Real Estate

A conversation with my dog

I really don’t know how to say this any other way. My dog ​​decided to talk to me the other night and he had a lot to say.

Initially it played like any other night really. Once again, she was tossing and turning, in and out of the dream. I was half awake, thinking about my work situation: I want to earn money writing but I need an extra income. Then the strangest thing happened.

“Hey human Bob! This is your best friend speaking! Wake up!”

Who the hell was that? It was a deep, low voice; strong and confident with a hint of bourbon induced. He actually sounded like Dean Martin. I immediately sat down. It was completely dark. The clock radio faded 3:53 in a muted crimson light. All I could make out was the shadowy outline of Parker, my trusty beagle, sitting at my feet.

“Hey kid, did you hear that?” I instinctively whispered. There is someone in the house.

My vision was beginning to heat up in the dark. Parker stared back at me, head bowed, long ears hanging to the side of her head like hand towels on a wall. He turned his head toward the bedroom door, turned his nose up into the night, and sniffed. He turned to me.

“I don’t believe it.”

I could swear Parker spoke, but it couldn’t be. I mean, his bloodhound lips seemed to move with the words I heard, but that was impossible.

“Who’s there?” I screamed into the night. “Whoever it is, I’m warning you that right now I’m retrieving my loaded double-barreled 12-gauge from under the bed. I’ll shoot you. So leave now, and I want to hear the door close behind you.”

I made some silly noises in a poor attempt to trick the intruder into believing what I had just proclaimed. I took the trick to the next level.

“Okay. I’m fully armed and about to call 911 from my fully powered cell phone. Oh yeah, strong signal, four bars. Oh yeah, this is going to be a very clear 911 call.”

“You’re breaking me. Hang up the phone human Bob.”

It was Parker speaking. He was sure of it. Nah, he had to be a sick trick.

“Okay good Steve. You hooked the dog up to a little speaker. Very funny.”

My brother Steve was known for going out of his way to pull pranks. But I was pretty sure he was at his apartment in the city, sixty miles away, God knows what, and at 48, I was unlikely to suddenly be bothered with a joke – it had been 25 years since the last one. But the mind rushes into the most unlikely scenarios when properly challenged.

“I don’t think so. No, it’s me, Parker,” the dog murmured.

He was sure he spoke again. She was now sitting up straight, leaning toward him. He just sat there and looked at me with those big dark eyes. Her poker face was on.

“Parker? Are you talking to me?”

“Well, I’m not talking to myself.”

I leaned back against the headboard. she yawned.

“This can’t be. I have to stop watching Animal Planet.”

“Listen, I have something to say and I’m not sure how long this talking thing is going to work, so…”

“You are talking!” I interrupted in disbelief.

“Do you want me to bow wow?”

“Holy cow! Parker, you’re talking.”

“Yes. But I’m not sure how long. So I can say a few things before…”

“I can not believe this”.

“Yeah, I know. Either one of us can, but if you don’t mind.”

I looked at him with a giant smile plastered on my face. Parker can talk. The dog was talking. Who was he kidding? It had to be a joke. he continued.

“I’ve been listening to that radio show a lot and that C-SPAN channel you see as you type. I’m here to tell you that I don’t like what I’m hearing.”

“You are kidding, right?”

“I’m afraid not”.

Oh this was good. She was really freaking out. Talk-shmalk, she had some nagging questions of her own.

“Hey, can I ask you something before you get to your stuff?”

“Make it quick. I don’t have all night.”

“You like to smell things a hundred times more than we do, right?”

“Four hundred.”

“Okay, four hundred. Wow! Then I’m really wondering about this.”

“Yeah, I know. Why do we like to smell every morsel of poop or yellow stain of urine we find on our walks?”

“Now that you mention it, yeah, why? It must smell like the inside of Dick Cheney’s or Ted Kennedy’s septic tank. And you know how much shit they’re filled with.”

“That was fun, human Bob. But it’s not like what you smell. We took a lot more notes. It’s a broader palette, if you will. We don’t smell stink. We smell identity, mood, and disease. For example, do you know that crazy cairn terrier down the street?


“She has stomach cancer and her humans don’t have a clue.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“She’s probably less than six months old if they don’t get her to a vet soon.” She paused to lick her right front paw. “Yeah, and one other thing. Don’t take me out at night for a while.”


“Because there’s a rabid possum living under the porch. That’s why.”

“Do you know this by the smell of possum poop?”



“Yeah.” Parker yawned as if he was bored. “So that’s it? Can I just say what I need to say?”

“Well, there’s that thing you do with the licking thing you, you know, you…”


“Okay, yes.”

“Jealous are we?”

“Well, it’s just that…”

“It’s all about keeping clean. Nothing pleasurable if that’s what you’re going for. Nothing like what you do with your hand. By the way, I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t pet me afterwards. No, it’s not pleasure; it’s all business. You made sure of that when you “fixed” me, remember. Thank you very much.”

“Oh yeah, sorry. I had no idea you knew any different.”

