The setting: My office.
Time: October, 2012.
Me: So we’re moving to Pittsburgh. Wanna come?
Beagle: Are you nuts? I hear it snows there.
Me: I’m counting on it.
Beagle: So why would I want to leave SoCal, with its perpetual sun, fresh limes, overflowing tequila…and that hot Doberman Pinscher up the street?
Me: Um, because you cherish the ground I walk on?
Beagle: Let’s get real, I barely tolerate you. You have a great spot on your desk for sunbaths, and you keep the pantry filled with tequila and designer doggeh chewies. Anything more than that, and you suck stale Twinkie cream.
Me: You ungrateful flea bag. I’ve turned you from a slobbering butt-licking half-breed into a quasi-competent secretary who can answer phones and file.
Beagle: Ahem, that’s Ms. Pure-Bred to you. And sure, I can file and answer the occasional phone, but I’m a dog, and I want to do dog things. And besides, I’m not really yours. If you care to remember, your son was the one who got me when he was in the Army, so I go where he goes. And he’s staying here. Have fun in Pittsburgh, in the snow and slush.
Scene change: Pittsburgh
Me: So you think you’ll like it here?
Rescue Beagle #1: Are you kidding? This is a slice o’ heaven. I spent the first year or so of my life locked in a cage until animal services rescued me.
Rescue Beagle #2: I already love it! I was tied up to a tree next to a McDonald’s and abandoned until some nice people found me and fed me Chicken McNuggets because I was starving.
Me (serious lump in throat): You’ve been through so much. Welcome to my heart and home.
Rescue Beagles look around office
Rescue Beagle #1: Looks like you could use some help with your filing.
Me (brightening): Get outta here. You file? Um, do you make margaritas?
Rescue Beagle #1: You kidding? I’m half chihuahua…hand me a bottle of tequila, beer, grand marnier, and limeade, and point me in the direction of your blender.
Me: How ’bout you, Rescue Beagle #2, do you have any talents?
Rescue Beagle #2: I got a lotta puppy still in me, so I’m really good at shredding things and peeing on the floor. Oh, and phones fascinate me.
Me (Giving serious thought about stubborn authors who insist on sending physical manuscripts and queries): I see you fitting in as my new paper shredder. I’ll let you cover the phones – only no calling those Doggeh Porn numbers. Yessiree, I think we have the beginnings of a beautiful relationship.