Hear that snoring?

That’s my master, Sam. I drugged his coffee, and now he’s curled up on the couch, drooling a little puddle on that throw pillow with a map of Maine on it. I figure I’ve got at least an hour or two before he comes to, and it’s hard to type with just paws and claws, but here goes nothing….

My name is Pepper and I am a dog. There are a few things I’d like to get off my furry chest now that I have your attention.

First, if you forgot about National Dog Day, as Sam did before I drugged him, color me surprised. It was yesterday, Aug. 26, and more could’ve been done. I’m not talking about a ticker-tape parade, just a little recognition for all that my four-footed friends and I do every day to make your life easier.

COVID has at least been great for dogs, you say. Wrong. We, too, suffered. My master put me in quarantine in Belfast following the Waldo County Outbreak, for instance. People up there were nice and all, but really, dogs don’t even get COVID-19! What was he thinking?

Our national day, for what it is, falls in the shadow of your Labor Day. Just as we subside in your shadows, day in and day out, all year round. Harumph.

Secondly, it’s been abnormally hot. Yeah, yeah, the dog days of summer and all, I get it. But you have porous skin and we have matted fur. Try strutting around in mink late August, and tell me how that feels. I’m not suggesting you spend $13 trillion to abate concerns about climate change, but could you leave the freezer door open for a change? Give a dog a break!

Here’s another idea: recommission the Scotia Prince as a canine relief vessel and send us all out to sea for a couple weeks each summer. We’d appreciate that.

Finally, we’d like the right to drive. Yes, you read that right. I’ve seen some of these people from Massachusetts all over our roads and don’t even try to tell me we dogs couldn’t do better. We can. Before you legalize self-driving cars, remember those of us who’ve had your back all these years, who cheerfully hop into the beds of your trucks, and who hang our heads out the window because you haven’t let us behind the wheel.

Yet.

Some of my fellow canines urged me to also advocate that we be allowed to vote, but I’m not going to fall for that trick. Your choices are consistently lousy and without fail disappoint us even more than you do when you say “treat” and then get distracted or forget. Y’all bear that voting burden yourselves.

Soon my master will wake up, and I’ve got a ton of crypto currency to trade first, so I’m going to cut this short. But it’s been real, and it’s been fun. It just hasn’t been real fun, if you get my drift. We are often forgotten, get hot as heck, and are not allowed to drive.

Maybe you can think about this before the next National Dog Day rolls around. Woof.

Sam Patten is a recovering political consultant who was raised in Knox County and worked for Maine’s last three Republican senators.