I have been setting up an area in my back yard that is animal friendly. It’s their section. There is a little bird bath and I have been starting to put in plants that will attract and feed them. Unlike half of my neighborhood, I also don’t use pesticides and try to let everything around here live and eat the food they like. The birds and squirrels seem to love it the arrangement. Something is always back there poking around. And I love observing them. Their way.

I also have a dog that is at least part beagle and black lab. And she loves to chase all things critter, period. And admittedly, I sort of enjoy watching her do what makes her happy (this is all helped immensely by the fact that she never catches anything). So as a way to make her backyard pee-trips a little more fun for the both of us, I like to psych her up by repeatedly asking if there are any squirrels outside… Yes, in a taunting voice. Anyway, once she is good and wound up, I open the door to witness a glorious mass scurrying and flying for the next 10 seconds.

Coming face to face with my own duality is harsh, man, I feel like the United States in the Middle East, here.