NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL FAMILY!

“Where are you guys going?”

“We’re off!”

“Off to the woods. Adventure, here we come!”

“Wait a minute, where are you rushing off? You may not realize it, but the idea of walking in the woods is that you two walk with me.”

“Really?”

“I had no idea. Aussie, did you know that?”

“Silliest thing I ever heard, Harry. We go on our run, you, Boss, go on your walk. You mean, we’re supposed to stay en famille?”

“What does that mean, Aussie?”

“Stay as a family, Harry. Stay together.”

“We are a family, guys. I know you like to run when we’re in the woods, I don’t mind if you go off here and there instead of staying by my heels, but you have to keep track of me, and when I whistle or call out, you come right over. That’s what being a family means.”

“Fool me, Aussie.”

“Never heard of such a thing. We’re two different species, Boss, how could we be one family?”

“If we’re one family, Boss, how come we eat dry dog food while you eat sautéed chicken?”

“Good one, Harry.”

“If we’re one family, Boss, how come I can’t pee overnight and have to hold it in till you open the dog door in the early morning? Do I have to remind you how often you go to the bathroom every night?”

“No, Harry, you don’t have to remind me.”

“If we’re one family, Boss, how come you can leave the house whenever you want to and I can’t?”

“Except that you do, Aussie.”

“And this morning I missed breakfast. If we’re one family—“

“Enough already! Guys, one family doesn’t mean that we have the same life, that we sleep on the same beds—“

“Actually, we do—“

“Quiet, Harry! Or eat the same food or go and come in the same way. We’re different, not better or worse.”

“Tell me that next time you’re eating a hamburger and I’m eating Kibble.”

“Hey, I don’t have it as good as you think. Who worries about having money for your dog food and treats?”

“Don’t you hunt?”

“You’re a lousy hunter if all you can bring back is Kibble, Boss.”

“When the tree smashed down close to the house, who made sure to get the live wires back up and out of reach, and then got the tree sawed up and the yard cleaned out so that you two could have your games and chase each other?”

“Not us, Boss, we ran away.”

“When you ate the edible pot in the woods, who took you to the vet?”

“That was a lot of fun, Boss.”

“Who provided you with training, which hasn’t yet paid off? Who took out all those porcupine quills?”

“She has a point, Harry. We all have our jobs to do. We all have our different roles to play. Right, Boss?”

“Right, Aussie, now you’re talking. I’m proud of you.”

“The Boss’s job is to fence us in. My job is to break out.”

“The Boss’s job is to give us Kibble. My job is to steal chicken off the counter.”

“The Boss’s job is to get us dog beds. My job is to sleep on the sofa—“

“Or her bed.”

“The Boss’s job is to walk us. Our job, Harry, is to run away.”

”Now, that’s what I call a family!”