How Honest Can a Butt Wiggle Be?

I arrive home from a trip to the paint store after leaving Fleegle and Franny at home because it’s too hot of a day for them to wait in the car while I wait for the store clerk to mixes the paint and we all know how long that can take. I slide my house key into the front door lock, expecting to hear the patter of paws on the other side but there’s nothing. I turn the key and open the door, but there is no one there to greet me. Beginning to worry, I go inside and into the living room where I find Fleegle and Franny stretched out on the couch.

Franny barely lifts her head to look at Fleegle. “I told you it was him.”

Fleegle doesn’t even bother to lift his head to speak, he just mumbles, “Duh, who else would it be?”

I put down my freshly mixed gallon of paint. “What? No greeting at the door? No, hi Raud, we’re so happy you’re back? Not even a surly remark about how surprised you are that I found my way home without you.”

Moving only her eyes to look at Fleegle, Franny says, “He’s very needy, isn’t he?”

“Tell me about it,” Fleegle mumbles. “He needs a lot of reassurance that he’s loved. I think I’m too tired to do that today.”

Franny rolls onto her back. “You’d think the fact that we haven’t eaten him in his sleep would be enough.”

“Never underestimate Raud’s emotional neediness. It can make him really thin skinned sometimes. But you know, he did say we could eat him if he dies in his sleep and we run out of kibble.”

Franny’s ears perk up as she moves into a sitting position. “He did?”


“Well then…” She jumps off the couch and comes over to me, tail wagging. “I’m really glad to se you, Raud. So glad you made it home.”

I put my hands on my hips. “You know, I’m not feeling the sincerity.”

She puts a bit more butt wiggle in her tail wagging. “How’s that?”

I reach down and pat her side. “Better.”

Fleegle sits up. “Raud, why don’t you try again like we do when we practice your sit-stay training. Go outside and come back in, and have a couple biscuits ready for us when we greet you at the door.”

Next Bartering with Biscuits – Sharing the Canine Way

Previous Bartering with Biscuits – Fleegle’s Bed

First Bartering with Biscuits – The Puppy

Fleegle’s Bed

Franny holds her ground on the bed and growls down at Fleegle who is trying to jump past her up onto the bed. “Poor Biscuit Breath,” she says and wags her tail. “You have to sleep on the floor tonight.”

“But my bed is up there on the pillow next to Raud’s pillow.”

“Not anymore. That’s my pillow now.”

“But I’ve slept on that pillow since I was a puppy.”

“How’s that cold hard floor feel? You should have enough biscuit padding on your backside to be more than comfortable, walnut brain.”

*   *   *

Fleegle whimpers so loudly on the pillow next to mine that he wakes me. I pat his side and say quietly, “Fleegle, wake up.”

He stops whimpering, raises his head and looks around at his surroundings. Seeing where he is, he drops his head back on his pillow with a loud sigh. “Oh thank goodness. I was having the worst nightmare. Have I told you how much I love my pillow?”

Next BwB – How Honest Can a Butt Wiggle Be?

Previous BwB – Invasion

First BwB – The Puppy

17 – Invasion

“Someone is on the roof,” Franny says to Fleegle in the dark of the bedroom. “Should we wake him?”

I look at their black silhouettes on the bed and listen to the silence. “No one is on the roof,” I say.

“Oh, good, you’re awake,” Franny says. “You need to go up on the roof.”

The clock glows 3am. “I’m not going up on the roof in the middle of the night.”

“Do you want me to get your slippers?” Franny asks.

Fleegle shakes his head. “He’ll need his shoes for going up the ladder.”

I pull the pillow over my head. “I’m not getting out of bed.”

Fleegle cocks his head to the side. “No, she’s right, Raud. Someone is on the roof. It must be Santa. Have you bought that heavy German beer he requested last year? Remember he said he was lactose intolerant after drinking milk for so many years.”

“It’s far too early in the season for Santa,” I say.

“But he’s been all over the grocery store. So has his buddy, Frosty the Snowman,” Fleegle says.

Franny stands up, her stance a little anxious. “Who is this Santa guy and why is he on our roof? What’s so special about the roof anyway? Is there something up there to eat that no one has told me about? Is that where Fleegle hides the caviar?”

“Nothing is on the roof. Go back to sleep.”

“You’ll be lucky if it’s Santa,” Fleegle says. “He might be able to help you with your gnome problem.”

“I don’t have a gnome problem, I have a sleep deprivation problem.”

“That’s what they all say just before it’s too late.”

I know I shouldn’t give credence to his theories by asking but I can’t help myself. Any insight into Fleegle’s thinking is always worth it. “Who is they?”

“People with gnome problems. Maybe Santa can broker a truth before the gnome’s relatives arrive and the conflict escalates.”

I push my pillow aside. “Relatives?”

“It’s probably already too late. There are several new RVs in the neighborhood. I think the gnome is already massing his forces.”

“An invasion of gnomes in RVs? Are there magic mushrooms growing in your yard, Fleegle?”

“What’s an RV?” Franny asks. “Is that where the caviar is hidden?”

“Go back to sleep, you two.”

Franny lies back down and soon both of them are snoring quietly. I lie there and stare at the ceiling. The clock now glows 3:12. It’s then that I hear it, the rapid patter of feet, like a child running in the attic. And then I hear it again, but this time it’s several children racing one another the length of the attic from one end of the house to the other.

