A few days ago, I sat at my laptop printing my boarding pass for a quick work trip to Chicago. The day before, Eric and I had taken Petey the one-eyed wonder terrier on a five-mile gallop in the rain. Today, by comparison, was a big snore for Petey. Petey decided to take matters into his own hands. He went to my unzipped but packed suitcase and retrieved one of my neon orange Newton running shoes. He brought it to my office and dropped it at my feet.

I didn’t notice.

Petey ran back to my suitcase and retrieved the second running shoe. He set it beside the other one.

I didn’t notice.

Petey danced in circles in front of me, tongue lolling. He punched me in the knees with his little Petey paws, Anne Sullivan to my Helen Keller. What was a dog to do?

“Down, boy.” I scratched him behind the ears.

Finally, finally, I pushed back from my desk. It was time to zip my suitcase and throw it in the Malibu, to leave for the airport. I stood up and almost tripped over one small black and white dog and two stinky shoes.

And that was it. It was as if Petey had run cold water over my hand, except that he had no opposable thumbs and couldn’t reach the faucet. I GOT IT.

Not only did I get it, but I realized my Boston terrorizer is pretty darn smart. I looked at the time. How could I say no after this assume cuteness?

“We can squeeze in five minutes,” I said.

Eric clipped on Petey’s leash while I put on the mutually beloved running shoes, and off we went. I had to rush a bit to make my flight, but it was worth it.



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