As daylight began to creep through the blinds of my bed chamber, a premonition came to me. My sleep grew fitful as this dark prophecy was revealed. My legs flailed. Then I awoke with a start, the vision complete: My father was soon going to be ill. Such is the burden of my great spiritual awareness. This was terrible news. For when the humans are ill, they slack off in their walking duties. And when I don't get a chance to walk the neighborhood, I don't get to spread my message of peace and rawhide. Nor do I get to leave presents for the rival canine cleric down the street. "No, this would be unacceptable," I thought. "I cannot allow illness to infiltrate the ayatollah compound."
Thus began my quest for Saturday. I sat on father's lap as he watched a basketball game. I was looking for an opening. "Why don't you ever wear midriff-baring shirts?" I barked. "What's that?" he replied. "You want to go outside?"
"Your linguistic shortcomings are appalling," I barked back. Perhaps I would have to wait for another time to reach his navel, where I could deliver my healing saliva.
A few hours later, I caught father in a playful mood. I snapped at his hands and ran circles around him. Then I sprinted to the bedroom, leading him along. I rounded the edge of the bed at breakneck speed, challenging him to try to catch me. Then I saw an opening. I pounced at his midsection, nudging at his shirt. "What are you doing, Mugsy?" he asked, laughing. He pushed me away. But I was not to be denied. Again, I lunged forward, pinning him down with my powerful paws. "It is time for the laying on of tongues ritual," I barked. "Resistance is futile." I began the ritual as my father shrieked in horror. Or perhaps he was just laughing hysterically. My eyes briefly met his. "Don't you ever wash this thing?" I barked, swallowing a piece of lint. Then I finished the ritual and moved on to mother's belly button. True, she was not part of my premonition. But better safe than sorry.