Crap, I hope it’s not raccoons, I think and roll over.

Next chapter – Fleegle’s Bed

Previous chapter – How To Become a Coyote

First chapter – The Puppy

Chapter 16 – How To Become a Coyote

While visiting a hidden field in Forest Park, Fleegle finds an appealing scent on the ground and commences rolling in it. Knowing his tastes in scents, I call him to me in a vain attempt to stop him from smearing himself in the source of the scent. By the time I get to him, Fleegle is finished with his rolling and is strutting around the field like he is master of all he can see.

Franny emerges from underneath a very large fern on the edge of the field, gives the breeze downwind from Fleegle a sniff and says, “I smell poop, really strange smelly poop.”

Fleegle wags his tail high in the air. “That’s not just any poop. That’s the caviar of poop.”

He struts upwind of me. “Ugh, not coyote poop again. That’s the rankest poop of all. And don’t tell me beauty is in the nose of the sniffer, we’ve had that conversation before.”

Franny tilts her head to the side. “But I thought you ate caviar?”

Stupidly, I say, “You do,” as she ambles over to where Fleegle rolled.

She gives it a sniff, then says, “Well then,” and …

“No, Franny, don’t do that,” I shout to no use.

Fleegle pauses in his tracks. “Boy, why didn’t I think of that? Get the scent from the inside out. It could last for days.”

Next chapter – Invasion

Previous chapter – The Boy Bit Of God

First chapter – The Puppy

Chapter 15 – The Boy Bits Of God

While in the backyard immersed in one of my books on advaita and nonduality, something tickles the back of my neck. I swat at it like I would a mosquito and feel a small wet nose, a nose too small to be Fleegle’s.

“What are you doing, Franny?” I ask.

“I’m sniffing your brain for peanuts to check if what Biscuit Breath says is true.”

“And what have you discovered?”

“I’ve concluded you have a coconut for a brain.”

Fleegle looks up from his spot across the lawn. “That’s only his shampoo. It’s scented with coconuts to fool you into thinking he has a bigger brain. Sniff deeply and you’ll smell the peanut deep inside his noggin. But still, it’s an apt metaphor since coconuts are full of water. Even a walnut with its solid insides can outsmart a hollow coconut.”

Franny nudges the book in my lap. “Is that one about dogs too?”

Fleegle gets up and comes over. He sniffs the book. “I bet it’s about coconuts, and I bet it’s titled How To Be a Coconut and Appear Smarter Than You Are.”

I clear my throat to speak. “It’s about how everyone is everyone and there is no other. Franny, me, and even you, Fleegle, are all one and God is experiencing his creation through us as his creations.”

Fleegle yawns. “What I say? Coconuts. You and the coconut are definitely one and the same. God is experiencing the coconut through you.”

“So God is a boy dog?” Franny asks. “Did they neuter him too like all the other boy dogs at the park?”

I know when I’m outnumbered. I set my book down on the grass next to my chair and get up to go inside for more coffee. As I do, I glance over my shoulder and catch Fleegle about to lift his leg on my book. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m going to review your book.”

Franny follows me toward the house. “If God is neutered, what did they do with his boy bits?”

Dogs can ask the most embarrassing questions.

Next chapter – How To Become a Coyote

Previous chapter – The Biggest Brain of Them All

First chapter – The Puppy

Chapter 14 – The Biggest Brain Of Them All

I sit in the backyard half reading a book on dog biology and half watching Fleegle and Franny wrestle in the fresh cut grass. After a while, they tire and start chewing on a long stick, one on either end. Franny is now seven months old and still substantially smaller than Fleegle, especially her head.

I put my book down. “You know, Fleegle, looking at you next to Franny makes me realize just how big your head is. I swear, it’s almost as big as mine.”

Fleegle lets go of the stick. “No, Raud, it’s bigger than yours, especially in the part that counts, my brain. The size of my brain makes yours look like a peanut.”

“Shelled or unshelled?” Franny asks.

I hold the book up in my lap. “This here book about dogs says your brain is the size of a walnut.”

Fleegle tilts his head to the side. “And who wrote this book? A dog?”

“Of course not.”

“Exactly. Just more lies to cover up the biggest lie of them all, that people have more than a peanut for a brain. You’ve heard the saying, ‘victoribus spolia’?”

“Um, no, I haven’t.”

“It’s a Latin quote from Julius Cesar’s dog, Maximus Canis, and it translates as ‘To the victors go the spoils.’”

“Actually, the phrase is attributed to a Jacksonian Democrat in the presidential election of 1828 after Andrew Jackson won the presidency.”

“Which is my point. The winner writes the history books,” he says.

I set my book down again. “So if dogs have such big brains, why are the peanut brains running the world?”

Fleegle shakes his head sadly at me. “Oh, Raud, the peanut brains only think they do. Your brains don’t have the capacity to understand the bigger picture of what’s really going on. You’re just a small part of a vast social experiment us dogs are conducting, but don’t worry, I’ll write up my report on you as favorably as I can.” He licks his lips. I sense a request for a bribe is coming. “Within limits, that is.”

Franny looks over at Fleegle. “So is peanut butter really brain butter from people? I don’t want anymore of that in my Kong if it is.”

Next chapter – The Boy Bits Of God

Previous chapter – Digging

First chapter – The Puppy