“Aussie, would you like to be my emotional support dog?”


“Other than lying on the futon in my office—”

“It’s snowing!”

“–do you plan to do anything of value this winter, Auss?”

“My productive life ended with the election. Besides, I still chase avaricious squirrels from the birdfeeders.”

“Aussie, I feel discouraged by the gray morning clouds I see first thing when I wake up in the morning. We haven’t had much sun lately, or blue skies. And Kwan-Yin is covered in snow.”

“When it’s blue skies here it means it’s freezing. Not that I mind, with my two coats of fur.”

“I’d love to have a meal out, Aussie.”

“Easy. Kill squirrels.”

“I’d like to sit down for a cup of coffee with a friend in a café. Right now, I do coffee via Zoom. I have mine on my desk, they have theirs on their desk, and we talk. But the computer screen is always between us.”

“If you can’t touch somebody, what’s the use?”

“Exactly, Aussie. What’s the first thing I do when I come down in the morning?”

“You bug me.”

“I come to the futon where you’re lying down, greet you, stroke you and say: ‘Another wonderful day with Aussie.’”

“Pretty corny, if you ask me.”

“You’re wrong about that, Auss. You watch people and dogs get older, you get older, and each day is so precious.”

“Precious enough to get me the humongous buffalo treats they sell in the store?”

“No, Aussie. I don’t want to spend money in the  name of love and longing, I just want to love.”

“Big deal!”

“A month ago, a friend brought me her sewing machine that she’s giving to one of the immigrant women. ‘I’ll put it in the trunk of your car,’ she said to me. She took it to my car, I must have turned away for a minute, and when  I turned back to her she was standing right there, in front of me, arms outstretched, remember, Aussie?”


“I was stunned. She wanted to give me a big hug. I didn’t think twice, I just sank into her arms and almost wept! I think she’s coming back today to give me another sewing machine. I wonder if she’ll want to hug me.”

“Not again!”

“I have a friend in the hospital sick with covid and I want to give him a big hug, but I can’t. I try to express my love to my mother whenever we talk, but it’s not the same thing, Aussie.”

“Thank your lucky stars you have me to stroke and pet and murmur sweet little nothings to every morning. ‘You’re my pretty girl, Aussie.’ Uggh!”

“I guess you are my emotional support dog whether you like it or not, Auss.”

“So, when do I get to fly on a plane?”

“Planes don’t let emotional support dogs aboard anymore, Aussie.”

“When do I get my bandanna with my name on it and my office hours?”

“Office hours for what?”

“Submitting to needy humans! That’s what it should say on my bandanna: Aussie Marko: Available for touching, licking, love, and other bullshit. Fee for services: Ten big buffalo treats.”

“You’re no big cuddler, Aussie.”

“You want licks and kisses, go to that Chihuahua Henry. I’m a Yankee dog, I’m restrained. Also, not Jewish.”

“Aussie, let’s have an orgy.”

“Not into the inter-species thing,  either.”

You can also send a check either to support my blog or to buy food cards for immigrant families to: Eve Marko, POB 174, Montague, MA 01351. Please write on the memo line what you are donating to. Thank you.