Haze from Canadian fires over the back yard

“Aussie, guess what? We’re going on vacation.”

“What’s that?”

“Vacation is when you get up in the morning only when you feel like it—”

“I always do that.”

“You eat when you feel like it.”

“Can you eat all the time?”

“You don’t cook.”

“I never cook.”

“At most, you might grill a couple of steaks.”

“I LOVE steak.

“You walk a lot on the beach—”

“I always walk a lot—hey, did you say beach?”

“Yes, Aussie, we’re going to Cape Cod for a week. And Cape Cod is practically surrounded by water.”

“You mean like the seashore of Grand Manan where we were last summer? OMG, I love running on the sand, the wind in my hair, the water curling around my toes. What else? What else?”

“You make new friends. You meet other dogs on the beach.”

“I don’t need new friends. What else?”

“You go shopping for things you don’t need.”

“Good’n’Fun Triple Flavor Organic Non-Gluten Cage-Free Humanely Raised No Preservatives No Forever Chemicals and Never Antibiotics Chicken Duck Beef Treats? Yes! Yes! What else?”

“You take naps on the sand.”

“I LOVE taking naps.”

“You chase Henry around on the sand.”

“I love—say what?”

“You chase Henry around on—”

“Henry’s coming? Our Henry, the illegal Chihuahua?”

“Henry and Lori are both coming. We’ll have company.”

“Henry’s not company, he’s a terrorist!”

“Henry’s coming out East to the Cape, Aussie. He’s not staying home alone.”

“Who says anything about his staying home alone? Just tell him to go West, turn left, and keep on going. What kind of vacation is it when all the dogs you don’t like come with you?”

“Henry’s family, Auss.”

“What kind of vacation is it when family comes along, especially the part of the family you don’t like?”

“Aussie, no matter where we go, there will always be somebody around who we’re not crazy about. You know why?”

“Because Trump is out of the White House?”

“No, Aussie, because we take ourselves along. We’re intolerant, impatient, we like some more than others, we have strong opinions. Does that remind you of anyone?”

“Sure! Me.”

“Exactly, Aussie. Wherever you go, you bring all that with you. Wherever I go, I bring my baggage with me, too. You know how to fix that? Leave yourself behind.”

“That’s the stupidest Zen answer I’ve ever heard from you. If I leave myself behind, how do I go on vacation?”

“Aussie, just be grateful that you’re coming along.”

”But Henry’s coming along, too. Wait a minute, is he bringing his huge box of toys with him?”

“Not the whole box, just the stuffed chipmunks, Albert the Penguin, Pinky the Elephant, and Percy the we-don’t-know-what-it-is.”

“He’s going to litter Cape Cod with all his toys and you and Lori will be running around picking up after him. What kind of vacation is that going to be?”

“I think you’ll be the one we’ll be picking up after, Aussie, and I don’t mean toys.”

“He’ll bark like a lunatic at every single wave, he’ll disturb everybody’s peace and quiet and we’ll become Canina Non Grata.”

“Aussie, be generous. You’re going on vacation. You’ll have your sleeping mats, you’ll have the sand dunes and the waves, there’s a rowing boat—”

“I’m not going on any boat.”

“Lots of fish and seafood places to explore. Rest and recreation!”

“I don’t need to be re-created, I’m fine as I am. I’m not going on vacation with Henry, it’s either Henry or me.”

“Then it’s Henry.”

“Okay, I’ll stay behind and guard the house.”

“What will you do if Boris the 500-pound bear comes around again? He ate a goat from one of the neighbor farms, you know.”

“Changed my mind. Here’s my packing list, get moving.”

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