“I have no idea, my ass. I’ll tell you ‘no idea’.” She stopped again to lick her right paw, then continued. “But I don’t hold it against you. We don’t hold a grudge. Hell, if we did, we would have killed most of the humans by now. Which brings me to why I’m talking to you.”

“No hard feelings. Really? I mean ‘fixing’ things is pretty serious. That’s pretty cool if it doesn’t bother you.”

“Are you done? Can I get to my concern?”

“Sure. Sorry. Go ahead.”

“How can humans supposedly be so intelligent, while they are single-handedly destroying the Earth?”

“You mean global warming?”

“It’s more than that. It’s the air. It’s the water. It’s the dirt. It’s the forests. It’s the killing. It’s the anger. It’s the hate. It’s the rancor. It’s the fear. It’s everything.”

“Oh come on. You’re being a bit dramatic.”

“We don’t know dramatic.”

“Well, give me examples of what you mean.”

“First of all, the air is full of dangers. Dogs, cats, birds, animals of all kinds can smell it. It is our main subject when we gather.”

“I don’t smell anything.”

“Yeah, that’s part of the problem. And you can’t taste troubled water either.”

“Scientists don’t seem to be complaining. So should I be listening to a dog?”

“We don’t have an agenda. Dogs call it what they smell it.”

“‘Call it what you smell it’; am I supposed to accept that?”

“Yes, there are many things that you should accept.”

“Oh yeah, like what else?”

“Well, and here’s what I think is the crux of the problem, you keep picking the wrong alpha humans.”


“You’ve got this alpha thing all wrong. Just because animals order their herds based on physical size and strength doesn’t make it that way for humans. We do it because we’re simple. You do it because you’re thoughtless. That’s what we , and I think it’s fair to say that I speak for all animals, I don’t get it. Humans are capable of thinking things. But they never do. Well, that’s not entirely true; some have, but they know mock them or marginalize them.

An alpha dog barks and puffs up, like that wacky shepherd Sarge around the block. The worst he can do is escape his electronic fence and attack one of us. But you humans take it to a higher level.”

“Can you give me an example?”

“God, there are so many. Let me see. Okay, you’ve elected a president who beats his chest and walks like a gorilla with his arms out to the sides, all hard and all, continuing with ‘Forward!’ When he jumps over the fence, he brings tanks and bombs and humans loaded with guns and bulletproof vests. Meanwhile, you’ve got alpha males all over the place, flexing their muscles on their backpacks, threatening to get nukes, the great equalizer, giving the president one excuse after another to jump the fence. He is crazy.

“Well I dont know what to tell”.

“You don’t need to say anything. Just start choosing the right alpha humans—humans whose visions see beyond the fight, whose hearts hold no grudges, whose thoughts and reasons are not the product of testosterone, whose collective knowledge is rooted in the concept that true peace is never the consequence of war but the result of constant learning, negotiation and adjustment”.

“Is this what you want to tell me? Nothing for nothing, but it’s a little heavy for small talk with a dog at 3:30 in the morning.”

“In short, yes.”

It was hard to accept this from my beagle. I mean, he’s a dog; a dog that sleeps, eats, sniffs and shits. He attributed this whole episode to stress. It was apparently breaking me.

“That’s it. I’m almost done. Just one last thing while I have the chance.”

“What? World hunger? String theory?” I asked sarcastically.

“Get the right alpha humans and world hunger will take care of itself, smartass. As for string theory, who do you think I am, Hawking? I’m just a dog. No, it’s more pedestrian than that, something that I think you can handle.”

“So what, already?” I asked impatiently.

“You know that thing you do once in a while when you empty the dishwasher.”

“Ummm…yeah, I guess.”

“Put some clothes on. It’s disturbing. I beg you, please!”

“Okay, but only if you lick your private parts in private.”

I’ll see what I can do. No promises.

“So this is it? We don’t talk anymore? You know we could make a fortune off Letterman with his favorite stupid tricks.”

“It will never happen. You see, this is a one-time deal. I’m not sure why or how this is happening. Maybe that God is involved somehow. All I know is that when it’s done, it’s… .” He suddenly stopped talking.


Not a growl. She yawned, and as she yawned, he stretched out his front legs and extended them to the foot of the bed, his ears resting on the blanket.

“Parker… are you done? Is that all?”

He slowly closed his eyes and fell asleep.

“Parker…just like that?”

It started to shake; in pursuit of a fox I imagined.

“Holy crap. I must be dreaming.”

I snuggled under the safety of my sheets, scratched my butt and thought about the conversation I’d just had with Parker or myself or both. I smelled the air. It smelled good to me. What the hell was he talking about, ‘danger in the air’? It had to be a dream.

As I fell asleep, I thought about getting a real job very soon, apparently this writing thing was getting the best of me. I also made it a point to remember to talk to the owners of that crazy cairn terrier. I thought it was the least I could do. One can’t be too dismissive of the inexplicable these days.

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