While retrieving the tennis ball during a game of fetch at the park, Fleegle drops the ball to sniff the grass. After a bit, he begins rolling on his back where he was sniffing. Then he starts grinding his shoulder into the spot. Finally, he stands and shakes, then picks up the ball and trots over.
“Found something good to roll in, eh?” I say, scanning him for telltale tan smears of coyote poop, my least favorite thing Fleegle gets into.
He drops the ball at my feet. “Yep.”
“But not coyote poo.”
His tail wags. “The next best thing.”
And then I catch the scent on the breeze. “Ugh, coyote pee. You really stink.”
“I smell awesome. I smell like a coyote. Don’t I look bigger to you now?”
“You certainly smell bigger.”
“Maybe Hunter will think I’m a coyote now and give me my due respect.”
“You mean by not trying to hump you every other second.”
“I lie down and he still tries to hump me.”
Later, when we arrive at Hunter’s house for a play session, Hunter gives Fleegle’s shoulders a good sniffing over. His eyes glaze over and then he jumps on Fleegle and starts humping like never before.
“Looks like you’ve discovered that coyote pee is an aphrodisiac.”
Fleegle looks at me and rolls his eyes. “He’s not nicknamed Humper for nothing.”
As I read in the yard, Fleegle ambles over with something dangling from his mouth.
“What have you got there?” I ask.
“I caught a snake.”
“Looks more like an old dirty rope to me.”
He drops it on the ground in front of me. “Hmm, it was a snake a moment ago when I caught it slithering through the weeds.” He paws at it. “Do you think it’s some sort of shape shifting chameleon?”
“No, I think it’s a rope.”
“I better kill it again just to make sure.” He grabs it in his teeth and shakes his head vigorously from side to side. Bits of rope and dirt fly everywhere while the length of rope whips his sides. He stops, wags his tail and trots off.
“Where are you going?”
“Even a snake deserves a proper burial,” he says over his shoulder as he disappears into the bamboo.
I’m in the kitchen fixing something to eat as I often do when procrastinating house projects when Fleegle walks in from the backyard.
“Whatcha fixing, Raud?”
He wags his tail. “Ooo, what kind?”
He moves closer to my side. “With coconut oil and honey?”
He nose bumps my leg. “Can I have a spoonful of coconut oil?”
“Sure.” I give him one.
He slicks his whiskers back with his tongue. “Are you going to make a fruit smoothie to go with that sandwich?”
“I hadn’t planned to.”
He looks up at the ceiling. “That roof is covered with pine needles and the gutters are full of them too. Cleaning that up is a big job. It might take all afternoon.”
He has a point. “I better have that smoothie too,” I say and get fruit out of the fridge.
Fleegle nose bumps my leg. “I’d like a strawberry, please.”
“Look, Fleegle,” I say, pointing at a chocolate lab on the far side of the park. “That dog over there could be your twin.”
“I don’t look like that. He runs like he’s full of donuts. I’m much more svelte and graceful than that,” Fleegle says as he licks bits of sugar glaze off his lips.
“Those cinnamon twists are better when glazed, don’t you think?”
He nods agreement. “We should make sure and do a taste test by eating one with glaze and then one without right after.”
“Or you could eat them at the same time, alternating bites.”
He wags his tail. “Oh, that’s a good idea.”
“And then I’ll toss the ball for you and you can show me how graceful you are.”
He ignores my sarcasm. “I met a ballerina at the dog park the other day and she told me her favorite food was pizza. She said it filled her with grace.”
I shake my head. “That’s not how I remember it. Aren’t you talking about that French poodle with the wicked haircut that had gas?”
“I’m pretty sure she said grace.”
“I was glad we were outdoors. When was the last time I cleaned your ears?”
“Did you know donuts are a natural preventative to wax build up in the ear canal?”
“There’s nothing natural about donuts, Fleegle, and don’t try to change the subject.”
Fleegle sniffs my shoe. “You stepped in something.”
“I did not.”
He sniffs my other shoe. “Oh yes you did, twice. I bet that ear cleaner is good for shoe cleaning too.”