I have no idea how it happened.
Best I can figure, our dog ZuZu somehow hooked up with a pet psychic who was able to channel her obviously outrageous thoughts about us into a letter that was sent to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
So now my wife and I are on the receiving end of a serious-sounding complaint from the ASPCA.
I'm going to respond to our dog's ridiculous accusations in this blog post, but I'm worried that the damage to our animal-loving reputation is beyond repair -- thanks to our oh-so-innocent looking family pet, ZuZu.
Don't let her sweet expression fool you. As you'll read below, ZuZu is purposely spreading fake news about Laurel and me that has just the slightest connection to reality.
(I now realize what a mistake it was to occasionally leave Fox News on in the room where ZuZu takes an afternoon nap. Pretty clearly, she was only pretending to be asleep and was learning how to twist the truth into the outrageous pretzel that ended up in the ASPCA mail bag.)
Here's what ZuZu said in her complaint, and our aggrieved response.
ZuZu: They're trying to kill me. With the aid of the murderous vet they took me to last week. After holding me down and stabbing me, the perverted S.O.B.s forced me again to endure their finger-up-the-butt torture. I felt as sick as a dog that night, and not just because I am one. Fortunately my owners' demented plan failed. Somehow I managed to survive the stabbing and regained enough strength to communicate what happened to someone who actually truly cares about poor little dogs like me.
Us: OK, let's get the facts straight. ZuZu did indeed go to the vet a few days ago. However, all that happened was, she got a canine flu shot and had her anal glands expressed. This was the first time ZuZu got a flu shot, and she did have some sort of reaction. Most of the evening she laid listlessly in her crate rather than on the full-size futon in her very own dog room like she usually does. We're going to pass on canine flu shots in the future, but regardless, her claim of "they're trying to kill me" is absurd.
ZuZu: There's another way my owners are trying to kill me. Starvation. Regardless of what doctored photo they may submit in response to my ASPCA complaint, which could be years old from a happier time before they started torturing me, I'm now just skin and bones. My dog bowl is filled with minuscule scraps of food a few times a day, barely enough to keep a gerbil alive. Which, I suspect, is going to be my replacement after their nefarious plan to bury me in an early dog grave comes to fruition.
Us: Un-freaking-believable. And we have vet records to prove it, unless ZuZu has been able to hack into the vet files and alter them. After an exam several months ago her vet told us that our dog was getting fat and ideally ZuZu needed to lose about five of her 62 pounds. Knowing how much she likes to eat, we've only cut back slightly on her diet of high-quality dry and canned food, supplemented by chew sticks, broccoli, blueberries, pumpkin, and a nightly "popcorn party" where kernels are tossed and she catches them in her mouth. So far in the past few months she has lost a grand total of ONE POUND. Starvation... give us a break.
ZuZu: Here's more proof that my owners are horribly unfit dog parents. The smaller owner with the long hair who makes me do demeaning acts before she feeds me the few scraps I get in the morning -- sit, spin, lay down, that kind of crap, all while I'm hungry -- took me out for a walk and led me into the arms of a super-dangerous wild animal that almost killed me. I was surprised and shocked, not to mention dizzy with blood loss, since I was totally minding my own business. I can't understand why my owner wanted me to be torn to shreds, but this fits with her role in the schemes to stab, torture, and starve me.
Us: More fake news from the family dog. Yes, it's true that ZuZu was on a walk with Laurel when she was attacked by another animal. But this occurred when she stuck her nose into a tree hollow during a cold spell when there was snow on the ground. A cat had taken shelter in the hollow. It scratched ZuZu's nose, which bled slightly. The cat ran into the bushes with our dog close behind. Fortunately, the cat ran up a tree, while ZuZu learned a lesson about sticking one's nose into a tree hollow that smells like cat.
So that's our response to ZuZu's ASPCA complaint that she somehow managed to file, probably through the aforementioned pet psychic intermediary.
We expect to be exonerated.
And even though it's irritating to have your own dog turn against you like this, we bear ZuZu no ill will. The dog mind works in mysterious ways. She just must have taken some ordinary happenings in her canine life and blown them out of proportion.
We love ZuZu. We trust she still loves us. And remembers all the good things we've done for her, like let her buy a car.