“Aussie, how come you’re turning back to the car? We just started our walk.”

“I don’t like the noise.”

“You mean the gunshots from the shooting range? They’re pretty far away, Auss, they can’t hurt you.”

“I’m heading back.”

“I’m surprised at you, Aussie. You, a Proud Poocher! You didn’t used to be afraid of gunshots.”

“The world isn’t as safe as it used to be. It’s becoming downright dangerous! That’s why Joe needs me in his cabinet.”

“You, Auss?”

“I’m from Texas, they’ll confirm me in no time.”

“I can think of a big reason why they won’t, Aussie.”

“I’d be great at Homeland Security, you know what a good watchdog I am. I walk the perimeter every night!”

“Aussie, you’re a dog!”

“So? What about his other nominees? They’re from every race, culture, and religion in this country. Why not a dog?”

“I never thought of that, Aussie.”

“Joe says he loves diversity, so when are nonhumans going to be represented in government?”

“That’s a good question, Auss.”

“I can represent all nonhumans. In fact, I can create a Department of Nonhuman Affairs.”

“What a great idea. Who will you put on staff?”

“Everybody. No specie will be excluded in the Department of Nonhuman Affairs except for Henry the Chihuahua.”

“I’m not sure Republicans want another cabinet office, Auss. They wanted to eliminate the Department of Education.”

“That’s a good one for me, too. I’m great with treats.”

“I’m not sure treats—”

“Or else I can take over the Department of Agriculture.  I’m a terror on chipmunks, squirrels, mice, moles, voles, and other dangerous varmints. Head of Transportation? I love car rides!”

“Aussie, get a hold of yourself.”

“He could put me in charge of the FBI. I’m mostly black, think of the great message that would send!”


“Director of National Intelligence, for obvious reasons. “

“I love a Department of Nonhuman Affairs, Aussie. It will be called DNA and its job will be to represent all nonhumans.”

“I have the best ideas! Does Major the German Shepherd have–”

“Aussie, my sister wrote me that I have an amazing alter-ego in you.”

“What’s that? Something you put on your altar? Don’t even think of lifting me up and putting me on that—”

“No no, Aussie, you don’t understand. She thinks that in you I’ve created a different version of me. Even an opposite version of me.”

“Of you? How come she doesn’t think that you are an opposite version of me?”

“Maybe because we haven’t found evidence of dogs having alter egos, Aussie.”

“How much evidence do you have of alter egos?”

“Aussie, my sister is convinced that I write your voice.”

“Ha! Ha! Ha! You’re not clever enough, creative enough, or bitchy enough!”

“We have this argument often. She says I write your voice, while I tell her: No, this is Aussie’s voice.

“I’m registering my words with the US Copyright Office. I need to claim my voice! I need to stand for my separate identity!”

“She says that your identity is my secret identity, too.”

“Sounds like a Zennie to me. And here I hoped that somebody in your family was a little normal.”