It’s now Franny’s turn to train out front of the house while Huckleberry and Hamish watch us from the living room picture window.
I clear my throat, hoping for better results than I had with Hamish. “Franny, sit.”
I give her a little round treat the size of an oyster cracker, just three calories. I’m always counting calories for Franny or else she’d be twice the size she should be. Or more, She’s a Lab.
She inhales the treat without chewing, then stares at me. “What? Only one treat? That was like the smallest treat I’ve every seen. Where’d you get those? The doll house store? Besides, that was the best sit I’ve ever done, worthy of an Olympic score of ten across the board, and you reward me with one tiny treat. It’s worth at least three but probably more if I had higher self-esteem.”
“I’ll give you another if you stay sitting for a minute.” I start the stopwatch hanging from my treat pouch.
She shakes her head like her ears itch. “A whole minute? But that squirrel over in that tree is giving me the stink eye and he needs to be taken down a few notches. Do you know what happens if you don’t keep those squirrels in check?”
“Actually, no. What happens?”
Her eyes get really big, showing lots of white. “Squirrels will grow and grow until they’re the size of walruses and then they’ll take over the world. It’ll be you sitting here begging for your squirrel overlord to toss you a treat. And guess what that treat is going to be. A freaking sunflower seed.”
“And where will dogs be once the squirrels take over?” I ask.
“We’re going to evacuate to the moon. It’s made of real cheese, you know.”
I look at the stopwatch and say, “There, it’s been a minute. Have another treat.”
She gobbles it down.
“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” I say. “Do you want to try for three minutes?”
“You’ve got to be kidding,” she says and bolts toward the tree where the squirrel is.
“Franny, what are you doing?” I ask, following her.
“Saving the world.”