How do you explain this election to your dog?

Did your dog sleep at all last night?

Mine was all over the place. She was sleeping on my face, tucked into my husband’s armpit, walking on top of my son’s torso. She was frantic. This morning, she was exhausted. Completely drained.

I took her out. She did her business. Then, she came back inside and just collapsed.

I don’t know how to explain this election to her. She can tell that I’m apprehensive. I was so adamant that Trump would be swept under the rug. I told her that everyone who voted for Trump was racist. I told her everyone who voted for Trump was selfish. I shouldn’t have said, but I did, that if Trump won, we were all going to die of COVID.

She’s understandably confused. She thought he was going to jail, not bleeding red in the center of the United States. I don’t know how to explain it to her because I don’t understand it myself.

“We live in a bubble,” I told her. We didn’t know about a lot of America. But, I can tell, she trusts me just a little bit less than she did yesterday. My credibility is shot. It’s like when you find out your parents aren’t perfect and you question everything they’ve ever told you. It’s a blow.

I’m sort of leaving her alone today, letting her have her own feelings. I think that’s important. The world’s different for her now. I need to let her absorb that. It’s like she woke up and the window she usually perches on is gone.

At lunch, we had a good ten-minute walk, because it’s fall, and she can’t ignore those leaves. Especially the ones that circle around her. And there’s so much rabbit poop. And, while we’re out walking, she can almost ignore how disappointed she is in America and by association, me.

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