The animal kingdom.

Woody is a special needs animal. An absolutely hilarious special needs animal.

He requires Prescription Diet® food so he doesn’t barf all over the rug at 3 AM.

A muzzle for off-leash walks so he doesn’t steal other dog’s tennis balls and eat them.

A harness, a Gentle Leader® and a “training leash” for walks around the neighborhood just to ensure that he doesn’t tear your arm off when you encounter a cat he’d like to chase or a human being he recognizes.

All this, plus he’s skittish around objects and sounds he doesn’t understand. Snowmen. Skateboards. And as I discovered last night, paper grocery store bags blowing across the pavement.

As his owner, this was a mildly funny thing to observe. The bag would blow. He would cower. Each time the wind picked up and the bag moved, he’d react as if he were looking for a place to hide. I smiled. What I didn’t expect was the old Chinese lady across street who also thought the whole scenario was hilarious. When we finally made eye contact, she pointed to Woody and laughed out loud.

“He’s a dog, but he’s a scaredy cat! A dog…but such a scaredy cat!”

My smile began to fade as she cackled. I suddenly felt defensive. Don’t make fun of him, I thought. You don’t even know him.

A bus whisked her away. I was relieved. The wind picked up, the bag scraped across the asphalt and Woody quickly took cover between my legs. I laughed as I looked down into his big brown eyes and thought, you’re a dog…but such a scaredy cat.

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