmmph.

“Gotta pee.”

AAAGGHH!

Morning news update.

“Good morning. I’m Iggy and here is today’s top story. The mini Schnauzer hostage crisis is now in its eleventh day with no sign of a resolution. So far, the captor’s only demands have been ‘sit,’ ‘lie down,’ and ‘stop asking for a poodle’ — none of which will be complied with, due to the stated policy of not negotiating with terrorists.”

I’m not a terrorist, Iggy.

“Some of our sources say the captor denies being a terrorist, most likely believing herself to be a freedom fighter–”

I’m not a freedom fighter either.

“–while others say that she refuses to call herself a freedom fighter, perversely embracing the terrorist moniker.”

Dammit, I’m not a terrorist!

“Little is known about her other than that she has anger issues–”

Ugh. Iggy, I’m not a terrorist or a freedom fighter, and you’re not a hostage. You have to be confined while you recover from your heartworm treatment. It’s for your own good–

“–but it has been confirmed that she says her actions serve some greater good.”

Fine. You can believe what you want.

“We also know that she claims to respect the mini Schnauzer’s beliefs; however, this only adds a layer of hypocrisy to her refusal to release him.”

I’ll be in the kitchen. Let me know when you’re done, and I’ll feed you.

“Once again, today’s top story, the mini Schnauzer hostage crisis enters its eleventh day with no end in sight. I’m Iggy, and that’s the news.”

 

How do you walk a dog recovering from heartworms? Very carefully.

“I like being out in the exercise yard.”

It’s not an exercise yard, Iggy, it’s the sidewalk in front of the house.

“I’m just worried that I’m gonna run into some gang or other and I’m gonna have to defend my turf, you know?”

There’s no gang, there’s no turf. You’re not in prison. You’re confined while you recover from your heartworm treatment.

“Might have to shank a bitch.”

Seriously, Iggy?

“Hey, how come I’m in solitary?”

What do you mean?

“I never see anyone. There’s never anybody else outside when I am.”

You’re not in solitary. I’m just making sure there’s nobody else outside when I walk you because you go crazy when you see people and other animals. It’s really dangerous for your heart rate to rise while you’re recovering.  Your heart and lungs could–

“I don’t go crazy.”

Yes you do.  You pull at the leash and you shriek.

“No I don’t. I’m perfectly– OH MY GOD LOOK IT’S THE CHIHUAHUA! HAMSTER DOG!”

Oh no no no no Iggy no no no–

“GET OVER HERE YOU LITTLE–”

–no no no no no Iggy no Iggy calm down Iggy who’s a good boy calm down please please–

“STOP GRABBING ME! PUT ME DOWN! I WANNA GET THE CHIHUAHUA!”

–look at me Iggy there’s a good boy ssshhhh calm down good boy please calm down Iggy look at me Iggy–

“I’M LOOKING AT YOU! PUT ME DOWN! I WANNA GET THE CHIHUAHUA!”

What’s his problem?

Get away, dog, Iggy’s sick and can’t–

Oooh lemme see! What’s wrong with him?

“HHHOOORRRKKK… PTOOEY!”

–no Iggy don’t spit at the Chihua–

“IT’S EBOLA!”

Aiieeee! Yipe yipe yipe yipe!

“RUN, YOU GERBIL! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

Iggy please calm down, we’re going back in the house now, okay, calm down please calm down, okay back in the house we go, I’m closing the door, please calm down, I’m gonna put you down now, okay down we go, all four feet on the floor, slowly, okay. You all right?

“What? What’s wrong?”

You went crazy just now!

“No I didn’t. I was perfectly fine.”

That was fine to you?!

“Well, no.”

No! It was–

“It was friggin’ awesome, is what it was.”

Get back in the crate, you.