As I scoop kibble into Fleegle’s bowl, he spins in circles counter clockwise, always counter clockwise, and he sort of leads with his butt like a backwards circle.
“Keep it coming,” he says and spins another circle.
I pour in the third scoopful and tighten the lid back on the kibble container.
“What are you doing? That was only two. Just because you’re dieting doesn’t mean I need to. Don’t over identify with your dog, Raud.”
“That was three scoops.”
“No it wasn’t. It was only two.”
“You can’t count and spin at the same time.”
“I can too. I can multitask better than you anytime.”
“Big words big shot. Back them up.”
“I can walk and carry a stick. I can run and carry a ball, or two balls even, and sometimes three.”
I stare at him, nonplussed.
“Yeah, you can probably do those things too, huh?”
“That’s what I was thinking.”
“Well, I can walk and poop at the same time. Ha, beat that.”
I shake my head in defeat.
“Now give me my third scoop.”
I’m sitting at my desk filling out next week’s dog training schedule when Fleegle comes in from outside, sits next to me and stares.
I glance at the wall clock. “It’s not time for your dinner yet. It’s only 3:30.”
“But I’m hungry, Raud, really hungry. I think I might be starving. I bet it doesn’t take long to starve. I might waste away in a matter of minutes. Are you sure you want to take that kind of risk? It’s got to be time to eat. Just looking at your shoes makes me salivate.”
“It’s not time.”
“But my stomach tells me it’s time to eat and I trust my stomach over any dumb clock on the wall. I bet that clock runs on batteries.”
“It does.” I glance at it, then look a little closer. The second hand has stopped moving. “Oops.”
“Oops is right. You can make up for it by giving me an extra scoop of kibble.”
“Ouch. What are you barking at?”
He stares ahead intently. “That man.”
I look where he’s looking, but see no one. “What man?”
“That man in the big hat.”
I look again. There’s a man in a cowboy hat far away in the next block. “He’s like a zillion miles away.”
“Why bark, why not wag? What’s so scary about him?”
“He leans to the left when he walks. No one walks like that. He’s up to something. I’m sure of it.”
The light turns green, we pass the man and we’ll never know what he was up to.
I’m in the kitchen cooking my breakfast when Fleegle trots in from the yard. “Feeling better, I see.”
“I bet that’s the last time you’ll be eating duck treats.”
“I’m not so sure that’s what made me sick. They were pretty tasty. It might’ve been something else,” he says, hopefully.
“What else did you eat?”
“That’s never made your stomach upset before.”
He sniffs the air by the stove where I’m cooking. “Bacon and eggs have never upset your stomach before, maybe I should have some of them.”
Fleegle is curled up on the den couch. “I don’t feel so good.”
“For a chocolate dog, you look mighty green. Is that grass stuck in your front teeth?” I pull it out for him. “So much for your duck treats, eh? Did you throw up?”
He nods. “By the back gate near the garbage cans.”
“And in the flower beds.”
“And in your shoes by the bed.”