“OK, thanks very much. I’ll pick it up at six, or a little after.” I hang up the phone. I can feel the dog’s eyes on my back.
“So what was that about?” she asks.
“Oh, that was the Ford dealer,” I say casually. “They’re done with my car.” The dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree a few days ago when I was leaving work– all sorts of brake-related idiot lights, plus the odometer went completely blank. I spent the weekend driving a rented Kia.
“What was wrong with it?” she asks, with exaggerated casualness.
“Oh, you know, some problems with the wiring…”
“What kind of problem with the wiring?”
I mumble something softly under my breath.
“I can’t hear you…”
“Yes you can. You’re a dog, you have excellent hearing. But, fine,” I sigh heavily. “Some of the wires near the brake system had been chewed by rodents…”
“HAH!” she says. “I KNEW it! All that squirrel activity had to mean they were up to no good…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re evil squirrels, I know…” She’s been a little obsessed.
“Of course they’re evil squirrels! They’re squirrels! They’re all evil! Squeaky and evil!”
“Yes, I know, we’ve been through this…”
“They’re trying to kill you! You and the human puppy both. They almost managed to cut your brakes– don’t you think they deserve barking at?”
“Fine, you’re right, they’re evil squirrels, and you’re right to chase them.”
“Don’t!” I interrupt. “Don’t say ‘I told you so.’ Only bad dogs say ‘I told you so.'”
“Oh. I’m a good dog, though.”
“Yes, you are. You’re the best.” I stand up, and go to get my coat. “Come on, we’ll go for a walk.”
“Ooooh! And can we chase squirrels?”
“Yes, you can chase all the squirrels you want.”
“Yippeeeee!!!” she races off to the back door.