HIDING

Aussie hiding from the heat

“Aussie, why are you hiding?”

“I’m not hiding, Boss, just trying not to die from sunstroke. Where did you think you were taking us?”

“I’m sorry. I took you guys on a trail that I thought had more shade as well as water.”

“No water, and almost no shade. I’ll probably die before I make it to the car.”

“Don’t be a prima donna, Aussie. Have a little rest, and then come out. My car’s a 2-minute walk away. All the windows are open, you’ll cool down right away. The air is fresh.”

“It won’t be once we get there. Harry will fart as soon as you pull out.”

“I will not.”

“You always do, Harry. The Boss shuts the door, the car starts moving, and off you go. Never fails. Bam goes the door, car moves, and you let it rip.”

“Enough, Aussie.”

“Harry’s also the one who pulls on the leash, Boss, eats faster than a coyote, remembers he has to pee in the middle of the night because he forgot to do it earlier just before you shut the dog door, and throws down everybody who comes to the front door so that he could make his escape.”

“Aussie, you’re the queen of runaways. Harry’s got nothing on you.”

“Worst of all, he’s always in such a rush that it takes him a dozen times to empty his bowels. He squats down a little, gets distracted, and jumps up. A moment later down he goes again, and quickly up again because something else got his attention. I’ve never seen a dog with more disgraceful bathroom habits. I, on the other hand, take my time, settle down on my back legs, lower my butt daintily—”

“Enough, Aussie, I think we got the picture.”

“Who ever heard of a dog that’s such in such a rush all the time that he can’t even shit normally, Boss?”

“Let’s not discuss this any further, Aussie. The two of you used to get along so well, what happened?”

“Harry’s growing up. He’s becoming a guy. A dude.”

“So what, Auss?”

“I don’t like dudes.”

“You’re afraid of men, aren’t you, Aussie?”

“It’s the common sense approach, Boss.”

“What happened to you before you came here, Aussie?”

“My relations with men have been traumatic. That’s why I hide under the car.”

“Mine, too, Aussie. Why do you think it is? Because we made bad choices?”

“Nah, they’re just no good, Boss.”

“All of them, Auss?”

“They’re always in a big rush to go somewhere else—”

“You’re the runaway of all time, Aussie—”

“And they have no feelings, Boss, they have no emotions. Now, if we could get rid of Harry the house would be all-female and we could build an advanced civilization.”

“You know, Auss, I’d like to meet another man.”

“Oh, here we go. Another bad choice.”

“Come on, Aussie, they’re not all terrible. You like Tim, don’t you?”

“He gets down on the floor and plays with us.”

“What happens if I meet somebody, Auss?”

“Where we live, who’re you going to meet, a raccoon?”

“True, true.”

“You don’t need to meet anybody, Boss, you got me and Harry. Ahead of us is a long life together.”

“I want to talk to somebody, Aussie. I want to love—”

“You love me, don’t you?”

“—And be loved back.”

“Harry loves you.”

“Oh Aussie, I don’t want to be tough like you. Can’t you let go of that and be more open? Get a little softer, a little tenderer? I was tough my entire life, Aussie. Toughness gets you through things, but it can shut other things out.”

“Just as long as it shuts out the sun. Don’t want to get sunstroke.”