Fleegle spots me getting the spray bottle of Flea Flicker out of the dog cabinet and hightails it through the dog door flaps into the backyard. I step outside through the patio doors, look about the yard, but he’s nowhere to be seen now that he’s made it to his hiding spot somewhere in the tall bamboo that lines the back fence, but I can hear him just fine.
“No way are you spraying that stuff on me. It stinks.”
“I know,” I say. “Like cloves.”
“I don’t want to smell like some bohemian college chick with her hippy cigarette.”
“I guess fleas don’t like the smell of cloves.”
“Are you questioning my hygiene? Point to any spot on me and I’ll show you I can lick it clean.”
“You’re scratching like you have fleas.”
The bamboo rustles. “That’s just food allergies. Too much kibble, not enough pizza.”
“You’re not fooling me.”
“Okay, so what if I have fleas. I love fleas. Fleas are my friends.”
Just hearing him scratch somewhere in the bamboo makes me itch. “They’re no friends of mine.”
“You need to be more accepting of others, Raud. They give me something to do when I’m in-between thoughts.”
I step inside the kitchen and return a moment later with Fleegle’s cookie jar. I shake the jar, biscuits of different sizes rattle around inside. “Okay, Fleegle, what’s it going to take?”
His face emerges from a thick cluster of bamboo. “Two,” he says. “Two big cookies. Not the Chihuahua cookies.”
“It’s a deal,” I say, reach into the jar, and take out two biscuits. “One now, and the other after.”
Fleegle crosses the lawn to me, drooling. “Shake on it,” he says.
We do and I give him the first biscuit. As he crunches away on it, I commence spraying along his back with the little pump bottle. Pump, pump, pump… He suddenly darts away. “Hey, I thought we had a deal,” I say.
“We do. It’s two cookies per pump, not the whole spray bath.” He cocks his head to the side, thinking. “Now let’s see, I counted nine pumps from my neck to my tail. Looks like you owe me for eight of them.” He scratches his flank with his back leg while remaining standing. “Boy, Raud, I can feel these fleas breeding, their numbers are increasing exponentially. I think I’ll go take a nap on your bed.”
I look in the cookie jar, hoping if I have enough.