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Finally! I’ve been asking Mom-Amy if I could write a column and after three months of whining, she finally gave in. I’m Josie, a cockapoo, and head of the Laundrie household. My parents picked me out because my tail never stopped wagging. But I have to tell you—snort, snort!—now that I’ve lived with them for 8 years, I have a few complaints I’d like to get off my furry chest.

Mom and Dad-Frank have gotten crabby in their old age. They get mad when people come to the door and I respond with my high-shrilled bark. Don’t they realize that I need to be on guard and let them know when people are invading our territory? And what’s wrong with my jumping on visitors? I’m just showing my excitement to see them.

My third complaint is that they claim they call me and I don’t come. If I hear them, I come. I’ve always been good about that. Sometimes, when I’ve been tracking that pesky rabbit who has the audacity to run around the backyard—my backyard—I might become so distracted I don’t hear their call. I’m “in the zone,” to use a human phrase I’ve heard. Why should I be punished for doing my job and guarding my people?

My next complaint has me seriously worried. They want to put me on a diet. They’ve been talking about actually measuring my kibbles. Snort, snort! I’m not getting chunky; my fur is just too fluffy. My ribs are under there somewhere. Really, they are.

And now, for my final complaint, I wish humans would communicate better. I’ll use a scary incident that happened on a summer day at the lake as an example. I was lazing around on shore when I heard Dad rev up the speed boat. Brother-Jon rode along, too. My beloved Mom lowered herself into the lake. She lay on her back and soon the tips of two boards stuck out of the water. My brother threw her a rope. The other end was attached to the boat. When the boat roared off, it took her with it!

I jumped in to save her, but the boat was too fast. I’m not a good swimmer, and I was far from shore when I knew I was in trouble.

My strength was giving out. The speed boat zipped by again. Had they seen me? I wouldn’t be able to keep above the surface much longer. A wave washed over me, and I took in more water. This was it. My life flashed before my eyes. No more belly rubs. No more long walks in the woods. No more venison jerky treats.

The boat motor stopped. “Josie!” Dad called.

Mom freed her feet from the boards and paddled toward me.

“What are you doing out here?” Mom asked.

Drowning, I wanted to say. I’m sorry to say sometimes Mom isn’t too bright.

Dad had steered toward me, and my brother swooped me up. I coughed and sputtered. Within heartbeats, Mom had climbed in the boat. She wrapped me in a towel. “Were you trying to rescue me?” she asked. “I was skiing for fun.”

Being pulled out into deep water for fun? Are you crazy? And why didn’t you let me know? Snort, snort!

Sometimes I just don’t understand humans. But I’m willing to forgive them. I cuddled in. Especially if they’re willing to negotiate putting me on a diet.

Keep those treats, coming.

Wag, wag,

Josie

Josie Laundrie is a Cockapoo who loves belly rubs and treats and, to her mind, does not go on a diet. Contact her or her mom at laundrie@live.com or www.laundrie.com.