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He won’t grow up (08/14/2011)
By Frances Edstrom

I invited the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about 2 into my study for a chat, one of our periodic reviews of his performance as house pet.

“Well,” I said, “I have been generally pleased with your behavior lately. You seem to be trying harder to fit into the household and be pleasant.”

“I’m glad you think so,” he said. “I’m beginning to feel at home here.”

“And you haven’t been as destructive as you were when you first came here,” I added.

“Destructive?” he asked.

“Well, yes. My favorite pair of brown sandals,” I said. “You have no idea how hard it is to find a real brown sandal that’s more feminine in appearance. Not bronze, not tan, but real brown. Most of them look like your hippy uncle made them from tractor tires or something.”

“Do I have a hippy uncle?” he asked.

“No. Not that I know of. It’s just a figure of speech. But the point is, you can’t really fit into the family if you insist on eating other people’s things, like sandals and doors!”

“Oh. I thought the door was mine,” he said.


“Well, it was in my room. You can’t blame me for thinking it was mine to do with as I wished.”

“And you wished to chew it to smithereens?” I said.

“It felt good,” he said. “There’s something satisfying about a good chew. Something more substantial than rawhide bones. Although don’t get me wrong, I love those bones you buy for me.”

“Let’s go back a bit here,” I said. “You mentioned that the door in question was in ‘your’ room.”

“I did.”

“I hate to break it to you, but that is not your room.”

He cocked his head to the side, as though he didn’t hear me right. “But I sleep in there. My kennel is there. My food is there. My water is there. When you leave the house I go in there. It must be my room.”

“Actually, it’s my room. It’s my pantry, and I’ll be glad when you mature enough so that I can get in there and actually use it,” I said.

“I let you use it to store things. I don’t like all my stuff to be hidden away. I like to surround myself with my things so I can see where everything is.”

“I’ve noticed,” I said. “It makes it difficult for me to use the room.”

“So, if I mature, I won’t have a room any more?” he asked.

“You won’t need one!” I said. “You’ll be able to just live with us.”

“So I’ll sleep with you?” he asked.

“Well, no,” I said. “You’ll probably sleep on a cushion in the kitchen. You’ll love it. All dogs love it.”

“But what about my kennel?”

“You won’t need it!” I said. “And you can keep your things in a basket in the corner.”

“This doesn’t sound very good to me,” he said. “What’s in it for me to mature? I won’t have my own room. I won’t have my cozy kennel. I won’t have my toys all around me. I won’t be able to sleep with you. This sounds terrible! I don’t want to grow up! I think I’ll just stay where I am. But thanks for the talk.”

“This isn’t how I imagined you would react,” I said.

“Maybe you could keep your things in a basket in the corner. Then you won’t miss having a pantry!” he said, and went and hid in his kennel.



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