‘Neighbor’s dog,’ a love story
NEIGHBOR’S DOG: Hello!ME: Oh, hi.DOG: Hang on, I’ll get the tennis ball!ME: No, I’m just passing by.DOG: But you always play ball.ME: Yeah, I know, but…DOG: But what?ME: Oh, it’s nothing.DOG: Good. I think the ball is over here by the tree.ME: I don’t want to play ball.DOG: Frisbee?ME: No.DOG: Stick?ME: No.DOG: Clump of dirt? Hey, you know me, if you pick it up and throw it, I’ll run after it.ME: Yeah, I know. Your lack of discernment is so becoming.DOG: What’s that mean?ME: Oh, don’t pretend like you don’t know.DOG: Dude, I’m a dog, not a psychiatrist.ME: Yesterday?DOG: Yeah, OK … that’s a good start. Yesterday what?ME: Yesterday when we were playing ball and the mailman drove up?DOG: Mailman? Mailman? Where?ME: See, that’s what I mean. You just completely ignored me and ran over to see the mailman, because he drives up and gives you biscuits every day.DOG: Biscuits? Where?ME: Good God, look at yourself.DOG: Hey, since you’re here, wanna play ball? I think I know right were I left it.ME: No!DOG: That’s cool. Hey, wanna play ball?ME: We were talking about something, remember?DOG: Ummmm … was it about playing ball?ME: No, you stupid bitch! We were playing ball yesterday and the mailman drove up and you dropped everything and ran up to his truck to get the stupid biscuit that he gives you every day!DOG: And?ME: It was just so … Pavlovian.DOG: Well, I like dog biscuits, what can I say?ME: You can say that you like me better than the mailman.DOG: Are you jealous? That’s kinda weird, dude. I’m not even your dog, remember?ME: Yeah, but I thought we, you know, had something.DOG: We do. You throw the ball, I bring it back, and you try to get it out of my mouth. What could be more special than that?ME: I don’t know. I mean … well … do you ever think of me when I’m not here?DOG: What part of "dog" don’t you understand? I think about whatever’s in front of me at the time – a stick, the mailman, you, another dog’s ass. I live in the moment, dude. You should try it. It’s where all the action is.ME: I’m so embarrassed.DOG: Maybe playing ball would help. Here, I’ll go get it.ME: Last night I actually contemplated getting you a box of Milk Bones.DOG: That sounds good. You should really do that.ME: No. That’s so cheap. I was going to try to buy your affection.DOG: Uh huh. Do you have any of these Milk Bones with you?ME: No, I couldn’t go through with it. I got all the way to the checkout line and I broke down crying and ran out without buying anything.DOG: The store’s pretty close. You should go back.ME: I’m humiliated.DOG: There, there. Why don’t you just scamper on down to the store and get those Milk Bones and bring ’em on back. We’ll pick up this discussion where we left off. I’ll look for the ball while you’re gone.ME: Really? And you won’t take any biscuits from anyone else?DOG: Nope.ME: Or play ball with anyone?DOG: No way. Hurry along, now. Get the large ones.ME: And I can balance them on your nose and make you not eat them until I say so?DOG: Go!ME: OK, I’ll be back in a few minutes. I…I love you.DOG: Okey dokey, then. Off you go.ME: Think about me when I’m gone.DOG: You betcha. Oh, look! Yellow snow! VTBarry Smith, an Aspen-based freelance writer, moves his lips while writing this column, and hopes you do the same while reading it. E-mail him at email@example.com or visit his Web page at http://www.Irrelativity.com.