Now, I've been meaning to speak with you about something for a long time. No, put the ball down. I want you to listen for a minute. Oh, bother; go fetch the ball. Or don't. Whatever.
Now, can you pay attention for a second? I've noticed -- everyone has noticed -- that you've been scratching at the door more than usual lately. We barely let you outside before you start scratching to come back inside.
You're not even using these visits outside to perform any useful business. You just walk around on the porch, perhaps drink a couple of sips from your water bowl, and beg for re-entry.
Look, you have a bowl in the house, full of cool water. The water in your outside bowl is hot. Does that make sense to you -- to go outside for something when you have it better in here?
Oh, please. Tell me, Patches, how old are you now?
That's right. And do you know what that is in people years? About 49. That means you're an adult. It's time to put away puppyish things and start thinking and acting like a dog.
Now, you know we all love you, but we feel you aren't using good judgment. For instance, we've noticed that you will lie for hours in the sunlight on the floor, with no apparent motivation to do anything productive. What's that all about? Is there something wrong? Are you involved in something that you can't control?
Sure, you still chase birds and bark through the fence at the neighbor's dog, but we're not so sure that is healthy social behavior, either. It's either passive or aggressive with you, girl; where is all that coming from?
Simply put, we think you have a problem, and we think it needs to be treated.
No, no! Not a treat . I didn't say "treat." I said "treated." Get down, girl! Oh, well, OK, just one. Here you go. Up! Stand up for the treat. Or don't. Just lie there and I'll put it into your mouth. Do you need help chewing? Now, where were we?
No, no more you-know-whats. Let's get serious.
Patches, your erratic behavior isn't affecting just you. Have you noticed how hot it is this summer? Maybe not, because your mom got your coat trimmed short and so maybe the heat isn't an issue with you. It is with us, though, because we have to air-condition the house. Patches, do you have a clue how much it costs in cooling to open and close the storm door a jillion times a day? Do you? Speak up.
Not even close. Each time you paw at the door and we open it, it's costing us money. Now, again, we love you and want you to have free rein in your own home, but we feel you need an intervention.
Here's what is going to happen. We've asked a lot of people that you know to come over and talk to you about your behavior. Maybe if we all work together --
What? Stop pawing at the door. You just went out. Oh, all right. When you come back in we'll -- hey! What are you doing? Leave those birds alone. Get back in here. Get in here right now, young lady.
Oh, never mind.