Best friends worry with you

By Benny Huckleberry as told to Liz Hoffmann | Jan 29, 2020

Wow, 2020 has sure gotten off to a rocky start!

I’m a dog, so you may ask how I know this. Well, my human has told me all about it. I’m sure that I’ve mentioned before how much she talks to me. She talks about everything really, and although I never answer back, she still goes on! I think that’s what best friends are for.

She was explaining that she’s really worried about some things: the climate crisis, the unprecedented political strife, and the global outbreak of a scary new virus. When I think about all this, it feels overwhelming and I understand why my human is upset.

I wonder if I should worry with her? As a rule, we dogs don’t worry about much. Sometimes if there’s a problem in the moment we will, but beyond that, we don’t. Especially about things we can’t control.

I’d like to help, so maybe I should try to distract her? Do you think that’s a good idea? I could try to be a really bad boy, so she’d focus on reprimanding me. But even if I did that, it would only work for a couple of minutes and besides, I’m a really good boy! One thing that I can do to help is to lick her face and wag my tail. That always makes her smile!

Beyond that, I’m also going to convince her not to worry about the scary virus over in China, since it’s out of our control. We just have to wait and pray for the people that are sick.

Of course, we can be smart and wash our paws and not travel to China now. That won’t be hard, given that I’ve never even been on a plane, let alone plan to go on a plane to China.

The politics currently happening are another thing that we can’t change, but we can in the future.

Forget about what side you're on, or who you want in charge. It’s all the lying and not following the rules that’s bad. Even as a dog, I have strict rules that I follow so that our household runs smoothly.

Me, Ilsa and the cats could never live together peacefully if we didn’t follow these rules. I’m not allowed to chase the cats and the cats aren’t allowed to scratch me. We are held accountable for our behavior. If any one of us is bad, we get our privileges taken away. For instance, if I stood up on my hind legs and ate cat food off the counter, I’d be in big trouble. I’d get a stern talking-to, and no treats for the rest of the day. That’s just one example of how I am held accountable.

So, I think that if I can follow rules, then some of those humans in Washington can follow the rules and be held accountable, too!

Finally, the biggest issue that worries us both is the climate crisis. My human always recycles, adjusts our diet, walks more than she drives, lobbies for open space, and tries to minimize what’s called “our global paw print.”

Even with all this to consider, I still come back to how short life is (especially mine) and I don’t want to spend it worrying with my human. So maybe if everyone who reads this tries a little bit more, we can make a difference together.

Follow rules, be polite, wash your paws, hold politicians accountable by voting, and recycle! Plant trees where you can and do everything possible to show you love the planet.

Maybe that will help?

With love,

Benny H.

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