I have a bone to pick with you. Once again you’ve left me at home while you cavorted off to summer camp. Last year it was Fire Mountain Scout Camp, this year you went to Beach Camp at Sunset Bay. Um, excuse me, but don’t you know that poodles are water dogs? I would have been brilliant at Beach Camp! Why didn’t you take me with you?
I’m sure if you had looked hard enough, you could have found a wetsuit for dogs. Sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, skim boarding and snorkeling would have been so much fun. I can picture myself now, back flipping off the trapeze. You’d hook me to the zip line and speed me to the water. Then in the evenings, we’d hang out together in the hot tub or roast weenies by the bonfire.
Those miles of sandy beach are calling to me. I would have been awesome at digging for geoducks and clams. The science stuff sounds cool, too. I don’t know what intertidal zone organisms are, but I’m willing to learn. Poodles are smart — everybody says so!
I know you’re only 15 minutes up the road in Edmonds, but it feels like an ocean away. I’m my own island of loneliness. Every time the front door opens I race to greet you, but you don’t come home. The Girl won’t let me sleep on her bed like you do, and I’m stuck with a pillow on the ground.
My appetite’s been off as well. Last night I binged from the trashcan and today I barfed up potato salad. Mom said that I have to live on kibble from now on. I know if you were here you’d feed me treats from the dinner table so I wouldn’t starve.
Wait a second, Mom’s saying something… What the what? You’re going to Camp Grizzly the day after you get home? Oh, heck no!
Who thought it would be a good idea to go all the way to Idaho for Boy Scout camp? Mountain biking and ATVs sound boring if you ask me. Archery, shotguns and rifles — terrifying! Yeah, I realize you’ll earn some more merit badges, but you already have First Class, do you really need to rank higher? Working to become an Eagle Scout is a bad idea, if you ask me. Eagles eat poodles!
I’m 12 years old, too, and I don’t want two weeks of independence. My goal in life is to never be alone, not even when you’re in the bathroom.
Mom says that your going away to camp is a good learning opportunity for me, so that I can be prepared for you starting middle school in fall. She says that poodles aren’t allowed to attend seventh grade either. But I’ve got a plan for that.
I only weigh 14 pounds. When you get home, please buy a bigger backpack.
Love and slobber,
Jennifer Bardsley is author of the books “Genesis Girl” and “Damaged Goods.” Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal.