September 29, 2008

[Editor’s Note: A failed mushroom expedition prompts Lewis to protest being left behind.]

—What do you expect? You abandoned me for the whole day to go hunt mushrooms. I could have helped you locate chanterelles.

“It was only a half a day and how do you know what a chanterelle smells like?”

—I just do.

“I’m skeptical: I’ve heard of truffle-smelling hogs, but not chanterelle-sniffing dogs. Besides, if we’d let you loose in the forest, we’d have spent all our time chasing you down after you took off after some phantom squirrel or distant bird. And dragging you around on a leash would not have been fun at all.”

—I wouldn’t run away, I promise.

“Uh huh. Right. Though, admittedly, you probably would have spent a fair amount of time being intensely involved in all the animal sign we saw: bear, elk, deer, moose: a dog-nose delight.”

—See? It was very mean of you not to take me: I get tired of smelling the same old back yard.

“Sorry, but your reputation as a dog who runs away at the mere hint of freedom is well-established: we just couldn’t chance it.”

—And look what happened: not one mushroom: you paid for your prejudice against my superior canine senses.

“We’re not prejudiced against your nose: we’re worried about your indiscriminate feet.”

—Whatever . . . now could you scratch a little lower, please?