“Aussie, look what I got for you. A kiddie pool! It was all Lori’s idea. She said that given how much you love to lie belly-down in water, I should get you your very own pool for the back yard. This one was on end-of-summer sale for $30.”

“End of summer? You know how hot it is?”

“It’s very hot, Aussie, so go into the pool.”

“No way Jose.”

“You love getting wet, Auss. You never pass a puddle without stepping in and lying down in it.”

“Puddles ain’t pools. Neither are poodles, for that matter.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Puddles are dirty and poodles are dumb.”

“No, no, Aussie, I mean the difference between puddles and pools. And poodles aren’t dumb at all.”

“So let me ask you a question, smartie. Where’s the mud?”

“There isn’t any, Aussie. You can lie in clear, cool water.”

“I’ll drink it, but I ain’t a-lying in it. I want mud!”

“Why, Auss?”

“Because I’m Aussie in mud.”

“You mean, like a lotus in mud?”


“Aussie, a lotus is an exquisite flower that only blooms in mud. It’s a symbol for purity and enlightenment.”

“Like moi.”

“Aussie, you’re a dog from Texas.”

“Texas pooches can’t be symbols of purity and enlightenment? WE’RE BEING CANCELED!”

“Pretend it’s mud, Aussie.”

“Pour the water out on the ground over there, give it five minutes, and I’ll pretend it’s mud.”

“Aussie, get into the pool!”

“Pools ain’t mud. Pools are lounge chairs with Tom Collins and sunscreen. Pools are privilege, pools are middle-class. Send Henry to the pool, he’ll love it—before he drowns. I want my mud!”

“Why do you like mud so much?”

“It’s soft, soothing, and stinks, my favorite qualities. It’s why I like you so much.”

“Thanks, Aussie, but I don’t think you understand. When we say that a lotus blooms in mud, we mean that the most beautiful things can arise out of dirt, upset, messes, even calamity.”

“That’s me. Look at me, I have to live with a rabid, illegal chihuahua who runs all over the house holding a pink elephant or a green crocodile in his mouth. It’s amazing how heavenly I’ve stayed in the middle of all this. I’m an example for the canine world.”

“A tzaddik!”

“Whatever. “


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