Louis Fowler’s Pandemic Journal: Binge Watch


I don’t want to die with a shelf of unread books. I bought them to read and, I guess, there’s no excuse not to now, if there ever really was.

No one, in general, has had it as good as Americans have had it while under this quarantine; that’s one of the reasons why this recent push back has hen-pecked me so much. I know this has been too good a time because I am sick of junk food, the couch, and most of all, television. I am sick of Netflix. And I am sick of Tiger King.

While people tend to love the miniseries about the misadventures of Joe Exotic, I thought it was a mediocre true crime podcast come to roaring life in seven parts. But, then again, maybe I’m a bit biased: working here at the Lost Ogle, we continually kept Oklahoma up to date on Exotic—even I wrote a couple of pieces about him—so it absolutely mauls me that do we not get that slightest bit of credit.

But that’s life in Oklahoma, I guess.

I wonder if Tiger King would have been as pop-culturally renowned under normal circumstances; would we have all the Carole Baskin memes and other internet intrusions of everyday life if we, as a quarantined country, weren’t all forced to watch TV at all times during this pandemic? It was just a matter of being in the right place, in the right time.

These days, when I’m not writing down these thoughts, I just read books and listen to records. Recently, I’ve read a book about the history of Zydeco music in America. It was interesting to me; when this is all over, I might throw a crawfish boil—some of you are invited. Please bring corn.


Since this pandemic started, a large amount of feral cats and dogs have taken over my neighborhood.

While no one really seems to care about the cats, the local junkers and yokel junkies will often take the dogs and chain them up in their front yards, usually as some sort of living alarm system. Sometimes when I’m walking down a silent street, the angry yelps and yowls will be enough to shock me back to my own alien attrition.

My own dog died two years ago, just before my first stroke. Since then, I have desperately wanted another dog, but have worried about not only being hospitalized during this, but dying and leaving that dog all alone, waiting and wondering where I am.

But I miss having a good canine, especially in a lonely time like this.

I’ve met so many people out walking their dogs recently, and I honestly hope I don’t come off like the neighborhood kook, letting their pups smell my hand to know I’m friendly, bending down to give them the requisite allowance of hugs and kisses. Most are receptive enough, and that’s all I need for now.

Still, every time I walk by these chained animals, gnarling in trained anger, I wish I had the guts to release them. But they’ll probably just get caught again.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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10 Responses

  1. Whoa there, pardner. Try to release one of those meth lab dogs and you’ll likely get bitten if not mauled. My neighbors have one that nailed me on my front porch, and still hops its fence on a daily basis to run amok.

  2. You make me smile in all this mess. Thank you..

  3. No greater dog lover than my mother has ever lived. She made me swear that I would have her beloved dog put to sleep if it outlived her. She wanted assurance that her dog would never suffer. I would have hated having to do that.

    Fortunately for me, the dog died long before Mom did. Mom was heartbroken, but she never had another dog for the same reasons that Louis is reluctant to have one.

    Louis, perhaps you have a friend who would agree to be a godparent if you acquire a dog. Most dogs will adapt well to a new home if “their person” is no longer available.

    People who chain up dogs should spend eternity chained up in Satan’s front yard.

    1. Pet godparent is a great idea.

  4. God designed dogs to showcase what kind of people their owners are.

  5. Please Louis get another dog. There are so many dogs that need someone to care for them. Your friends will take care of your dog if it outlives you. Please consider adopting. Think of the unconditional love that goes both ways.

  6. Of all the talk of strokes, the pandemic and the crazy people who are Trumpblind, this article made me the saddest. I hate, HATE even thinking of dogs being stay, abused or neglected. My own rescue dog’s trauma response is enough to send me into a heart breaking spiral. Seeing a dog running alone sends my heart into my stomach.

    Yes, god dog parent is a real thing. My mom just did her will last week and appointed me as her mini dachshund’s guardian.

    I’m not done with Netflix yet, but if you have The Hulu you best to watch Little Fires Everywhere. Ever so good!

  7. I hope you get a dog again & soon.

    I have a suggestion that may work for you Louis. I work with a rescue group here in the Tulsa area that I adopted 2 of my mini Dachshunds from them & then started fostering dogs for them. In the last 3 years, I have fostered 8 dogs, from puppies to seniors & in between ages. Most rescue groups work the same way in that they provide all supplies, food & veterinary care. Generally all you need to do is provide a loving home & agree to take the dog to adoption events. You may need to fill out an foster application with the age & kind of dog you would like to foster & then go from there. We desperately need fosters for dogs to get them out of shelters so more dogs can rotate in & out while we find them homes. Yes, it will break your heart when they go to their new homes but you will know you help make a new family for a dog that may have been euthanized without your love.

    My second suggestion may help you in your decision to get another dog. Most rescue groups will work with you in the event you become ill & can’t take care of your pet or if you should pass away. My group often fosters the dog in that case or will work with you in finding a new home. In fact we have adopting families sign a contract that we will take the dog back no matter what if they can’t take care of the dog any more.

  8. I agree with you commentary entirely. If you are interested, I will finance your pooch, provided it is from a shelter. A loveable dog cannot be replaced. There are a lot of adoptable friends out there.

  9. If any of you are on twitter, I suggest following The Dodo. Lot’s of good animal rescue videos (including a lot of dogs). With all the sadness and political nonsense going on, that twitter feed always has something heart warming to remind me that this is (mostly) a good world with good people.

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