by Frances Edstrom
"Get me that bone on the floor, will you?" said the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about.
"Excuse me?" I said, with much sarcasm, I hoped.
He looked puzzled for a moment, and then said, "Uh, please?"
"I think that you are over stepping your bounds a bit," I said. "You are aware that you are the dog here and it is the dog's job to take care of the bones on the floor."
"I just thought you could help me out here. After all, I'm working on a project that is going to make us fabulously wealthy!" he said.
"Really," I said. "And what would that be?" And in fact I could think of nothing that a dog could produce that would be worth money, unless it would perhaps be in the lawn and garden department.
"I was reading your e-mail the other day," he said, "and I came across a letter you received from someone who said she had twenty million dollars she had to sneak out of her country, and wanted you to help her. She'd give you twenty percet, she said, for your help. All you had to do was send her $10,000 to help her get the money out of its hiding place."
"I thought you were a smart dog. That is a well-known Internet scam. You send her your money and that's the last you see of it and you never hear from her again."
"Oh, I know, I know!" he said. "But here's my plan. Listen," he said. "Dear Sir, Greeting. I am Blackie, only son of the late William Wagger of Winona, a small fertilizer-rich country of which he was king. I am 14 years old and the vet... I think I'll change that to "doctor"... says I do not have long to live."
"Many years ago, when our country was overrun by a pack of curs, my father buried $20,000,000 in a remote spot known only to our family. It is quite a distance from where I currently live."
"I was neutered early in life, have no heirs, and when I pass on to the next world, no one will know where the money is buried."
"As I anticipate this, it has occurred to me that even though I have not been able to go dig up the money, as the curs are still in power, and have imprisoned me in an electronic containment system, and forced me to wear at all time a Deluxe Signal Receiver on my collar, perhaps this vast fortune could do some good in the world."
"With your help of a mere $10,000 and 10 meaty bones... do you think that's enough?... I would be able to hire an exceptionally talented digger from a network of underground mercenaries to retrieve the money. Do not worry that the digger will discover that it is a fortune buried in the ground. The money is all hidden in fake dog poops which my father secured from Lillian Vernon of the United States."
"When the money is once again in my hands, I will send it on to you, to distribute as you see fit to worthy causes."
He paused and looked up at me expectantly.
"And you are going to send this out to an e-mail list?"
"Yup. I found a way to get my paws on a good one. Lots of gullible fools."
"First of all," I said, still rather bowled over that my own dog would enter into this scheme, "do you really think the most gullible of gullible fools would be drawn in by your letter? 'Meaty bones?' 'Fake dog poops.' This is ludicrous! And to think I tell people what a smart dog you are!"
"You think if I reworded it?" he asked.
"No! Don't you understand how illegal this is? Have you heard the words 'life in prison?' If there is such a thing for dogs. Come to think of it, what judge is going to believe my dog sent this letter out? It's not an activity dogs are usually cited for. I'LL end up in jail, and it will be all your fault!"
"I'd buy your way out with some of my earnings," he offered.