BRATTY TEENAGER

“Aussie, how come you had a fight with Marlowe?”

“Because she’s a big bully!”

“Marlowe was always like that in the Sunday dog gathering, Auss, and you didn’t mind. She always wanted to be chased and you chased her. She growled at times and you didn’t care.”

“Yeah? Well, now I mind, Boss.”

“I think that since you turned 2 different things are coming out, Aussie.”

“I don’t want to be bullied by Marlowe. If anyone is in my face I’m going to be in their face.”

“Aussie, can’t you just let her be a little dominant? I mean, so what?”

“No way.”

“Don’t you see what happens? The two of you get into a fight that makes no one happy. She’s leashed by her boss and even goes home. I have to leash you up so that you can’t play freely and sometimes we have to leave, too, including Harry who did nothing wrong. Nobody wins, Aussie. See what I mean?”

“Nobody’s getting into my face.”

“And what’s this new thing with terriers, Auss?”

“I don’t like ‘em.”

“What about the miniature poodle we ran into yesterday? I told the man you and Harry were friendly and the next thing I know you begin to growl. “Friendly dogs don’t growl,’ the man says, and instantly I put you on leash.”

“She reminded me of a terrier.”

“Trainers say that when little dogs run fast bigger dogs like you might think they’re prey so you go after them.”

“That miniature poodle prey? Don’t make me laugh. No prey looks that weird. You humans think you’re so smart. You analyze us and think you got us all figured out, but you don’t.”

“And another thing, Aussie. Leave Harry alone when he tries to play with other dogs. He’s interacting so nicely, he has such good manners unlike you-know-who. But the minute he starts chasing somebody else you grab him by the back leg and pull him away.”

“I‘m his older sister, Boss.”

“He wants to play with other dogs, Aussie, give him a break.”

“How much of a break did you give your younger sister when you were growing up? Your friend, Jon Katz, told you that dogs reflect their humans. See what I mean?”

“I don’t think that’s what he—“

“Did you let anybody tell you what to do when you were growing up?”

“Now that you mention it, no, but that was different, Aussie. I grew up in a religious Jewish home and I couldn’t get with that program, see what I mean? So they got angry and I got angry right back.”

“Just like me and Marlowe.”

“Not the same thing, Auss.”

“And did you boss around your sister?”

“A little bit.”

“She told me that when both of you were growing up you kicked her down the stairs one night. I tried it on Harry. He fell down one stair got back up on his paws, said that was fun and asked me to do it again.”

“Aussie, this discussion is going no—“

“I’m your past coming back to haunt you, Boss.”

“Thanks, Aussie. Do you have any more surprises for me now that you’ve reached the ripe age of 2?”

“I’m gonna be the toughest, brattiest teenager you ever saw. Just like you, Boss.”