Photo by Leeann Warner

“Stanley, you’re back!”

“I had a great time with Leeann and the pack, best day of my life!”

“I’m so glad to hear it, Stan. I have a question for you: Do you and the others ever talk about Donald Trump?”

“No, why should we?”

“You’re right, what a silly idea. OK, what did you do with Leeann and her pack?”

“Climbed hill and dale. Tried to kill a fox only Leeann wouldn’t let me. Never met a fox I liked. Showed my teeth to She Who Likes to Climb the Mountain—”

“Who’s that, Stan?”

“Kaya, Leeann’s dog. She likes to climb every mound of dirt and every tree trunk and lord it over the rest of us. Almost managed to shove Wabash off the Spaulding Brook bridge—”

“Who’s Wabash, Stanley?”

“Wabash the dumb collie. Every time we cross that bridge I give him a big shove with my hip to see him fall into the creek. You’d think he’d learn by now to watch out for me on that bridge, but what could he do? He’s a collie, they’re dumb.”

“Collies aren’t dumb, Stan.”

“Also outpeed Cilantro.”

“You peed more times than Cilantro the Beagle?”

“No, I peed higher than Cilantro. Stupid Beagle, thinking he can raise his hind legs higher than me. There was no contest, even with my arthritis. Growled so hard at Fenwick he ran howling to Leeann.”

“Who’s Fenwich, Stanley? Have I met him?”

“Fenwick the Greyhound.”

“The one they saved from the racetrack?”

“Yeah, and you should have seen him running away from me! He probably thought he was racing again. One growl freaks him out. That’s the trouble with those greyhounds, no savoir-faire.”

“You’re getting worse and worse, Stanley. Any day now Leeann is going to ask me to keep you home.”

“She can’t, she needs me. I bring action to the group, I bring stress and trauma. Without me there’s no edge! Call me Wrathful Stanley.”

“How about being a peacemaker, Stan?”

“Nope. Not much fun there.”

“Okay, Edge, what else did you do—for fun?”

“I grabbed Corky’s biscuit when Leeann wasn’t watching.”

“Who’s Corky?”

“A Yorkie. You know how she gives us treats? Soon as she turned around I grabbled Corky’s treat.”

“Stanley, you stole!”

“Dumb Yorkie puts a treat on the ground he’s asking for it. I taught him a valuable survival lesson! Now, if only I could deal with Minnie.”

“Minnie the Dachshund? Is she still chasing you around, Stan?”

“She won’t leave me alone! Follows me everywhere, yapping. I’ve tried everything: I’ve barked, snarled, growled, lunged, every form of subjugation and tyranny I could think of, and she won’t leave me alone.”

“You think it’s love?”

“Maybe I need someone to pay her off.”

“You mean, a lawyer, Stanley? We don’t have money for a payoff.”

“I’ll start digging up the back yard. Lots of bones there!”