Negotiating with Biscuits #5 – 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.”

“Is the soothing 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.”

“Pizza gives me far out dreams.”

“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 has found out 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 and they try to poop on your head from up in the trees.”

I feel the bed move as he gets up. “Now I can’t sleep. 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. “Poor flies.”

But then is strikes me. “How does Buck get into the yard past the fence?”

“Beats me.”

Negotiating with Biscuits #4 – Babies

I’m tossing and turning in bed, 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 sitting 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 just any baby.”

“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.”

Negotiating with Biscuits #3 – 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?” he 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?”

“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 established.

Back 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.”

Negotiating with Biscuits #2 – The Remote

“What’s that you got in your crate?” I ask Fleegle, pointing inside it at something small and black.

His tail wags. “Well, Raud, that’s one of your remotes. I think it’s to the television.”

I look at him suspiciously. “What’s it doing in there?”

He sits, his tail sweeping the floor behind him. “It’s like this, I just tossed a cookie remote in my crate for you.”

“Ha ha, very funny.” I get down on all fours and crawl in to retrieve the remote, wet with dog slobber, but thankfully not yet chewed on. The crate door bangs against my feet. “What are you doing out there?”

“I’m giving my crate to you and you’re moving in. Now that it’s yours, do you want a stuffed Kong to chew on while I’m out carousing the neighborhood with my friends?”

Negotiating with Biscuits #1 – The Crate

I hold open the crate door for Fleegle, my chocolate Lab.

He stands his ground and stares at me. “No. I’m not going in my crate.”

“Why not?” I ask.


“Because what?”

“How come it’s my crate? Why isn’t it your crate?”

I look at the crate, which is small for me, then back at him. “Well, have you ever seen me get in it?”

“If you get in I’ll get in.”

“I’m sure you would. That would be very cozy.”

“I like cozy,” he says.

“I know you do.” I toss a dog cookie in the back of the crate.

“Oh boy, a cookie,” he says as he runs in after it. His tail thumps against the inside of the crate as the cookie crunches in his mouth.

I put a Kong stuffed with frozen peanut butter in behind him and close the door. He hears the latch close and turns around.

“Cat butt! I fell for it again, didn’t I?” he says, looking through the wire mesh of the crate door.

“Yes, you did.”

He spots the red Kong toy. “Ooo,” he sniffs the air. “I smell peanut butter.”