Negotiating with Cookies – On the Trail of…

Fleegle sniffs the base of a shrub, lifts his leg on it, then sniffs a nearby dog dropping and lifts, followed by pawing at the dirt, more sniffing and leg lifting. He claims he’s tracking a new girl dog in the neighborhood, but I’ve yet to see her and for me seeing is believing, not sniffing.

“You’re looking for love in all the wrong places, Fleegle,” I say as we continue our walk in the neighborhood.

“How would you know with that tiny nose of yours? She’s been through here recently, I can smell her. I bet she’s pretty.”

I point at the ground where he just sniffed. “You can tell she’s pretty from dirt?”

“I can tell she eats well, but she has a hanger on that follows her around and tries to cover up her scent with his own. Well, I’m taking care of that.” He lifts his leg on another spot, then he catches scent of something and starts pulling me by the leash down the block. “Hurry up, Raud, move those skinny legs of yours.”

We rush down the block ten yards, then he stops to sniff, then we rush down the block some more and he stops to sniff again. Our entire walk is like this, rush, stop and sniff, rush some more.

When we get back to the house, I ask, “Could that ‘hanger on’ be you from yesterday? Could you be going around peeing on her scent, then going around again today and peeing on your own scent from yesterday thinking it belongs to the ‘hanger on’?”

“No way, that’s crazy thinking,” he says, but I can tell the idea disturbs him when he pees on a nearby rock and says, “Now that’ll be tomorrow’s control scent. Remind me to give it a good sniff before we head out on our walk.”

I hide the spare house key under the rock he just peed on. “Sure thing, Fleegle.”

“Whoever that hanger on is, he sure eats a lot of pizza,” Fleegle says as we go inside.

“Are you absolutely sure it’s not you?” I ask one last time.

He looks at me like I’m up to something. “It could be you. You eat a lot of pizza, far more than me since you eat the center and I only get the skinny edge,” he says. “Have you gone all environmental and stopped peeing in your water bowl and started going outside like a normal animal?”


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