I’m at my wits end. I was shopping a large supermarket 5 days ago, and as I was loading groceries a good friend, who has a darling dachshund, called to me. The dog was on a leash, but it loves me and my friend unleashed it to run and greet me. We chatted for about 5 minutes and then I finished loading and drove home.
Today I opened the van door and was overwhelmed by a stench. It was the dog, which had climbed into the van and probably gone to sleep. I think it starved to death. My friend had called me that day asking if I knew where the dog was, but I had no clue it was in the van and didn’t look. Should I let her know what happened, or just get the dog buried and let her think it ran away?
After weighing various considerations, including the emotional well-being of your friend, the possibility of canine depression, your reputation, and the potential repercussions of telling the truth, I must advise you to come clean immediately and confess to your unintentional dogslaughter. The deciding factor is this; you cannot keep a secret. A secret is a burden you accept to carry to your grave. Having typed out your account and sent it into the public sphere, this situation no longer qualifies as such. After all, my wildly successful blog has been known to receive as high as one hundred hits per day, at least twice, so you’re playing fast and loose with discretion. Additionally, I’m betting the dachshund community is a rather tight one. Finally, I foresee a counterproductive sense of guilt (not about the dog itself, who’s further insulted by the omission of “its” gender in your missive) tempting you to unburden yourself on close friends or subway passengers, so you’re clearly someone who personally benefits from closure, even if it further wounds the offended party.
I, myself, can keep a secret, but only if it’s a really big one. Luckily, my friends and family understand that they would need to practically hide a body to be allowed admittance into my Seinfeldian vault, so for the most part they wisely exclude me from their state secrets. If I was the owner of the malodorous van, I would have called my friend as soon as I opened the door, but I have to say that if the dog was a larger breed, perhaps a mastiff or retriever, I might have experienced a moment of hesitation. That, however, is just my own bigotry talking. So bite the bullet, suit up with Kevlar if you hail from the Lone Star State, and make the call. On the off chance that your friend becomes unhinged upon identifying the body, necessitating your hasty departure, you’ll want to have already transferred the remains to a (here it comes) doggie bag.
Please send questions for Dear Someone to firstname.lastname@example.org.