As I bag Fleegle’s poop at the dog park, Fleegle stares at a group of people standing on the other side of the grass field. “Why do people make so many sounds that mean nothing. Listen to that man’s empty cackles over there. It must hurt the ears of the woman he’s talking to. If I make a sound it’s because it means something. I whine when it’s time to eat because I’m hungry. I whine when we go to Hunter’s house because I’m excited to play. I whine when we go to Little Daisy’s because I love her. I whine when you leave me at home alone to remind you what an evil person you are for doing so.”
“The common thread being that you whine.”
“A good whine paired with the right facial expression is very effective.”
“Don’t leave out whining when I’m on the phone when I need to talk to someone besides you.”
“Oh, that’s not an attention seeking thing. I’m worried about you getting radiation sickness from talking on your cell phone too much. Your ear turns awful red when you use it.”
He nods. “And you rub that side of your head a lot after you hang up.”
“It does give me a headache sometimes.”
He glares again at the cackling man across the field. “Though that could be who you’re talking to.”
The cackling man starts up again laughing at something the woman next to him said.
“Why is that man pretending to laugh when fake laughter means nothing?” Fleegle asks.
“Maybe you should ask the dog park guru?”
“He’s out of town harvesting a grow.”
“He’s a horticulturist.”
“Who specializes in marijuana?” I ask. “Why doesn’t that surprise me?”
“I hear pot makes people want to eat a lot. You better stay away from that but I’ll have some. I love grass.”
The cackling man really lets one loose, like his dog park date just said the funniest thing ever said in the history of the world.
“Why does he do that?” Fleegle asks. “The louder it is the more its emptiness is revealed. Does he really think it’ll give him a chance to breed?”
“Do you think he’d have better luck if he sniffed her butt instead?”
But Fleegle isn’t listening. Little Daisy, the yellow Labrador, has arrived at the park and he’s run off to greet her. Sniff sniff.