“What the F— am I doing here?”

“You look comfy to me, Aussie.”

“I’m not on land!”

“Of course not, Auss, you’re on a ferry.”

“You took me off land?”

“Just off the mainland, Auss. We’re going to an island. Islands are surrounded by water.”

“I don’t want to go there.”

“Once we get there, Aussie, you’ll be on land again. For now, you have to be on a boat which takes us across the water to the island.”

“So am I like what’s his name? The one who walked on water?”

“Jesus? Of course not, Auss, you’re walking on the deck of a ferry.”

“But the ferry’s on water, right? So I’m walking on water and HATING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!”


“Because I like to know where I’m standing! I like solid ground under my paws. I don’t want to sway, I don’t want to slide, I don’t want to think I’m standing someplace and then find myself someplace else.”

“But Aussie, that’s what’s exciting about life. We start out somewhere, we think we’re there forever, but if we’re open to new directions and opportunities, we end up someplace else. And then someplace else again. And then someplace—”

“STOP! I don’t want that. No Jesus, no ferry, no journey, just solid ground!”

“Aussie, you’re forgetting the most important thing of all.”

“What’s that?”

“You’re going on your first international trip. You’ve left the United States.”

“Where am I going, Italy?”


“I know—Bra-zil!”

“No, Auss, you’re going to Grand Manan.”

“Grand what?”

“Grand Manan.”

“What’s a grand manan?”

“An island just south of New Brunswick, in Canada.”

“Canada? You call Canada international?”

“It’s our northern neighbor.”

“It’s boring. It might be more interesting if they sent drugs over, like Mexico, or if we had a war, like Russia and Ukraine. That’s what I call international.”

“Believe me, Auss, we should be grateful night and day that we live in peace with Canada. Too many countries live in enmity with their neighbors.””

“Just look at the people and the dogs. Do they look different to you? Same men, same women, same kids. Look at that Eskimo hound. Looks just like Leeann’s Willy, only no manners. Maybe Canadians don’t have manners.”

You are criticizing others for having no manners?”

“When we passed the border did you see anything different? It was flat on one side and flat on the other. No new mountains, no new rivers. One minute we’re in America, the next minute we’re in Canada. No guards with guns, no stupid beagles sniffing for you-know-what.”

“Speaking of the border, Aussie, you were rude to the young woman who let us through.”

“She asked me if I had my rabies certificate, so I said: DO I LOOK RABID TO YOU?”

“Aussie, please try to make friends. I hear you’ll meet a dog called Coco.”

“You mean, we’re going to be on an island and I will not be an only dog?”

“Try to be a good dog, Aussie.”

“I’m from America, nobody tells me what to do. If you didn’t have me on a leash I’d jump and swim back home.”

“The water’s salty, Auss.”

“You put salt in the water? How much?”

“Quite a bit, I’m afraid.”

“And we’re paying for this?”


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