“Oh oh, an obstruction.”

“You call that an obstruction? Just a short while ago you used to just sail over those things, Stan; it was like running hurdles.”

“I’m still trying to figure out whether to climb up this thing or go around.”

“You’re throwing up at night, Stanley, and your back legs collapsed on the floor several times yesterday.”

“Oh Eve, try to be more Zen-like.”

“What does that mean?”

“If you can’t go over, go around. If you can’t take the short road, walk the long.”

“Nowadays you don’t even go after a stick when I throw it into the water, Stanley.”

“At my age you want me to run after a stick?”

“You used to love to do that!”

“In the freezing water? Are you crazy?”

“It’s not freezing, Stan, the water’s warm because it’s so hot.”

“Then you go after it. And could you slow down a little when we’re walking? In fact, let me walk ahead of you. That way you can look at my butt instead of me looking at yours when you rush ahead. It’s a good practice, next time you blog you could describe it in detail.”

“Stanley, the last thing I need to blog about is your butt. I never even see my own, why should I look at yours?”

“Because it’s a lot cuter, with that little white diamond under my tail—you got anything remotely like that?”

“I don’t think so, Stan. Anyway, I’m too busy worrying about how long you’ll keep on walking.”

“Forever,” he says.

“Nothing lasts forever,” I tell him.

“I’ll last forever,” he says, hops over the tree, and hurries forward so that I could admire his cute butt. But he pants in the warm, humid air.