“Hi Aussie, it’s me again.”

“Of course, it’s you again. Would you please get out of bed and feed me?”

“Okay, but I’m kind of disappointed that it’s me again. Here it is, Tuesday morning, and it’s me again.”

“Who else did you want it to be?”

“I don’t know, Auss. It could have been Barack or Michelle. It could have been Angela Merkel. It could have been Henry.”

“Please, not Henry. Who in their right mind would want to be a chihuahua? Besides, how do you know it’s you again?”

“Well, I’m wearing these black-and-white pajamas, same pajamas I always wear.”

“Don’t other humans wear pajamas?”

“Not everybody,  Aussie. I didn’t wear pajamas for a long time, or anything in bed for that matter.”

“Spare me, I don’t want to hear about any of that. Still, how do you know it’s you?”

“You’re wagging your tail as though it’s me.”

“I wag my tail at lots of people and animals—just not Henry.”

“I think I wanted to be someone else for a long time.”


“Because I’ve been me for 71 years and I’m tired of it. Can’t I be you for a change, Aussie?”

“Then who would I be? AND DON’T SAY HENRY!”

“Don’t you ever feel like you want to be somebody else, Auss?”

“No, I‘m happy being me. Nothing is better than being Aussie. No life is better than Aussie’s life, especially when she’s down on her belly in a puddle. Heaven!”

“Aussie, why do you have to flop down in every puddle in New England?”

“Where else should I flop down?”

“In the streets of Northampton. I take you walking on the streets and you get all nervous, eyes like black balloons, constantly looking over your shoulder. You rush into the car as quick as you can.”

“Of course. You know why?”

“Why, Auss?”

“Because people go shopping in Northampton. They constantly need things; that scares me. I tell you, Northampton isn’t safe for anybody. You know what’s the trouble with you?”

“No, but I think you’ll tell me.”

“You think too much. If you didn’t think you were the most fascinating thing in the world and instead flopped belly-down in a puddle, you’d be a lot happier all around. Which reminds me. I noticed that my bag of treats was empty and thrown in the trash. What happened to all the treats?”

“I brought them to my goddog yesterday, Auss.”

“You have a goddog? And pray, who is that?”

“Her name is Bailey. I visited her human yesterday. I know Bailey from very, very early on. My friend and I were talking about her before she was born.”

“And you brought her my treats? Did you bring anything to her human?”

“Roast chicken and mashed potatoes.”

“What about giving your goddog roast chicken and mashed potatoes? What about giving me—”

“You know I try not to give dogs too much human food, Aussie.”

“Okay, so now we both agree about something.”

“About human food for dogs?”

“No, about how you wish you were someone else. I also wish you were someone else.”

“Who, Aussie?”

“Your New York friend who cooks sirloin, chicken breast, and omelets for her dogs. Who doesn’t lounge around in bed in her black-and-white pajamas whining about wishing she was somebody else but gets off her butt and makes her dog breakfast. That’s who!”

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