Conversation with Stoney

Last night, Stoney decided he wanted to go for a walk. I stood in the living room, talking to Kristen, and Stoney sat next to me with those eyes.

If you have a dog you know the eyes.

The only problem? A strong winter storm had rolled in. While it was sunny, clear, and in the 70s on Monday. It was dreary, raining, and about 50 by Friday night.

Here’s how the scene played out, real life conversation recorded for you:

Adam [staring at the dog, his eyes bright and tail waging] – What? What do you want?

Stoney [Sitting politely at his owners feet, gazing up at his beloved inquisitive face] – I want to go for a walk. Take me for a walk. [Eyebrows up] Please?

Adam [hearing the rain beat against the roof] Dude, it’s raining. You don’t really want to go out there. You just think you want to go, but it’s pouring and cold outside.

Stoney [ambivalent to the news, tail wagging] OMG. You just said “outside!” Outside is like my favorite word! I can’t wait! Thank you for understanding me, master. You are totally awesome!

Adam [walking to the blinds and opening them, convinced that if the dog saw that it was raining, that his dog/friend would not really want to go for a walk] Seriously. Stoney, look outside. Its pouring. If we went out there we’d get soaked. We can’t go for a walk in the rain.

Stoney [his excitement has built to a frenzy. This is shaping up to be an amazing evening] I know, that’s OUTSIDE, where you just said we were going. Holy crap… did you say WALK too? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. [prancing and licking his lips, he can’t stand still he is so excited] You said outside and walk. This is the BEST DAY EVER! YES!

Adam [looking at his wife, full of disbelief at what is happening, then looks back at his dog] No. Really. We can’t go for a walk. It’s raining. Sorry buddy.

Stoney [his head sinks down for a moment of sadness] Are you kidding me? I sat in this house all day waiting for you to come home. You haven’t been home all week and I haven’t really cared. I just thought it’d be a good time for us to reconnect a little. The pecking order is going to change in like 3 days. You’ll bring home that baby and you’ll have even less time for me. So I just thought… I know it’s raining. But that doesn’t bother me. I’m a labrador retriever. My coat is wicks moisture away from my skin and keeps me warm during a fall duck hunt. Wet is in my DNA. It’s hard wired as exciting. And you… you bought a $100 rain jacket… even though you live somewhere that only rains like 10 days a year. I knew you didn’t love me. It’s all just words. You are full of excuses. Jerk.

Adam [noticing the instant and deep sorrow of his friends body language. The words were a jab with a knife, but the body language twisted the knife to maximize damage to internal organs] You don’t seem to care that it’s raining outside, do you? And I did buy that jacket. And you really are made to be wet and cold and not really get cold. [checking Kristen’s face, it’s smiling as she sees Adam’s heart break for his friend.] I guess we could go.

Stoney [gives a little wiggle to his eyebrow. It’s a give away that his act of playing the abused dog worked] Did you say OUTSIDE and GO? Yes! Yes! Yes! I knew you wanted to take me for a walk. What are we waiting for? [cue: tail wagging]

Adam [searching his closet for his rain jacket and a change of socks] OK, let’s go for a walk.

[End of scene]

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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