SAYONARA, YASODHARA!

“Who’s on the wrong side of the fence, Aussie?”

“You are.”

“No, you are, Aussie, and you know why?”

“Why, Boss?”

“Because you’re outside the borders of the house.  You’re outside the fenced area. Therefore, you are on the wrong side of the fence. Instead of being here, where you are safe and well cared for, you go off to brave the wilds of Montague.”

“I’m leaving home just like the Buddha did. He left his wife, Yasodhara, behind. That’s you, Boss. Sayonara, Yasodhara.”

“Wait a minute, Aussie.”

“He left! He ran, just like me!”

“I don’t think he ran, Aussie, I seem to remember that he had a white horse and—“

“I don’t need no white horse, Boss, or any kind of horse.”

“What about Harry, Aussie? He always whimpers when you go through the gate, a little like the Buddha’s friend, the charioteer, who asked him not to leave.”

“I do not listen to Harry. The world calls. The truth calls, Boss.”

“What truth is that, Aussie? That life is suffering?”

“Are you out of your mind? The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, the river flows below us, there are horses to greet and deer to chase. You call that suffering?”

“But Aussie, you’ll get old!”

“I’ll get old at home, too.”

“You’ll get sick!”

“I’ll get a lot sicker if I continue to chase Harry around. If I have to do one more circle round the house chasing that canine locomotive I’ll probably drop dead.”

“So you’re going out to find out how to end suffering, Aussie?”

“Boss, I’ve already sniffed out some end-of-suffering territory.”

“What have you found, Auss?”

“Well, if you wade into the river below on a hot summer day like today and get your paws all cold and wet, your suffering will end on the spot.”

“I did that the other day, Aussie, when you and Harry were down by the pond and invited me in. I took off my sandals and went in, had a great time, splashed you–“

“A very stupid thing to do, Boss—“

“I thought it was great fun. Till Harry jumped onshore, grabbed one of my sandals in his mouth and ran off with it. Instantly my suffering returned.”

“Now that was really fun, Boss. What a run he had with the sandal between his jaws, tail twitching, and you’re yelling: Harry, you come back now! Harry, bring me back my sandal! Talk of attachments. Shame on you.”

“I’m not a dog, Aussie, I can’t walk around in the woods barefoot. Did you learn anything else about how to end suffering?”

“I learned lots of things, Boss. When you smell a deer, chase it!”

“But then the deer suffers, Aussie. It’s scared and has to run.”

“When you see a squirrel, pounce! All misery is instantly forgotten.”

“The squirrel can’t be feeling too good about that, Aussie. The Buddha wished to end suffering for all beings.”

“I’m taking it one dog at a time. When you find a horse turd, eat it.”

“Uggh. I think you’d better come home, Aussie.”

“Hey, I’m just getting started. Why aren’t you cheering me on? You’ve cheered the Buddha on for centuries, and he left his home once! I do it almost every day.”

“Please come home, Aussie. Be a householder.”

“And accept the terms of my confinement? No way, bluejay.”

“Be more like Harry. He’s such a good dog.”

“Likes his family, likes his food, and sleeps all day. Fuggedaboudit. I’m going to be like Buddha. Nobody ever called him a good dog.”