“Aussie, I’m so moved by how well you and Henry  communicate!”

“Henry don’t communicate.”

“For instance, this morning you didn’t finish your food—”

“Kibble, ughgh!”

“You left your food bowl and came out just as Henry passed by my chair. Instantly you curled your lips and snapped at him, making it perfectly clear: Stay away from the laundry room! Stay away from my food! But you weren’t aggressive.”

“Aggressive towards a chihuahua? Moi?”

“He understood right away, Aussie. He walked all the way around to show you he had no interest in your food—”

“Who would?”

“—and then approached your rug where you keep your bones,  rolled on his back to show you he knows he’s trespassing on your territory—”

“Like all chihuahuas!”

“You did a fabulous downward dog and wagged your tail, hovered over him, and the two of you licked each other’s lips. I can’t believe how relational you are! You’ve become good friends even as you enforce boundaries.”

“We need strong borders with chihuahuas.”

“Many families don’t have such healthy relationships, Auss.”

“That’s because they don’t communicate. All they care about is things! Look at Henry. He has his yellow duckie, Pinky the Elephant, Red the hippo, a dozen yellow tennis balls, a blue beach ball and half a dozen little plaid monkeys! It’s like a rainbow house.”

“What’s wrong with that, Aussie?”

“Do you know how much energy it takes to take care of these things? He’s as bad as you are.”

“Me, Aussie?”

“You want so many things! You want your books—”

“I borrow them from the library!”

“You want your clothes, your computer, your phone, your plants, your pictures, those guys who’re always sitting and whose face never changes—”


“They’re not much into facial communication, notice? You want your blankets and your ice cream—”

“And what do you want, Aussie?”

“I want my marrow bones and a squirrel to kill in my spare time—is that too much to ask? Humans are consumers. All you know is wanting, having, taking, keeping!”

“Aussie, we arrived at the Farmers Co-op and going in. Let’s see, first thing we need to get is lamp oil. Where are you going, Auss?”

“Wilderness Trail Duck Biscuits for Dogs is over there. Grain free!”

“Sorry, we’re heading off to Aisle 3. Aussie! Aussie?”

“Sniffing out Blue Buffalo health bars baked with bacon, egg and cheese.”

“Put the box down, Aussie.”

“They’re health bars!”

“And don’t sniff at those Milk Bones!”

“As if I would bother with something like Milk Bones! Though an open box of them at lip level—silly humans are just asking for it.”

“Aussie, I have to get a 40-lb. bag of black sunflower seeds for the birdfeeders, so please—Now what?”

“Crunch-‘n-Munch chicken-free pumpkin, apple, and potato dog treats. Who ever heard of chicken-free?”

“Maybe for vegetarians, Aussie.”

“Vegetarian dogs? Treats should be free of pumpkin and apples, not chicken! Culinary colonialism!”

“Okay, I’m done. We’ll get one thing for you and then we’ll go to the cashier. What do you think of these treats, Aussie?”

“Baked-Lite? Do I look fat to you?”


“Nothing lite, low-fat, or wholesome. Nothing for Seniors or for overweight dogs. And no quinoa!”

“Apple mint biscuits for bad breath, Aussie?”

“Fuggedaboudit! I like this: Wag More gourmet chicken and bacon wraps with liver and cheddar.”

“Aussie, that’s too rich!”

“Canine bagels with smokehouse turkey, salmon, and lamb crunchies?”

“Choose one already, Aussie.”

“Okay, here’s one. Cow ears filled with gourmet peanut butter, roast chick-n-chips, and charred bison tongue with cheddar puffs.”

“And what do we get Henry?”

“Something vegan.”

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.