Negotiating with Cookies – The Peanut Kitty

Licking his chops clean, Fleegle ambles out from behind the bamboo in the backyard. “What’s your favorite toy?” he asks.

I put my book down. “My bicycle, I guess.”

“Your beach bike is awesome.”

I recently took Fleegle and my fat bike to the beach and rode for miles on the sand with Fleegle running loose alongside me. “I figured you’d say that. What about you?”

“My bungee cord.”

“You like chewing on that hard plastic, huh?”

“Yep,” he says. “What’s your favorite treat?”

“Coffee. And you?”

“You should be asking what’s not my favorite treat. I’d say carrots.”

“I thought you liked carrots. They’re supposed to be good for your teeth.”

“I’d like them more with peanut butter on them. You know what else? It’s good for you when I eat peanut butter.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, when you give me some peanut butter to eat, and then later see something stuck to my teeth, you go, oh, that’s just peanut butter on Fleegle’s teeth and you don’t stress out about what it really is.”

He licks his lips from corner to corner, and the brownish tinge to his tongue makes me think he’s been eating peanut butter. “Fleegle, what have you gotten into?”

He thumps his tail against the ground. “Let’s just say I found a stash of peanut butter behind the bamboo.”

“Does this peanut butter have a kitty’s face on the label?”

Fleegle’s smile is interrupted by a belch. “Oops.”

I pinch my nose against the stench. “Oh, Fleegle, that smells awful. No more ‘peanut butter’ for you.”

“That’s okay, It’s all gone anyway, at least until the Peanut Kitty comes around again.”


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Previous Negotiating with Cookies – The Candyman

Negotiating with Cookies – The Candyman

Fleegle says, “Raud, why do people call you the Candyman? You never eat candy and I can’t remember the last time you had ice cream, let alone shared any.”

“They call me that because I almost always have biscuits on me.”

“But wouldn’t that make you the Biscuit Man?”

“Probably, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, besides, I don’t remember the Grateful Dead ever singing about the Biscuit Man.”

“Buck the ghost dog sings about biscuits, and he’s dead and very grateful when I share my biscuits with him, though his singing is more of a mooing than singing.”


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Previous Negotiating with Cookies – Daylight Savings Time

Negotiating with Cookies – Daylight Savings Time

Still half asleep, I set Fleegle’s food bowl in its stand as he waits, drooling as he watches.

“Breakfast is early,” he says.

All I can do is grunt an affirmative and go in search of coffee.

*   *   *

I scoop a cup of kibble into Fleegle’s food bowl for his lunch. More drool as he watches.

“Lunch is early too? What’s going on?” he asks.

I shake my head, still sleepy from lack of sleep. “Daylight Savings Time. We lost an hour.”

“How can you lose an hour?”

I rub my eyes. “A shared group psychosis.”

“A what?”

“If everyone decides blue is red, then blue is red even though blue isn’t red.”

“Ah, that sounds like one of those crazy people things only you guys understand. Got it,” he says and digs into his food.

*   *   *

I put Fleegle’s dinner in front of him.

“Dinner is early too. I like this group psychosis thing called Daylight Savings Time, but where do you save the light? Can you take it out when it gets dark, like in the middle of the night when you need to hunt for a snack? Are you saving the light inside the light bulbs? I’ve always wondered how they worked.”

*   *   *

I click off the television and head to the bedroom.

Fleegle looks up from his spot on the couch. “Raud, where are you going? It’s too early for bedtime.”

“No, it’s not. This is the time we always go to bed.”

Fleegle follows me into the bedroom and nose bumps the clock on the nightstand. “Your time machine may say it’s time for bed, but my stomach says we’ve got a good hour to have a snack before bed, maybe a plate of cottage cheese or some cold pizza, and nothing tells time better than my stomach.”

“Fleegle, as of this morning blue is red and red is blue. In six months, blue will be blue and red will be red again.”

“Well, Raud, you can play all the mind games you want, but that’s not going to stop my stomach from growling. Let’s use some of that light you’ve saved and look around in the fridge. Maybe we can find some cold fried chicken or pizza slices.”


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Previous Negotiating with Cookies – The Meat Special

Negotiating with Cookies – The Meat Special

I hang up the phone after talking with Fleegle’s breeder, Suzie.

“So what did she say?” Fleegle asks, his front paws bouncing on the floor next to my desk. “Has my parents’ matchmaker been busy making matches?”

“Um, yes. She has a litter right now with a yellow female available.”

Fleegle darts to the garage. “Let’s go, Raud.”

“Hold up. She’s too young to leave her mom and the puppy nursery. Suzie says she needs to fatten up first.”

“Well then, what are you waiting for? Call the pizza joint and have them deliver an extra large ‘meat special’ to the puppy nursery. Pizza has done wonders for your waistline.”


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Previous Negotiating with Cookies – Stumped

Negotiating with Cookies – Stumped

“You can’t still be thinking about thinking?” Fleegle says.

I rub my temples with the heels of my palms. “I am but I’m stumped. I might need your help deciding what breed we should get.”

Fleegle sits down and cocks his head to the side. “So all of your thinking about thinking has led you to conclude you need someone else to do your thinking for you?”

“Um, yes.”

“Raud, it takes a brave man to admit his limitations. I’m proud of you.”

“Um, thanks, I guess.”

Fleegle wags his tail. “If you answer this one simple question you’ll know exactly what to do.”

“Okay, what’s the question?”

“Am I a good dog?”

“You’re the best dog ever.”

“Then let’s drive down to Eugene and visit my breeder, Suzie, and pick out a puppy. I’ll even do the choosing, or do you need to think about that?”

“No, you can choose. You’re the dog expert.”

“Then she’ll be blond.”


“That’s right, she, but you can think on that while I pick her out.”

“And I suppose you have a name for her already?”

“I do. Fifi, which stands for Friend of Fleegle.”


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Previous Negotiating with Cookies – Aussie?

Negotiating with Cookies – Aussie?

“Still trying to think of what breed to get, huh?” Fleegle says.

“Yeah, how about an Australian Shepherd?” I say.

“Have you ever seen an Aussie take a nap?”


“Don’t you find that odd? I mean, in our daily drives around town we see lots of Labradors taking it easy in their yards all the time, napping on the front porch, napping in the sun on the front lawn.”

“Or napping in the bamboo like you.”

“Exactly, but never an Aussie. They’re always up and moving about, like they’re herding flies. Don’t underestimate the importance of a napping dog, Raud, because if your new buddy from Australia isn’t napping, neither are you, and you do love your naps.”

“Hmm… You have a point.” I scratch my head. “What about a Border Collie?”

“I’ll ask you again, have you ever seen a Border Collie take a nap? Same answer and throw in a lot of staring. They really love to stare. Have you ever tried to take a nap while someone is staring at you?”


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