Dear Dr. Anthony Fauci,
I am writing to you with very good news! My old dog, Scout, is getting his COVID vaccine. You may wonder why a dog would need a vaccine intended for humans, but you just don’t know my love of Scout. We’ve had Scout for as long as I’ve been alive, nine years, and he’s getting to be very old for a big dog. He’s slowed down quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean I love him any less. That’s also why he needs, desperately, the shot. I remember, last Spring, when a tiger at the Bronx Zoo contracted COVID. That’s when I began to worry about Scout. I am young, so I’m sure I’d be fine, and my parents are pretty young, and healthy, too. So, mostly, I just worried about Scout. This was a hard year for all of us, with all the worrying. Scout didn’t mind too much. That’s what is so great about dogs, they are always focused on the current moment, whatever their perception of it is, and nothing else. It’s quite wonderful, I think. It’s always just, for Scout at least: Ball! Squirrel! Give love! Receive love!
Scout means so much to me. My parents adopted him as a puppy right around the time I was born. Can you imagine that household? I remember once, well, I don’t remember it precisely, but I’ve been told that once, I sat in my baby chair and we took turns eating baby food from an airplane spoon. He sat beside me, the preposterous way puppies sit, and licked my face of the baby food that missed my mouth. “That’s not for you,” my dad exclaimed, laughing and turning to his wife. Scout aged as I did. When I was three, we hiked down into the Grand Canyon, just the four of us, and Scout had an encounter with a canyon coyote that had ventured too close to the trail. I, from my toddler pack on dad’s back, remember Scout’s whimper and the slight gash on his leg. Dad, in all of his strength, carried Scout and me up to the top of the canyon. I remember another time when mom’s mom, Grammy, died and Scout sat beside mom and licked her face. She put her hand out, at one point, for dad’s hand, and Scout put his paw in it. She ceased her tears and smiled into Scout’s eyes. “Good boy.”
You, Dr. Fauci, have been a trailblazer of the truth, even when it seemed hard to come by. It must’ve been so hard to balance respect and objective truth: you’ve done a noble job. Thank you for your service.
As I write this, the veterinarian is administering the COVID shot to Scout, who is lying down flat on the table. When my mom assured me that it was a COVID shot he was getting, I was so excited! He’s going to live forever, I thought. Weird, I didn’t know the COVID vaccine was administered via IV, but the vet seems confident. He also seems forlorn, which is weird because, as far as I knew, Scout is the first-ever dog to receive a COVID vaccine. Shouldn’t this doctor be excited? I also think I saw my mom pretending not to cry, which is especially weird. My dad is rubbing her back and looking on. As the doctor pushes the vaccine medicine into Scout, I can see his eyes closing gently. Must be normal, I bet. I reach over to touch him and he suddenly feels colder. Another side effect, probably, gosh darn Moderna. My mom finally breaks down into tears of joy. After the side effects wear off, I’m sure my dog will be completely immune! Thanks, Dr. Fauci.
Your new best friend,
Categories: April 6 2021, creative