Negotiating with Cookies – Love Is…

Fleegle sits on the couch next to me, his back against the cushions, rear legs straight out, his head between them, grooming.

“Stop goobering yourself so loud, Fleegle, I’m trying to watch my show.”

“They say attention is love,” Fleegle says. “What you spend your time on is what you love, no matter what you say about it. You love television, even if you say it’s stupid, because you give it so much attention.”

“I do not. Who is this ‘they’?”

“Duane at the dog park. When he talks the people listening to him stare at him like they have a biscuit on their nose.”

“Duane the dog park guru? The guy who wears the same Grateful Dead t-shirt every time he’s there? Patchouli oil Duane?”

“Yes, that Duane. I figured if people were listening to him so intently I’d give him a listen too.”


“As long as I’m up wind from the patchouli scent, he has some good things to say.”

“Such as attention is love?”

“And love is attention. If you complain all the time and it makes you unhappy thinking about all those complaints, then you must love being unhappy since you spend so much attention on complaints.”

He returns to goobering himself and I reach for the television remote to turn up the volume. “Well, based on your attention we know what you love,” I say.

He glances up from between his legs at the news on the television. “And you love talking heads that tell depressing stories. How could I not love myself more than that? Us Labradors aren’t stupid.”


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