October 27, 2009

—Aren’t you forgetting something?

“You’ve already been fed. And I filled your water dish. And I’ve scratched your ears.”

—All true, but still, haven’t you forgotten something?

“Forgot to tell you that we’ll soon be leaving for Seattle, leaving you behind, alone, with only enough food to last a day or two?”

—Now you’re just being evil while I’m trying to be helpful.

“Which has caught me by surprise, I must admit: usually, it’s all about you and your stomach.”

—That’s it, I give up, call me when it’s biscuit time.

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry: what have I forgotten?”

—Writing down our conversation, of course. She With Whom I Abide has gone to work, you’re still here with me, we banter a bit, you know, we used to do it all the time.

“Damn! You’re right: I still haven’t gotten used to this wacky schedule I’m on. Thanks for reminding me.”

—You know how you can really thank me.

“Yeah, yeah: later. Right now I’ve got to type.”

—Say, you aren’t really going to Seattle, are you?

“You’ll know soon enough.”

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October 16, 2009

—It’s exhausting, let me tell you.

“What?”

—Trying to figure out who’s going to feed me: there’s no consistency anymore, and you should know by now, after all our discussions, that the one thing dogs crave is consistency, tradition, the usual and expected repeated exactly day after day, with no variation, providing comfort and security, a regularity that leaves one feeling satisfied, calm, at peace with the often confusing and cat-filled world.

“Yeah, well, the only consistency you’re likely to get for awhile is a guarantee of inconsistency: get used to it.”

—I can’t, and you’re making me a nervous wreck.

“Sorry, but there are larger factors at work here than the needs of a single dog.”

—And this single dog simply can’t understand why.

“Can’t teach an old dog new tricks, eh?”

—You can’t teach younger dogs either, or any dogs, for that matter: occasionally we do things for you just to get you out of our hair, so to speak, and for our own amusement as we watch your goofy delight at our performances.

“I’d dispute that, but I can see that it is important for your self-esteem to believe your version.”

—Don’t patronize me, just hand me a biscuit and I’ll forget everything.

“What? Forget what?”

—Your endless cruelty, for one thing.

“Give me a break . . .”

—I will for a small price.

October 12, 2009

“You’re beginning to worry us.”

—What?

“How slowly you climb stairs these days: it looks like you’re in pain or something.”

—No, it’s just lack of energy: years of chronic underfeeding have finally taken their toll and my undernourished body simply can’t do what it used to do.

“So, no need to worry?”

—Haven’t you been listening? I’m starving here, my muscles are atrophying, my bones are becoming brittle, my very life is hanging by the thinnest of threads.

“All right. Well, if any thing does happen, be sure to let us know, okay?”

—Are you deaf?

“What?”

October 7, 2009

“Say, you know anything about being awakened by loud tail thumps on the wall?”

—No, can’t say that’s ever happened to me.

“Because it happened to me! This morning! Thanks for nothing sleep-disturbing animal!”

—I was lonely.

“Are you sure you weren’t trying to trick me into feeding you again?”

—No, I saw She With Whom I Abide write one of those infernal notes and I presumed she told you the sordid story of my should-be-illegal underfeeding.

“And you were right.”

—No need to rub it in.

“But wait, you were lonely? All you do is sleep, and I was sleeping . . . why couldn’t you sleep while I was sleeping?

—And leave the house unprotected by a watchful eye?

“C’mon, you’re claiming—again—that you’re wide awake every minute you’re left alone?”

—Well, there are different levels of being awake: the canine species has cultivated at least 37 distinct forms of alertness, many of which would appear to be sleeping to the untrained human eye.

“I see, or rather, I guess I don’t, right?”

—Indeed.

“And now you want to go out?”

—Ears scratched first, please.

“And then you’ll want to be let back in almost immediately?”

—It’s about time you finally figured out my routine.