“Guess what, Aussie? We are in quarantine!”

“What does that mean, Harry?”

“Actually, I don’t know.”

“I’ll tell you what it means, Harry. Being in quarantine means that you can’t go wherever you want whenever you want.”

“So what’s new about that, Aussie?”

“My point exactly, Harry. Humans are beside themselves when it happens to them, but they’ve been quarantining us FOREVER!”

“Does that mean no walks, Aussie? No rides? No marrow bones?”

“Walks in the woods are fine, Harry. And I hear the Boss telling people it’s important to get food from other places, otherwise everything will shut down. That may mean more car rides, not less. That’s all they talk about now, Harry, quarantine breakfast lunch and dinner.”

“You mean you can eat quarantine? I knew I’d love it!”

“Not exactly, Harry.”

“Where will the Boss be all this time, Aussie?”

“With us. That’s the bad news.”

“What happens if you break quarantine, Aussie?”

“To us, nothing. First, we’re dogs. Second, we’re young. The Boss is decrepit and her lungs ain’t great. Hee hee, she’s the one that’s got to worry.”

“I hope she’ll be okay, Auss.”

“As long as she’s okay enough to feed us, Harry.”

“Are we in any danger, Aussie?”

“Of course not, we’re the superior species. Do you see us getting sick and dropping like flies? We’ll last long after these humans are gone. Probably have to change some behaviors, that’s all.”

“Like what, Aussie?”

“Once they’re gone we could stop protecting them, hunting with them, or working with them, Harry. Best of all, we’ll be free of their eternal moods and nagging: Come! Lie down! Go pee! Of course, we’ll have to do all that for another species.”

“Like who, Aussie? Bears?”

“Bears are independent, Harry; they can eat anything, they’re fast and strong. No, it has to be a needy species, like humans.”


“Ants know how to sacrifice for the whole, Harry, unlike humans.”


“Too bossy.”


“I don’t serve no squirrels. Matter of principle.”

“Bats! Moose! Frogs?”

“Harry, it has to be somebody that’s needy, like humans. Otherwise, why should they take care of us? In fact, you know something, Harry? I ain’t calling the Boss Boss anymore.”

“What are you going to call her, Aussie?”

“Miss Needy.”

“Why, Aussie?”

“Because bosses are strong, Harry. Bosses are tough. Our Boss is no boss. Our boss needs too much for a Boss.”

“What does she need, Aussie?”

“She needs companionship. She needs chocolate. She needs sugar. She needs us!”

“But isn’t that the point,, Aussie? Humans need us, and we need humans.”

“She needs us a lot worse than we need her, Harry. When I run into the woods I can catch me a couple of squirrels for breakfast. There’s lots of water and small dens for shelter. I am the Boss, Harry. She’s Miss Needy.”

“Are you sure, Aussie?”

“Of course I’m sure. Bosses are always sure, it comes to them naturally. Do you see what she does first thing in the morning? She comes down to make the house warmer, opens the dog doors, then comes to us and starts petting and talking to us, wakes us up just when we’re trying to sleep. She needs love!”

“Is that so bad, Aussie?”

“Do you see Donald Trump needing love? A boss is just what we need in these times, Harry. Someone to take charge, tell us not to worry, and keep on eating out. Do you see our Boss acting like that?”

“No. She’s careful and thoughtful, sometimes a little anxious and lonely.”

“Just like I said, Harry. Miss Needy. That’s her name from now on.”