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  • Writer's picturePatty Kramer

My Friend Frankie & If I Die, This Is Why

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

My Whiny Two-legs has a bone to pick with me! She’s upset over the way in which I treated my friend, Frankie, when he spent the night at Wish Island. But I think Whiny has it wrong. She should be patting me on my head and telling me what a good dog I am.

Frankie is twelve days older than me, and he’s a boy. I’m on one end of the toy Australian Shepherd height and weight chart, and he’s on the other. His nose, his legs and his body are longer than mine. But though he beats me in size, I beat him in fierceness. With his gentlemanly manners, and his hesitation to bite, snip, or defend his possessions, I can run huge herding circles around him. And since I can, I do.

Not only do I defend my Whiny’s writing porch, my doggie-screen entrance, my deck, my yard, my toys and my food, I also protect my Whiny Two-legs! No way is that Rhett Butler of a canine going to get anywhere close to her. She is all mine!

Whiny doesn’t understand my ferociousness, telling me repeatedly to be quiet. She fails to see that since I’m little I must act as if I’m the largest in the pack. That I must stand my ground or be eaten alive by the wolves, or rather bigger dogs like Frankie. For sure, I’m bad enough to run with the big boys.

Yet, I will have to admit that Frankie is the handsomest dog I’ve ever met. He has these crystal blue eyes that make my tummy flip if I take time to stare him straight in the face. But I try not to. Best if I just bark, and snip, and push him around so I don’t have a melting spell right in front of him. The trouble is my Whiny two-legs often looks him straight in the face and then she smiles all over and I can smell her contentment! Which causes me to bark all that much more to distract her from stroking his head instead of mine.

His two-legs is called Speedy, a name Whiny bestowed upon her when they were teenagers and Speedy had this very fast car. Riding with her when they were young is the reason Whiny has refused to let anyone else drive her around. That is, unless she has to be strapped down to a flat bed and hauled away in the back of this terribly loud metal box with lights that blink, blink, blink and whose piercing cry is a zillion times louder than mine. You should see how loud I have to bark at that monster!

Lifesaver, who lives next door, doesn’t have a Frankie, and I really like her! She knows my worth, and often tells me how important I am to the neighborhood, and how my barking is just what was needed to keep the mangy dogs away. She has also put me in charge of Whiny, reminding me often that I should watch Whiny’s every step and nip her heels if she forgets to pay attention to whatever it is she’s doing. Lifesaver has no idea what all goes on in our house! If she did, she would whisk me over to her house and let me live with her and Leo.

Just the other day, Whiny was having such a frantic fit I thought for sure the big box would be pulling up at any moment! She’d been out chopping off the grass with the loud machine, hitting so many rocks the Booga-man would have had her dog tags if he’d heard them crunching and seen them shooting out from underneath it. When she came in the house, Whiny let me follow her into the room with all the crazy smells where she shut herself up inside the watering room.

Coming out dripping wet, she crossed over to the flat cabinet inside the wall and took out a tiny bottle that dropped water into her eyes when she squeezed it. I was on the rug below her, trying frantically to capture at least a few long drops of water while constantly dodging her kicking foot. (She hates it when I lick her legs.)

Busy as I was, I didn’t see what she puffed into her mouth, but I heard her start coughing. Then she picked up her phone and started explaining that she'd grabbed the wrong bottle. Stopping talking only long enough to take a picture of the inside of the cabinet.

Plopping down on the end of her bed, her face looked as scrunched up as it had when she super glued her tongue to the inside of her cheek, except this time her voice wasn’t garbled when she talked to the phone. In a few minutes, she gave a big sigh of relief. Putting down the phone, she explained that she'd been talking to a Lifesaver who lived far, far away, and she had said Whiny wouldn't die from the antibiotic powder she’d accidentally filled her mouth with instead of the intended lidocaine. Even showing me how similar the two bottles were that sat side-by-side in the cabinet.

As she always does after some near disaster to the house, or me, or her, or all three, she quickly wrote a Facebook post complete with the picture of the inside of the cabinet and read it to me. It said, “If I die, this is why!” Ending it with a sentence that said all was well and that poison control assured her she would be okay.

I was a bit confused about why her body smelled as strong with relief as it did the day she and I escaped the sneaky snake headed into Wish Island, but I barked, and ran around the bedroom with as much excitement as I would have if I found a dozen snotty cats in our courtyard. After all, imitating happiness is one of my specialties!

But as usually happens when Whiny hits a high note, her happy dance ended with a lot of screaming when she once again looked at her phone. Frantically pushing buttons, she copied Noisy’s phrase and said aloud, “Holy Pooh, Holy Pooh!" Howling with impatience, her entire face turned darker and darker like it often did from her exertion of thinking how to repair something she’d just broken.

Finally settling down, she breathed in and out slowly, until her body relaxed, and she smelled like the talcum-powder-calm Whiny I prefer over the I-just-ate-your-dog-treat-instead-of-my-own crazy kind of Whiny.

In a very breathless voice she kept repeating, “I deleted it, I deleted it!”

You know, if she’d just taken a second to talk it over with me before she posted to Facebook the picture of the inside of her medicine cabinet for all her friends and family to see, I could have pointed out that her lady parts were not covered up.

But no matter. The mirrored wall behind the row of medicine bottles pointed it out nicely.

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Jul 19, 2023

You just make me smile and on days when I feel a little like Whiny I realize we are just normal. 💕

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