Charlie slept in this morning and arose full of energy. Today is Monday, always the busiest day of the week for me, and it’s the 1st of the month, always the busiest day of the month for me. And it’s raining off and on, so …
CHARLIE (after 8 minutes in his outdoor play pen): Come back! Let me in! It’s misting! You can’t leave me here! This is neglect!
LURA (turns off her work timer and goes outside to the playpen): Ok, let’s go to the house.
CHARLIE (bounces into the house): Now what?
LURA: You could chew a bone.
CHARLIE: A bone! Yay! Tasty, tasty. (5 minutes later) Ok, that’s boring now.
LURA (turns off her work timer and gets a toy out of Charlie’s box): Here, go fetch your stuffed duck.
CHARLIE (after fetching the duck once): Ok, that’s boring now. I know, I’ll take my best bed outside and tear it up!
LURA (turns off her work timer again and takes the bed away): No! Stop it! Here, play with your Bob-a-Lot toy, it dispenses treats to keep you engaged and mentally stimulated.
CHARLIE: Is that what the marketing copy promised you?
LURA: Yes, so go over there and be engaged and mentally stimulated.
CHARLIE: I don’t wanna. I know, I’ll steal shoes from the bedroom!
LURA (taking a shoe away from Charlie and shutting the bedroom door): No. How about we practice you sitting quietly next to me while I work and you can earn some of your ration of kibble for today?
CHARLIE (sits quietly, receives kibble, spits it out): I don’t want that kibble. I want different kibble.
LURA (turning off work timer again): That is expensive, biologically-appropriate, meaty-tasting kibble you loved yesterday.
CHARLIE: Well that was then, this is now. Think of something I can do.
LURA: You could go outside, it’s not raining now.
CHARLIE: I don’t wanna. It’s cold and dampish.
LURA: You are a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Everything about you was designed to withstand cold and dampish.
CHARLIE: But not my soul. My soul likes warm, dry and comfy next to my people.
LURA: You have warm, dry, and comfy, on your plush bed right next to me. Plus a meaty bone from the butcher. Plus an entire box of dog toys. Plus kibble you could be earning in exchange for controlling your impulses.
CHARLIE: What’s your point?