Negotiating with Cookies – Talking About Talking

While sitting in the backyard on a sunny afternoon, Fleegle drops his slobber covered tennis ball in my lap for the umpteenth time. I pick up the ball with two fingers and toss it to him. “Fleegle, you know how you’ve been asking me about getting a puppy?”

He catches the ball but spits it out. “Oh boy, are we getting one today? Let’s go,” he says, his front paws bouncing on the ground.

“Well, I’ve decided it might be time to start to actually give the idea some real thought,” I say calmly.

He stops bouncing. “Huh? As opposed to the fake thought you already started giving it?”

“Um, yes.”

“So we’re not going today to get a puppy, but today you’re going to start thinking about getting a puppy? This is like when the guys on the car radio start talking about what they’re going to talk about. I thought you hated that.”

“I do. It drives me crazy. They spend more time talking about what they’re going to talk about than about it itself. It’s totally boring. Like they tell me all about the weather report they’re going to give at the top of the hour and in the time they take to tell me that, they could’ve just given me the weather report.”

Fleegle nose bumps the ball toward me. “So you want to start thinking about what you’re going to do instead of just doing it?”

“This is different.”

“Maybe to someone who is brainwashed by listening all day to people talk about what they’re going to talk about, but not to someone who does things when he wants to do them and doesn’t need to think about it first, let alone talk about it first.”

I pick up the ball and toss it. He catches it in the air. “This coming from a dog that would jump out a second story window after a ball.”

He spits the ball out in my lap. “I would not.”

“There’s a reason we live in a one story house, and that’s because I thought about it first.”

“But what if there was a swimming pool below that second story window. Think of all the fun to be had there.”

I toss the ball for Fleegle to catch, but he doesn’t move and it bounces on the ground behind him and rolls to a stop. “Raud, I think it’s time I give it some real thought about going and retrieving that tennis ball, but first let’s sit down and discuss it, let’s talk about what we’re going to say about the ball and the fetching of the ball.”


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Negotiating with Cookies – Occupied

Sitting on the toilet with the bathroom door closed, I’m doing what must be done when I hear a thump on the other side of the door. It’s the soft thump of a Labrador nose bump as the door is pushed aside and Fleegle ambles in, his tail wagging at the sight of me sitting close to his level.

“What? Is there no privacy in this house?” I ask.

He gets his face in my face, then rubs his side against my knees like he’s an oversized cat. “No, Raud. You need constant supervision. It’s the least I can do in return for all the supervision you’ve given me.” He turns around and rubs his other side against my knees. “Should I fetch you a baggy? One of those biodegradable ones?” he says and sits on the bathmat facing me and stares. “Have you ever considered getting a Squatty Potty? The people inside the radio swear by it. There’s one lady who loves hers so much she says she can’t live without it.”

“A what? Why don’t you go lie down in the other room?”

“Are you having trouble doing two things at once? I don’t like to talk while I go either. I need to focus when I go, that and find the perfect spot. A Squatty Potty might help with that.”

“Fleegle, go in the other room.”

“You should think about getting one. It must be nice for that lady to love something so much she can’t live without it. Do you think she takes it to work with her in her handbag? That must be one big handbag. I bet when her coworkers at work see her arrive, they go, ‘Hey, there’s Mable with her Squatty Potty, I can’t wait to borrow it.’ Or maybe she leaves it at home so she won’t have to share it. Is a Squatty Potty too personal to share? I share everything so I wouldn’t know.”

I look over at the bathroom window and tilt my head to the side. “Is that a squirrel I hear?”

Fleegle tears out of the bathroom, down the hall and out through his dog door.

What the hell is a Squatty Potty anyway? I wonder as I realize I’ll have to Google it to find out.


