Fleegle and Franny lay in the grass in the backyard licking the sides of their front paws obsessively.

When they notice me watching, Fleegle raises his head and says forlornly, “Raud, someone stole our dewclaws.”

They were removed when he was a puppy. “Don’t look at me. You showed up with four toed paws.”

He looks at where his dewclaws should be. “The dogs at the park have five toes on their paws. Where are our fifth toes?”

Franny looks up from her paw-goobering. “Yeah, we want them back.”

“You’ll have to talk to your matchmaker breeder about that,” I say.

“You mean Suzie has our toes? What, like in a drawer someplace?” Fleegle asks.

Franny tilts her head to the side. “Yuck, what if my toes get mixed up with Fleegle’s? I don’t want brown toes.”

Fleegle stands up. “We need to go to Eugene and get our toes back, Raud.”

Franny stands up too. “Yeah we do. Let’s go.”

I clear my throat, preparing to make a stand. “That reminds me. You’ve both been making a lot of clickity clack sounds when you walk on the wood floors. It must be time to trim the nails you do have.”

Fleegle starts to slink across the lawn toward the bamboo. “My nails are just fine. No trimming needed here.”

“But what about going to Eugene and retrieving your dew claws?” I ask. “They’ll need to be trimmed too.”

“Another time. I’ve got things to do,” he says and disappears into the bamboo.

“How about you, Franny? Are you ready for your nails to be trimmed?”

“You’re not trimming mine. Long nails are all the rage right now at the park. Did you pick up the pink polish I asked for?”

“I’m not going to paint your nails.”

“But I’ll paint yours if you do.”

Next Bartering with Biscuits – Mr. Pillow

Previous Bartering with Biscuits – Princess

First Bartering with Biscuits – The Puppy

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.”


Next Negotiating with Cookies – The Meat Special

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?”


Next Negotiating with Cookies – Stumped

Previous Negotiating with Cookies – GSD?

Negotiating with Cookies – GSD?

“Are you still thinking about it?” Fleegle asks.

“I was thinking about a German Shepherd,” I say.

“I don’t think the UPS guy would like that and you need to keep the UPS guy happy because he brings me fun stuff. Same goes for the mailman and woman. They carry biscuits.”

“But I love German Shepherds. They’re really smart.”

“And you’re going to look really smart behind your new vacuum cleaner that you’ll have to get to stay on top of the shedding. They’re not called German Shedders for nothing.”


Next Negotiating with Cookies – Aussie?

Previous Negotiating with Cookies – How About a Pug, Fleegle?