You Must Be Reading My Mind
I’m not infatuated with you. It’s just that I can’t stop thinking about you, and I can’t take my eyes off you.
When you look at me like that, I can’t keep from smiling at you and wagging my tail. I love you. And I’m sorry about the slobber. I can’t help it. I’m just happy to see you.
You don’t have to clip that leash-thing on me. I won’t run off again. I Promise—unless I smell something interesting.
You know I really like things with strong smells, especially things that are sweet and pungent and hang in the air heavy like fog. You know what I mean? It’s irresistible. I like to roll around in things like that, smear them all over me and take them home with me so I can enjoy them later. It makes me happy. I’m happy even when you’re yelling,
“Leave that stinky nasty stuff alone!”
You can’t smell the interesting sweetness in those things, can you? I guess maybe you should go ahead and use that leash-thing, if it makes you feel better. You’re the greatest, best-est, smartest person in the whole world. I worship your presence. You feed me, wash me, and make me feel good about myself. I think you’re perfect.
So, why don’t you just let me roll around in the things I like and if you don’t like it then just wash me off? You can wash me off any time you want, you know. Why are you always holding me back from all the sweet things?
Washing is my best time with you. I like to be close to you, and I like it when you put that soapy-stuff all over me. It feels so good. And then I smell pretty, like that person you married.
Did you hear that person say that washing me is a good bonding experience for both of us? You should listen to her or whatever she is. So why don’t you get the tub ready—tepid, not too warm, please—and I’ll jump right in with you. I won’t shake off either. I promise—not until we go outside. . . What?
Okay, okay, so hook that leash-thing on me. I can see that you’re going to take me outside anyway. I’ll go where you go and do what you do, again and again, every day . . . even though I never get to go where I want to go and do what I want to do.
Together we prance down that narrow strip of fractured gritty stone in front of our house to the place where the grass grows.
It’s my favorite place.
Look over there. Can’t you see it?
I think I smell something. Why are you holding me back? Don’t you want me to check it out? You want me to stay with you, don’t you? You want me to stay right here.
You’re using that extra long leash-thing that pulls out today. I think I’ll just circle it around your legs a couple times when you’re not looking. Then I’ll pull it tight and see how you like it.
You’re yelling again,
“Stop it. Do your business! And hurry up!”
But I love you anyway.
You sure look funny hopping around like a boy in a sack race.
You think I’m panting, but I’m actually laughing at you. You entertain me sometimes, especially when you’re hopping around like that and yelling at me. I think I’ll just sit here and watch you for a moment. Go ahead and try to get out of it. You’re cracking me up.
You’re clapping your hands real hard and saying,
“Are you going to do something or not?”
I hear this from you every day. Nag, nag, nag. You sound just like that person you married. Now you’re yelling again,
“Hey, what did you just do? Oh, my gosh! How am I supposed to clean that up? All I brought was this little plastic bag.”
You’ve said that before, but not like today. I don’t understand why you never bring a shovel. One thing though, you always put your hand on my head afterwards, like right now, and you say,
“Don’t worry. It’s alright. You’re a good dog. You know that? I love you. Yes, I do. I love you because you always love me even when I yell at you.”
I don’t understand everything you say, but I understand most of it, except when you use too many words, like just now. That’s why I’m cocking my head, so you’ll know I don’t understand. Do you get me? You say,
“I don’t mind cleaning up your messes. At least you did it outdoors.”
So I cock my head the other way. Do you get me now?
I can tell that you love me a lot. I can see it in your eyes. And I like that. You’re scratching my neck and my eyes are rolling. It feels good. You can do that all day, if you want to—sorry about the slobber. I can’t help myself.
I’m really, really happy to be with you right now.
Okay, enough is enough. Did you bring my ball? Hah Hah Hah! Are you going to toss it for me?
And you’re asking,
“Do you want to go in the backyard and play with your ball?”
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!
You’re throwing my ball, ten or twenty times I think. I wish I could count.
And now I’m exhausted, panting and hungry. Can’t you tell I’m tired? Don’t you know that’s why I won’t give the ball back to you? That’s why I’m lying with my tongue hanging out from behind the ball and slobbering in the grass. Can’t you tell I don’t want to play anymore? Are you stupid?
Then you say, “Let’s go inside.”
Do you have one of those crunchy things that taste like beef and look like a bone?
Can I have one?
Can I have another, please?
“You’ve had enough.”
It’s never enough.
“Go lay down.”
Plopping down on my favorite rug in front of that lay-all-the-way-back-in-the-chair-thing you’re sitting in, I nestle my chops between my front paws, so I can watch you watch that lightning box with those things that move back and forth inside.
I lift my eyes.
You glance at me and smile.
A moment later your eyes close and a familiar growling gurgling blubbering sound begins to rise up out from you. A sound like that from any other animal would worry me, but I’m not worried. I’ve been waiting patiently all day to hear that sound. Now I can take my nap.
I sure am glad your home.