Bernard Dunklebraun became a dog at 2:37 pm every day. A big dog. At least, that’s what it felt like. And that’s what his camera showed, when he set its automatic timer to photograph himself. When he saw the photograph, he remembered how good it felt to rest his head on the dashboard, and how uncomfortable it felt at 2:41 pm, when he was no longer a dog.
He brought the photo to his therapist, Judee. “How long have you felt like this?” she asked.
His usual answer to that question was as long as he could remember. This time, he said, “Two weeks. Every day at 2:37 for four minutes.”
“It’s 2:30 now,” said Judee.
They continued talking. At 2:37, Bernard lay down on the couch, which suddenly felt heavenly. He let his mouth slacken and his lips hang loose.
At 2:41, he sat up. Judee said, “You really became a dog.”
Judee stood. She went to the window and looked outside, her fingertips touching the sill like a piano player. After a full minute, she turned back. “I can help you, Bernard. But only if you want to be helped.”
“I don’t want to be a dog every day,” said Bernard. “It’s weird.”
“We’ll have to meet more often, then.” Judee picked up the photograph and examined it. “Maybe you should get a bigger car.”