—We hardly talk anymore.
“Sorry, but responsibilities call.”
—I don’t hear them.
“Even with your super dog hearing?”
—No. They just hear the emptiness of the food bowl, the desolation of an unoccupied living room, the ice of a couch upon which no human buttock has rested, the sadness of . . .
“Wait a minute, the ‘ice of a couch’?”
—Yes, quite the poetic phrase, eh? I’m rather proud of it myself . . .
“But it also means you admit jumping up on the couch when you’re not supposed to.”
—No, it doesn’t.
“Then how do you know the couch is icy?”
—I, uh, just inferred it?
—No, what I meant was, I smelled that it was cold.
“You can smell temperature?”
—Didn’t you know that?
—Then, yes, definitely, that’s what happened: I smelled the ice. The icy ice-ness.
“Wait a minute. You said you heard the icy couch.”
—A dog’s nose and ears work together. Synergistically, as it were.
—Oh yes. It’s almost as though there’s no difference between them, so well do they work together.
“One of these days I’m going to find out what dog noses and dog ears can actually do.”
—Who would know better than a dog?
“No one, but you’d have to be able to believe that dog.”
—Are you saying I’m lying about my nose?
“I’m saying you’re lying about the couch.”
—I guess we’ll just have to disagree about that.
“Big surprise. Hey, I also wanted to suggest that you begin taking your lump into account more: you’re knocking stuff over all the time now, and trying to squeeze into places that aren’t big enough for you and your lump.”