LETTERS HOME: A dog’s correspondence on Fourth of July

Satirical correspondence from a heroic mix-breed small dog.


Dearest Helen,

This is the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. Fourth of July is coming, and though it pains me, it’s impending arrival means I must leave. Yes, you have given me everything a half-pug, half-
Pomeranian mix could ever ask for, and no, it isn’t something that you’ve done or said that’s driven me away. I know this will sound ungrateful, but I need you to understand. It’s not you. It’s
the fireworks.

By the time you read this, I’ll be gone. I can’t say where–at least, not till I get there.

I hope you understand.

All my love,


My dearest Helen,

I’ve arrived at my campsite for the night. I packed light: I only carry with me a wee hobo’s bindle of Iam’s Small Dog Breed kibble and a locket with your face.

I walked three miles up the creek that runs behind the house. Now that I’m safe, I can tell you where I am. But first, I owe you an explanation.

By now, Helen, you’ve surely shared the story of our painful separation to your many friends and neighbors. And as you’ve no doubt shared my letter with them–Kelsey, Chelsea, Ellen, Sharie. I expect you’ve all learned by now that you all have something in common: everyone’s
dog is missing, too. Perhaps you’ve swapped letters. Perhaps you’ve compared notes. My darling Helen, I can only imagine the pain you must be feeling without your sweet Pickles.

The neighborhood dogs and I have formed our own commune upstream. I’ve arrived at my campsite, yes, but so have Punkin, Mimi, Bruno and Checkers. It’s been our secret plan, months in the making, but now, it is a secret no more. We are on a mission to stop the evil
annual fireworks displays that have so disturbed the precious streets of our neighborhood for far too long.

Please do not worry for us, because together, collectively, we have all we need to survive the next two nights. Between all of our shared resources, we’ll have enough food and barfed-up food to live off of comfortably in the shelter of the cottonwood ravine and execute the mission.

You cannot find us. You cannot trace us.

But with God as my witness, Helen, I promise I’ll stop those fireworks and come back to you soon.

Your bread and butter,


To my best girl, Helen,

We did it! Victory is ours! Aroo roo roo roo!

I’ll try to capture all the action in thrilling detail, as I remember it. We first encountered the enemy five miles up creek from camp. The fireworks were lined up, in perfect formation, in the
abandoned Sam’s parking lot.

As the sun fell, our leader, Pancake, manned the front and we followed in formation. One by one, we approached the line. Our ankle-height bodies made us invisible to the enemy.

We slithered past their generals, reclining on folding chairs and resting cans on their tummies.

We were close enough to hear one mutter how he “reckoned” it was a “hot one” tonight. The lackey in the next chair muttered that he reckoned the same, remarking the weather was at least a “dry heat.”
But it would not be dry for long.

With the precision only an elite team of ten-pound, toy-breed-mix rescue dogs could pull off, we pee-peed on every last firework. There was pee-pee everywhere, Helen. There wasn’t a single stick of usable dynamite in the whole parking lot by the time we were done.

You know how you always ask me with admiration and awe, where all that dang pee-pee comes from?

I know I’m small, but my heart and my bladder are deceptively big. And they beat and pee only for you, my best girl.

Our mission complete, we sprinted towards the cover of darkness, back to the creek. Not before hearing howls of YUCK from our devilish foes, though! Ah, sweet glory!

We begin the long journey back to the cul de sac at dawn. I’ll see you in two days time, darling.

Your goodest boy,



In the time since I’ve written you my last letter, I have been kidnapped. I’m currently writing this from the fourth bedroom of a chalet by the lake-side of the creek. A family of five pulled over in
their Mercedes SUV and took me with them. I’m writing this from a pile of decorative throw pillows they have artfully arranged for me on the corner-most area of a Crate & Barrel sectional.

It’s a golden cage they’ve set for me.

This whole mission to destroy the fourth of July was for you. For us. For our future, and the security of the nation.

Though I miss you eternally, I knew the risk I was undertaking. Do not weep for me, Helen. Dry your eyes, and come find me. I managed to save a few Small Breed kibbles under my extra chins, and have saved a few drops of pee-pee left inside me, and have attempted to leave a trail for you.

I believe in you, Helen. You’re strong, and courageous, and I know you’ll find me. (I also know you chipped me last year, so get on the Pet 9-11 website already.)

Should we never meet again, just promise me that next time when you hear the rockets’ red glare, you’ll think of me.

Yours eternally,