“You know what I think, Aussie?”

“Not now, I’m busy munching on a squirrel.”

“It’s sometimes very hard for me to entertain the notion that humans, in their essence, are good.”

“That’s because they’re not.”

“In essence, everything we do and are is connected to everything else in the universe.”

“That’s no excuse for raping and mutilating women or throwing one-ton bombs on areas where people live.”

“I’m not saying that, Aussie, just–”

“Could we forget the Buddhist shtick? There’s something much more important than Israel and Gaza going on right here.”

“What, Aussie?”

“Our fight against colonialism.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about Henry and Mexican colonialism. Facts are facts: I came to this house first, he came here 2 years later. But soon he began to take over. I tell you, we’re in danger of being colonized and run out of town.”

“Just because Henry is a chihuahua mix doesn’t mean he’s a colonizer, Aussie.”

“Let me ask you one thing. Who’s the indigenous population here, me or me?”

“Actually, Aussie, Bernie and I came first. Before us a couple lived here for 10 years before moving down to Florida. I don’t know who came before them, only that Native Americans used to live in this valley long ago. No matter how indigenous you think you are, chances are there were others here before you.”

“That’s got nothing to do with it. Henry arrived and took over the neighborhood. He throws Llama Louie and everyone else across the room. He whines, they squeak, he barks and barks at nothing. We have a baseball World Series going on every single day with toys rather than baseballs, so I have to stay outside to get some peace and quiet.”

“That’s just his style, Aussie. Chihuahuas are known for their high, intense energy and—”

“At first, he pretended to be a guest with good manners, knowing his place was in Lori’s room. Then he started sneaking into your room. Then he went to your bathroom where he peed on the shower rug, so of course you had to shut the bathroom door, which means less territory not just for him but also for me. Have I ever peed on anything inside this house?”

“I think that as he got more comfortable here, Auss, he began to mark some territory.”

“Everything here is his territory. He started rushing around your office and making so much noise I have to stay on the living room couch just to relax after a strenuous workout with Leeann.”

“Oh Aussie, Henry gives the house some character.”

“Who wants character in your own home? How about some peace and quiet? He brought his old customs with him, too. Have you noticed that all our trash bins are lying on the floor, trash spread all around? So much for cleanliness.”

“It’s because he throws Llama Louie in them and the only way he can get the Llama out is by throwing down the trash bins. It’s not a big deal, Aussie.”

“There goes the neighborhood, is all I have to say. Try selling this house and see what happens. And speaking of neighborhood, what about the colonizer’s friends—Llama Louie, Pinky the Elephant, half a dozen inedible chipmunks flying in the air? This house was just right for the two of us, and now we’re being squeezed tight by all these new immigrants who have no respect for how things were. Do they speak English?”

“Aussie, they’re toys.”

“They squeak. That’s what they do, they squeak! Soon they’re going to want us to squeak, too. Henry barks at everything, mocking our quiet traditions.”

“What quiet traditions, Aussie?”

“You used to wake up, shower, and sit in silence. The house was nice and quiet, suitable for late-risers like me. Now Henry bursts into your room and brings half his tribe with him for you to throw. He snarls and growls, his friends squeak—it’s not the house that I remember! Henry and his friends are colonialists, I tell you, and if we don’t kick them out, they’ll take over and kick us out.”

“Aussie, I have a deed to this house; no one’s kicking us out. Of course, there is still a mortgage so—”

“In times of catastrophe, deeds mean bupkes. Just watch, they’ll buy out your mortgage and the illegal chihuahua will run us out of our own home.”

“I’m not afraid of a little chihuahua.”

“Just wait till he turns violent. Inside, he’s a terrorist. One day Henry will go for your throat. One day you’ll pick up Llama Louie and Llama Louie will bite your hand.”

“You’re imagining things, Aussie.”

“I know colonizers when I see them. They’re patient, they pretend to be grateful to you because you opened your door to them, they even start talking your language, but in the end, they’ll take over. And what are you doing to prevent that?”

“What should I do, Aussie?”

“Kick them out while you still can. We don’t want no colonialism or racism here. Need I remind you what color I am?”

“Aussie, you and Henry are dogs. You share DNA.”

“I come from a good family of German Shepherds. Does Henry look like he comes from a family like that? I’m a law-abiding citizen. I bark only when there’s something or someone to bark at, I never steal anybody’s food. Henry would steal everything he could if I hadn’t throttled him a few times in our early days together.”

“You almost killed him, Aussie.”

“Henry has lighter skin than me, eats diet kibble I can’t even look at, and sleeps in Lori’s bed, and in your bed when Lori’s not here. Interspecies sex! He’s brought corruption and immorality into this house! I’m not even sure he’s a dog.”

“Aussie, no matter what Henry does, he’ll still be a dog. It’s hard to believe that of someone who eats weird things, doesn’t look like you, maybe even hurts you, but biologically and in many other ways, Henry’s still a dog.”

“I’m starting a resistance movement.”

“Be careful, Aussie. In a way, what we do to others, no matter how horrible they are, we do to ourselves.”

“I’ll risk it. This nonBuddhist is getting rid of Henry. No racism or colonialism in my house!”

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