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Negotiating with Cookies – The True Purpose for Pockets

Fleegle drops his gooey tennis ball in my lap. “I bet you wish you were covered in fur like me, then you wouldn’t have to wear clothes. Think of all the time that would free up. No more doing laundry, no more choosing what to wear. That alone would free up gobs of time. No more trying on two or three shirts to find the one you’re in the mood for. You’d wake up in the morning and be good to go, just like me, and we would have that much more time to play fetch.”

“But then I wouldn’t have any pockets to carry cookies in.”

Fleegle takes a step back. “I really like those cargo shorts on you. Those big pockets make you look super intelligent. Maybe you should get a few more pairs and wear them all the time. If they come in brown we could be twins. Or go one better, get me a pair and I could stuff those big pockets full of pizza for you.”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies – Fleegle Goes into Business

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies – Another Reason for the Ball

Negotiating with Cookies – The Mathematics of Love

While watching a romantic comedy on television, Fleegle says, “Raud, I think you need a girlfriend.”



“You’ll have to explain that for us who are not so mathematically inclined.”

“Well, if you gave me a cookie and you had a girlfriend, she would want to give me a cookie too. Then you would get worried that I might like her more than you, so you would give me another cookie, and then she would worry and give me another and on and on it would go. The mathematics of affection say it would be a boon to my tummy.”

“What if she doesn’t like dogs sleeping on the bed?”

“Don’t be silly. Who wouldn’t like that?”

“Maybe she has allergies, or maybe, god forbid, she’s a cat person.”

He goes back to watching the movie. “Okay, so maybe I should vet any prospects first. They’ll need to fill out a questionnaire. First question: Do you like cats?” He scratches his head. “Or even better: Do you like cats more than dogs?”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies – Fleegle’s Impulses

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies – Fences and Holes

Negotiating with Cookies #34 – Monkey’s

I open the door leading to the garage and Fleegle appears out of nowhere at my heels.

“Where are we going, Raud?”

“I feel like meatballs.”

“Ooo, Monkey Sub Shop?”

He jumps in the car ahead of me and we back out of the garage.

“Maybe Rich will give you some meat scraps to give to me,” Fleegle says and begins to drool. The man who makes the sandwiches doesn’t like to waste the end pieces of the meat and gives them to customers with dogs.

“You never know.”

*   *   *

When I return to the car with my meatball sub that includes a free nap, I also have a small bundle of end pieces and meat shavings for Fleegle. They consist of roast beef, pastrami, ham, turkey, salami, pepperoni, etc. If they put it on a sandwich, it leaves tidbits in the slicer for the lucky dog that shows up that day.

Bouncing from seat to seat, Fleegle repeats his mantra, “Oh yum, oh yum.”

He shoves his nose at the bundle as I open the car door.

“Scoot over,” I say. He stands shotgun and I get behind the wheel.

“I love Monkey Subs. They’re the best ever,” he says.

“But you’ve never had one, and I don’t think you’ve ever snatched my sandwich off my desk. That’s something I wouldn’t forget.”

He nose bumps the bundle in my hand. “But I’ve had most everything that goes into them. Boy, could I design them a sandwich fit for a dog.”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies #35 – Cheating

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #33 – Fleegle Squeaks Out

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt

Negotiating with Cookies #32 – Cats

Fleegle stands on the couch in the living room looking out the window at the house across the street. “We have new neighbors,” he announces. “They have four cats. Can you imagine living with four cats?”

“Four cats and you? No.”

“Why not?” He jumps off the couch and nose bumps me in the thigh. “Don’t you like cats? I love cats.”

“No you don’t.”

“Why would you say that? They’re like mini-Santas that go around hiding biscuits in all the sandy patches in the neighborhood, and they act like speeding tennis balls when you chase them.” He cocks his head at me. “That is, when I chase them. You don’t chase much, except me when I run outside with your remote.”


“We should get a cat, or two. Yeah, two cats, at least for starters. Maybe we can get more later, and cover the backyard with sand.”

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #33 – Fleegle Squeak Out

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #31 – Green Fleegle

Start at the beginning: Negotiating with Cookies #1 – Stinky Butt