“Percy is coming, Aussie.”

“Who’s that, Boss?”

“You know, your Golden Retriever friend. He’s coming to hang out with you in the back yard.”

“Oh, you mean the one who smells like coffee grounds and grass, who’s sometimes constipated because he eats dog food with lots of corn, burps a lot, likes to poop under trees, and has a nice smell around the ears?”

“Yes, Percy.”

“What does Percy mean?”

“It tells me what dog is coming to visit.”

“Does it tell you what his pee smells like?”


“Does it tell you what he ate for dinner last night or who he played with yesterday?”


“You see? Nothing important.”

“I guess that’s true. You know, Aussie, in Zen we say that names and words don’t describe reality.”

“Oh, here we go again. Zen blather.”

“So, tell me, Aussie, where were you last night?”

“I went to visit Harry.”

“That’s miles and miles away, Auss!”

“We met halfway and had the best talk.”

“What did Harry say, Aussie?”

“This is what he said: ‘I’m having the best time of my life, Aussie. Every morning I start with a run of four miles with one of my humans, and when I get back the other one gives me a great breakfast. They have coyotes in the back so I get to sit by the window and howl in the middle of the night, which they think is hysterical. The cat and I tussled a bit in the beginning, but we made peace, only she’s old and doesn’t eat too much so I get to eat some of her cat food. Have you ever had cat food, Aussie? Tuna and halibut? It’s the best! They haven’t figured this out yet, they think the cat’s eating everything, little do they know. They say I’m the best dog ever. They even changed my name.’

‘To what? Boozer?’

‘No, to Hurry.’

‘They changed your name from Harry to Hurry? Why?’

‘Because their name is Kane, see? So now I’m Hurrykane. That’s me, Hurrykane. I run like the wind, steal the cat’s food, and howl with coyotes. They think I’m perfect!’

‘That’s because I’m not around to lead you to debauchery. Without me would you ever have learned how to get through the fence?’


‘How to rush out the front door anytime someone comes to visit by sprinting between their legs?’


‘How to raise the dog door by pushing your nose into the hole in the door and lifting?’

‘Never, but who cares? I’m having a blast.’

‘Well, Harry, I’m sorry to say that I’m not having a blast. The Boss is no fun. You know why?’


‘Because she’s spiritual, that’s why. And spiritual people have no fun!’

‘Why’s that?’

‘She won’t go sniffing around the yard with me, she won’t dig up the compost, she won’t ambush the birds and kill some mice, she won’t pee on my pee and won’t let me pee on her pee—WHAT GOOD IS SHE?’

‘She won’t even pee on your pee? What’s wrong with her?’ Those were his last words to me, Boss. I got so depressed I went home.”

“You must be tired, Auss.”

“Not tired, just jealous. Are we adopting Percy?”

“No. In fact, Percy’s humans called and asked about adopting you as a friend for Percy.”

“I’m packing my bags!”

“Auss, you’re staying with me. This is what’s called a committed relationship.”

“What’s that, Boss?”

“It means that we stay together even when we’re not always happy.”

“I don’t get it.”

“I used to have this argument with Bernie. Whenever we argued he’d say that obviously our marriage was all over, there was no more love there, and I’d say yes there is. And he’d say you love me in the middle of all this? And I’d say yes, even when we argue there’s love. And he used to say I don’t believe it.”

“He was right.”

“No, he wasn’t, Aussie. Love isn’t just kiss kiss kiss all the time, or in your language lick lick lick; love is many things.”

“Like digging up the neighbor’s compost and killing squirrels?”

“Not quite that, Aussie.”

“The Man was always right, Boss.”