When people ask me if I'm a "dog person," I respond with an "It depends on the dog."
I've decided to come out of the closet. I really should have stayed in because now it's not so crowded since Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal have emerged. But I take courage from their disclosures and feel that I might as well let everyone know that I no longer identify myself as a white guy from Iowa. There. I've done it. But I'm not satisfied with just that admission. Oh, no. I am moving forward. I am me, hear me roar! I am proud and pleased as punch to say that I am the first trans-species person on the planet! Oh, I expect scoffers. I expect harassment from all over the place. And I expect and even demand lots of face time on the networks who have nothing more important to talk about than Caitlyn, Rachel, and weird weather.
You might be wondering what other species than homo sapiens I might identify with. Here it is. I, John Carenen, now identify with the three-toed sloth. One source described the species as "bizarre animals who appear to live in slow motion," and if that ain't me, you haven't been paying attention. I am also described as "cryptic" ("having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure" - Oxford English Dictionary) and "slow moving." Family, friends, former classmates, teachers, and coaches are all saying at once, "Aha! That explains it!"
All these years I have been living in slow motion and without any clear meaning, and now I know why. When I first concluded that I was trans-species, I thought maybe I was a Golden Retriever. But the truth has set me free. Slowly.
This is a sad and lonely morning in the Carenen Cottage. We had to put our dog to sleep. Degenerative bone disease had rendered her a cripple in pain, and she was getting worse fast. I can tell you this about her. She was intelligent, playful, obedient, sweet-natured (never bit anything but her food), and a good snorer. She had a large vocabulary that included the usual "squirrel,' and many others. She knew "eat," "dog," "out," "come," "sit," "stay" and "pterodactyl." She also knew "night-night" and "bath," but she pretended she didn't know "bath," but I know she did because when I said it, she tried to disappear. Not easy for a 79-pound Zimbabwean Cattle Retriever - Crested (actually, she was a blend of Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, and several other breeds, including "Mushpot").
She was always good and generally happy, her tail wagging all the time, even when the vet was giving her the injections.
She was our friend and companion, greeter, and confidant. We miss her already.
Her name was "Roxie."