dog fiction

Negotiating with Cookies #22 – A Walk with Fleegle

While on a walk, Fleegle trotting along at my side, we pass a man walking his dog. The dog pulls against a too short of a leash while the man stares at his phone with his head down and ear buds plugged into his ears.

“Why does that man have a dog?” Fleegle asks. “Is he walking his dog or his phone? Why doesn’t he put his television in a shopping cart and take it for a walk?”

“I hate to tell you this Fleegle, but he’s watching television on his phone.”

“No kidding? You can do that? Can you do that on your phone?”

“I’ve got an old phone,” I say.

“Well if you get a new one you’re going to wish you kept your old one.”

“Why?”

But Fleegle ignores my question as he sniffs at the base of a fire hydrant.

Continuing our walk, we pass a little boy and his mother sitting on a park bench licking ice cream cones.

“They live with a dog,” Fleegle says.

“How do you know? Do they smell like dog?”

“No, like cat, actually. But you saw how they licked at their ice cream.”

We pick up the pace and hurry passed a man with a very loud leaf blower. “Does that man live with a dog?” I ask.

Fleegle sniffs at the dust filled air. “Nah, he lives alone with his leaf blower. What dog would have him with all that racket? Just like his neighbor who lives alone with his lawn mower.”

We amble on some more when Fleegle says, “It’s good you have me along to answer all your questions. You must find life pretty challenging having more questions than answers.”

I drop his leash and point at a tree. “Look, Fleegle, squirrel.”

He darts to the base of the tree, circling and sniffing and looking all over. “Oh boy, a squirrel. Where is it? Where’s the squirrel?”

But there is no squirrel, just an outmaneuvered human lamely reasserting himself through trickery.

 

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #21 – Self Help

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

dog fiction

Negotiating with Cookies #21 – Self Help

Fleegle and I are in the den, being couch potatoes watching television.

“This can really help you with your self-image,” the guest on the couch says to the television talk show host.

Fleegle stops chewing on his ball and snorts, “What are these people talking about?”

“It’s almost over.”

“Self-image? What’s that? And why does it need help? Is it in trouble?” he asks. “Did it poop in the house?”

“A self-image is how you see yourself.”

“So that dog who lives in the mirror is my self-image? He doesn’t look like he needs any help. He’s always got a tennis ball in his mouth. What more could he ask for?”

“No, it’s how you see yourself inside your head.”

“But I can’t see inside my head. Can you?” He rolls his eyes, trying to look at the back of his head. “Do I have a hole back there where you can see inside?” He shoves the back of his head at me. “Take a look. What’s my self-image doing? He better not be sitting on his backside on a fat couch watching nonsense on television.”

 

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #22 – A Walk with Fleegle

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #20 Cheese for Fleegle

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

dog fiction

Negotiating with Cookies #20 – Cheese for Fleegle

Fleegle sits next to me on the couch, watching my every bite. “You know, the proper way to eat pizza is with your hands, not on a plate with a fork,” he says.

“And how would you know this?”

He jerks his nose at the television screen. “That’s how everyone on your television does it. Maybe you missed that lesson. You think I just sleep, but sometimes I watch it too.”

“Eating it by hand when it’s hot is a quick way to burn the roof of my mouth and ruin the whole pizza experience.”

“How’s that Parmesan taste?” Drool dangles from his lower lip. “Aren’t you glad you put on extra like I told you to?”

“Most of it has fallen off onto the plate.”

He licks his lips. The drool breaks free.  “Yes, I’ve noticed. You’re lucky to have such a good plate cleaner handy.”

 

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #21 – Self Help

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #19 – Parmesan

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

dog fiction

Negotiating with Cookies #19 – Parmesan

“Put more Parmesan cheese on it, Raud,” Fleegle says as I grate a block of it over the two slices of pizza on my plate. “Don’t hold back. Parmesan really completes the flavor. Go on, keep grating.”

“You’re drooling again,” I say.

Fleegle eyes the block of cheese in my hand. “That’s a smart move, buying that fresh block of Parmesan. It’s the best, far better than that sawdust in the green tube.”

“You would know. You stole the tube off the counter.”

“It’s not stealing when you leave it out free for the taking. The cardboard was almost better tasting than the cheese like substance inside it.”

“But it sure did soak up the drool.”

He nose bumps my leg. “You drool too, you know.”

“I do not.”

“Yes, you do. Go look at your pillow. You must dream of Parmesan in your sleep. I know I do, but the fresh stuff, not the tube stuff.”

 

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #20 – Cheese for Fleegle

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #18 – 425 Degrees for 14 Minutes

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

dog fiction

Negotiating with Cookies #18 – 425 Degrees for 14 Minutes

Fleegle stares at the pizza through the little window on the oven door. “It’s done, Raud, you can take it out now.”

“It’s not done. I just put it in.” I glance at the timer. “It still has twelve minutes and eight seconds, seven, six to go before it’s done baking.”

Fleegle looks skeptically at the timer. “That timer runs on batteries, doesn’t it? I don’t trust batteries.”

“It’s working. I can see the milliseconds flash by.”

“Milliseconds don’t flash by, they crawl, they slither, they creep, they don’t move at all. Is it done yet?”

“Thinking about it like that will only make it seem even longer before it’s done. Why don’t you go outside and check for squirrels.”

“Squirrels, you said squirrels,” he says and bolts for the open patio door, but slides to a stop halfway there and looks over his shoulder at me.

“Don’t worry, I won’t start without you,” I say and glance at the timer. “You have eleven minutes and forty-seven seconds to chase squirrels.”

 

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #19 – Parmesan

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #17 – Take and Bake

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

dog fiction

Negotiating with Cookies #17 – Take and Bake

We pull into a parking spot in front of the take and bake pizza place.

Fleegle sniffs at the inch wide gap at the top of the shotgun window. “I can smell it from here. I can smell pizza through brick walls. Why ever eat kibble when there’s pizza?”

“You’re drooling.” I open my door. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

“I’ll be waiting, and drooling.”

“Don’t I know it.”

I return minutes later, saran wrapped pizza in hand. “Stay in your seat, please,” I say as I slide the pizza on the dashboard in front of me and get behind the wheel.

Sitting next to a puddle of drool, Fleegle stares intently at the pizza as if with his gaze alone he could levitate it into his mouth. He leans toward it as far as he can, vigorously sniffing the air while barely keeping his butt on his seat.

He sees me glancing at him, ready to guard the pizza from sudden attack. “What? I’m just making sure you got the right pizza and not someone else’s.”

 

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #18 – 425 Degrees for 14 Minutes

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #16 – Pizza

Start from the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

dog fiction

Negotiating with Cookies #16 – Pizza

I end the call and set my phone on my desk.

Fleegle runs over and nose bumps my leg. “Pizza? You said pizza on the phone, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I did. I just ordered one from the take and bake.”

He runs to the door leading to the garage. “Come on, let’s go.”

I remain seated. “Hold your horses. They need to make the pizza before we go pick it up. There isn’t any rush.”

His butt leads him through a spin of a circle. “What do you mean there’s no rush?” He spins another circle. “We need to go pick it up before someone else gets it. Like someone who isn’t busy holding their horses. Who are these horses anyway? Am I going to have to share my pizza with them?”

 

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #17 – Take and Bake

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #15 – Sharing, Or Not

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

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