At the other end of the rope, young Wendell took hold. He was inexperienced, to be sure, but eager. Eager to test his mettle, eager to take on this ancient pug rite of passage. He nodded and squeaked to signal his readiness.
With that, I smoothly pulled my head back. Every muscle in my chiseled, sinewy body worked in unison. My legs straightened; my claws gripped the carpet. Wendell attempted to follow suit but instead went airborne and landed mere inches from my face. We exchanged growls, and then I moved away from him, quickly taking up the rope's newfound slack. Again, he lurched forward as I tugged on the rope. This young pug was experiencing a veritable baptism by fire. But one cannot hope to be the best unless one competes against the best. And that would be me, my flock. After pausing for a moment to let the initial shock wear off for young Wendell, I again jerked on the rope. He lost his footing and careened into a nearby chew toy, growling all the way.
I urged him on, combining encouragement with insult for maximum motivational effect. "Dig deep my brother," I implored. "You tug like an unveiled woman!"
After another 20 seconds of swinging my three-and-a-half-pound brother around like a ragdoll, I jumped onto the couch. Surely this would provide the motivation he needed.
"Wendell," I barked, "this is what you have always wanted. The couch -- my tail's lone refuge from your chew-happy teeth. Hang onto the rope, and you shall finally be able to scale this mountain."
But, alas, his jaws were not yet strong enough, and the rope was soon in my sole possession. Wendell's first journey to the couchtop would have to come another day.