Negotiaitng with Cookies #9 – Feeling Green

Fleegle is curled up on the den couch. “I don’t feel so good.”

“For a chocolate dog, you look mighty green. Is that grass stuck in your front teeth?” I pull it out for him. “So much for your duck treats, eh? Did you throw up?”

He nods. “By the back gate near the garbage cans.”

“Poor dog.”

“And in the flower beds.”

“Poor flowers.”

“And in your shoes by the bed.”

“Poor Raud.”


Next: #10 – Breakfast

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Negotiating with Cookies #8 – Ducks and Geese

“Look, Raud, a stork with a baby,” Fleegle shouts from his seat on the couch overlooking the backyard through the den window.

A seagull with a Subway sandwich wrapper in its beak flies by.

“Not big enough,” I say.

A little while later, he asks, “What about them? They’re huge.”

Ducks and geese land in the yard, well fed and plump from a mild winter.

“Nope, they’re not storks. Go chase them away before they poop all over the patio.”

He remains seated on the couch. “Are you sure they’re not storks? Maybe they’re in disguise.”

“Storks won’t land if ducks are in the yard.”

“Oh,” he says, then bolts through the double flaps of the dog door into the yard. “Woof, woof.”

A little later Fleegle comes inside through his dog door, a green smear on his snout.

I ask, “What’s that on your nose?”

His tongue darts out and swipes both sides of his mouth, slicking back his whiskers and getting rid of the evidence. “Nothing.”

“What’s that sheepish expression on your face for then?”

“You told me to chase the ducks and geese away, but you didn’t tell me they made such yummy treats.”

“You didn’t?”

He licks his lips again. “I did.”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies #9 – Feeling Green

Previous:  Negotiating with Cookies #7 – Om

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Negotiating with Cookies #7 – Om

In the backyard, I sit down cross-legged on the grass, close my eyes and begin to meditate. I count my breaths and try to clear my mind, and just when mental silence dawns, a wet nose bumps me in the back of my neck.

“Whatcha doin?” Fleegle asks, circling around to my front.


“What’s that?”

“A way to make contact with my higher self.” The words are no sooner out of my mouth before my curiosity prods me to open my eyes to see if he’s staring up at the sky. He is.

“How high up did you say he was?” he asks.

I look into the sky where he’s looking. “At this rate, very high up, maybe even beyond the stratosphere.”

“Stratosphere?” he ponders the word. “Does he look like you?”

“My higher self? In a sense, yes.”

Not seeing anything, he raises his nose high and sniffs the breeze, his snout twitching back and forth. “Well, I don’t think he’s anywhere nearby unless he smells like what the cat next door just left in little Jimmy’s sandbox. Maybe your meditation remote needs new batteries.”

“Meditation doesn’t require a remote.”

“Are you sure? Everything else you do does.”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies #8 – Ducks and Geese

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #6 – Flies and Opossums

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Negotiating with Cookies #6 – Flies and Opossums

Still unable to sleep, I listen to Fleegle snore. He sounds like a train struggling up a steep grade with a freight load of fat Labradors. I nudge him with my foot under the covers. “Straighten out your neck and maybe that freight you’re pulling won’t be so heavy.”

“The circadian rhythm of my snores not lulling you to sleep? I’m out like a light when you snore,” Fleegle says sleepily. “I love pizza, but I love it even more because it makes you snore and I know exactly where you are without even looking.”

“And it gives me far out dreams,” I say.

he rolls onto his back, paws pointing toward the ceiling. “When I can’t sleep I don’t bother trying.”

“I know, you go outside and hunt opossums.”

“That’s not me, that’s Buck from across the street. No one knows yet about the hole he dug under his fence. He’s a little obsessed with opossums. Did you know he takes his kills inside his house through his dog door?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I prefer chasing flies to chasing rodents.”

“What about squirrels? They’re part of the rodent family and you chase them.”

“They don’t count. They’re too cute to be rodents.”

“That’s not what you say when you make them mad by chasing them up trees and they try to poop on your head from the branches above.”

I feel the bed move as he gets up. “Now I can’t sleep,” he says. “I wish flies flew at night. Will you turn the light on and wake them up?”

I shrug. “Might as well.”

The bamboo outside the bedroom window rustles even though there isn’t any wind.

“There goes Buck, hunting,” Fleegle says. “Poor opossums.”

I snap on the light, waking a fly on the shade. Fleegle is after it in an instant

“Poor flies,” I say.

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #7 – Om

Previous: Negotiating With Cookies #5 – Furbabies

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Negotiating with Cookies #5 – Furbabies

I’m tossing and turning, struggling to get to sleep, when Fleegle asks, “Where do babies come from?”

I look through the murky darkness in the bedroom at his black silhouette on my bed. “The stork flies them in and delivers them to houses of families who want them.”

“What’s a stork?”

“A bird that’s big enough to carry a baby in it’s beak and still get off the ground. Why are you asking about babies?”

“The neighbors behind us just got one.”

“Uh huh.”

“So if I stop chasing the birds out of the yard, a big one will bring me a baby?”

I worry where this is going. “Yes, that is correct. But why do you want a baby?”

“Not a baby, a baby brother.”

“Hmm. I’m confused,” I say.

He tilts his head. “You? Never.”

“Do you mean one who looks like me or one who looks like you?”

“There’s a difference? I thought you looked like me.”


Next: Negotiating with Cookies #6 – Flies and Opossums

Previous: Negotiating with Cookies #4 – The Garage Sale

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Negotiating with Cookies #4 – The Garage Sale

I gather up an armful of tired looking toys and pass Fleegle in the kitchen on my way to the garage.

“Where are you going with all my toys?” Fleegle asks.

“We’re having a garage sale.”

He cocks his head to the side. “You’re going to sell my toys?”

“They’ve been sitting untouched in your toy basket for so long I figured you were bored with them.

He follows me out to the garage, but now he’s carrying something in his mouth and it’s not a toy. “What have you got there?” I ask.

“Your remote to the television,” he slurs around the hard plastic. “It’s your donation to the garage sale. Think of it as going on a diet for the mind and you’re cutting out visual junk food.”

I do a 180 and return the armful of toys to his basket and he drops the remote back on the coffee table. Détente is re-established.

In the kitchen, he grabs his crate by its door and starts dragging it toward the garage.

“What are you up to now?” I ask.

“I’m going to sell my crate at your garage sale.”

Next: Negotiating with Cookies #5 – Furbabies

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