As I entered my therapist’s office, I heard a familiar voice barking at her.  It was my buddy, shaggy dog Calvino.


“You really need to do something with him.  He ate my homework again.”


“Well what do you want from me to?  I can’t control him – he’s your human.”


“Talk some sense into him.  That’s what you get paid to do, isn’t it?”


“Well, no, that’s not what I do.  I believe my role as a therapist is to help your person achieve self-actualization.”


“Him?  Oh, Brother!  That’s funny!”


“It is, isn’t it?”


“I’m standing right here,” I said.


“Oh, Mr. Oldman, you’re early but do come in. Have a seat.”


“Yeah.  Sit, Oldman.”


“Obviously Mr. Calvino is distraught over the fact that you continue to eat his homework.”


“And psychically traumatized,” interjected Calvino, “let’s not forget that.”


“Oh, Brother.”


“Exactly what sort of homework, Mr. Calvino?” asked my therapist.


“A strawberry ricotta soufflé for my pastry class.  Oldman could never make one, he’s all opposable thumbs.”

“Is that why you ate Mr. Calvino’s homework?  You resent his talents?”





“Well, I do resent his supposed superior attitude towards me.”


“Go on.”


“For one, every Sunday he fetches the newspaper and reads the News and Arts sections.  Only later does he throw me the Sports and Comics sections.  It’s insulting.”


“Because you feel he is insulting your intellect?”


“Oldman never had an interest in the other sections.”

“That’s beside the point – if I were given an opportunity, I’m sure I would develop a taste for those sort of things – eventually.”


“Ha!” Said my best friend.


“If you wish to believe that, Mr. Oldman,” said my therapist.


Anything else, Mr. Oldman?”




“Skunks?  What about skunks, Mr. Oldman?”


“He can’t keep his paws off of them.”


“Oh, here we go,” said Calvino.


“It’s true.  2 in the morning  - I hear ‘let me out,  let me out!  I really got to go.’  I let him out – next thing I hear is ‘I’m going to get you – You can’t hide from me.’  Then ‘Ahgg!’  How many times?  How many times with the smell and the tomato juice and the soap and water?”


“Okay, a number of times – but really who knew?  Each time it was a different hour, a different place, a different skunk – perhaps I’ve been overly influenced by Lao-tzu and Hume.”


“Sure, put the blame on other dogs.”


Calvino bared his teeth and snarled, “Redheads!  I have skunks and you have Redheads.”


“What are you talking about?”


“The Redhead driving the vintage Kharmann Ghia.  How did that turn out?”


 “Not well.  Bad Karma.”


“The Redhead at the Valentine’s Day Dance?”


“Broke my heart.”


The Redhead at the Yankee game?”


“Struck out.  But it’s not the same as being stupid about chasing after skunks.”


“Actually, it is,” said my therapist.


“Can we get back to why you ate my homework now?”


“Sorry,” said my therapist to my shaggy dog, “but our session has timed out.”