“Aussie, come on. I’m not taking all these walks just for my benefit. Stop sniffing and let’s go. Henry left that shrub several minutes ago.”

“You don’t understand, I’m gathering important information.”

“I’ve heard that when you dogs sniff under plants and trees it’s like you’re reading the New York Times.”

“I wouldn’t be caught dead reading the New York Times. Fake news!”

“I mean that you sniff all the pee and smells left by other animals in order to get information, Auss, like who visited that spot, are they male or female, what they ate, and so on. It’s like our reading the papers.”

“Papers? Who reads papers anymore? I’m sniffing a blog.”

“You’re sniffing a blog? Who leaves you a blog under a maple by the train tracks, Aussie?”

“Witty the Poodle.”

“Witty’s his name?”

“It’s actually Whittier but everybody calls him Witty. Witty leaves a blog several times a week right here.”

“Aussie, Witty leaves an entire blog in his pee? I wish I could do that. Easier than writing.”

“And much more advanced.”

“What does Witty say, Auss?”

“Several things. First, the freight trains that cross these tracks are longer than ever. He had to wait for hours the last time a train crossed, the cars went on forever. He loves wet, juicy grass and he hates, hates, HATES potatoes. Leah, the Fosters’ Black Angus, gave birth to a calf and mother and baby are doing well. He was awake all night because of owls.”

“Aussie, that entire blog appeared in one pee?”

“You see where Henry is sniffing right under the pine?”

“You mean, further down?”

“That’s Brigitte’s blog. I don’t sniff Brigitte’s blog.”


“We disagree politically. That’s why she pees on the other side of the tracks. Her blog is all about feelings, nothing practical: her early life in Mississippi, her days now in Massachusetts, sentimental heart-to-heart, questioning, doubting, wondering, grateful. Uggh! Just like your blog. At least I can’t sniff your blog.”

“Henry’s sniffing Brigitte’s blog, Auss. He looks really interested.”

“What do you expect from a Chihuahua?”

“I can’t believe all these stories are in dogs’ pee.”

“That’s nothing. You should see what the horses leave in their piles.”

“You mean, their piles of manure, Aussie?”

“Memoirs, actually.”

“Aussie, how can Gala the the white horse  leave an entire memoir in her pile of horse shit?”

“She’s a female living with two males, Tigger and T. It’s a Me, too memoir. You have to read between the turds. It’s not the thing itself, it’s the context, the space around it.”

“I don’t see much space there, Auss, just piles and piles of—”

“You call yourself a writer!”

“Aussie, I don’t believe that even you, with your phenomenal sense of smell, can sniff out a memoir in horse shit or a blog in Witty’s pee. Can we go now? Why are you peeing so much? You and Henry are marking like crazy.”

“We’re not marking, we’re doing social media.”

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