Mother was cleaning out the refrigerator, throwing away a startling collection of moldy cheeses and vintage mustard bottles. Finally, the refrigerator was sparkling clean, and she moved on to the freezer. Wendell stood nearby, ready to help, and I lay on the cool tile floor beside my food bowl, praying for a second dinner. Then my ears perked up as a crashing noise erupted from mother's vicinity. "Aaah!" she yelped, fumbling with boxes. "Come and help me!" she then said to father, who was at the laptop checking my new Twitter page.
Father looked up slowly. "Seriously?" he said. His delay allowed mother's frozen payload to slip further from her grasp. And then we saw it: a bag of frozen meatballs tumbling in slow-motion to the floor. Praise be to clumsy mothers! My eyes widened, as did Wendell's. Then we sprinted to the scene. Meatballs rolled across the floor, at least a dozen of them. Mother dropped a frozen pizza and some other boxes to try to scoop them up, but she was no match for the superior athleticism of the pug. Seconds later, Wendell and I emerged victorious from the scrum, each of us clutching a frozen, meaty, halaal treat.
Negotiations commenced immediately thereafter, and we agreed to return the meatballs to mother in exchange for some Milkbones. I considered it a great victory for Pugistan, getting a handful of treats without having to engage in any demeaning parlor tricks such as "sit" or "take it." With a mouthful of icy meat, I was bargaining from a position of power. Just the way I like it.
After the commotion had ended and mother carried a plateful of sullied meatballs to the trash bin outside, I casually approached the male human and slipped him a dollar. "Well played, father," I barked. "Well played."