I had to give my dog a bath just now. When I say the word, “bath,” she tucks her tail and heads for the farthest place in the house.

Today after I it, I followed her to the laundry room, her tail tucked, head hung low, resigned to her fate, buying time leading our little parade through the house.

Since she’s so small, I can wash her in the deep sink. She stares up at me with her dark brown eyes and it’s like she’s saying, “Why are you doing this to me, momma? What did I do wrong? Didn’t you tell me I was the best dog in the world? Don’t I always greet you with joy, even when you’ve just gone to the bathroom?”

After the bath she runs through the house and rubs her nose and the side of her body against all the furniture like a cat on speed. She’ll bend her head down and plow her face along the carpet, switching sides. She acts wild and throws a ball in the air or snaps at our heels. It’s all quite entertaining, but I still feel sorry for her while the bathing is in progress.

Wait, I have a pitiful story to tell about her. She’s pretty smart so we have to spell things around her. After awhile she understands the spelled words, too. She picks up tricks quickly, too. One thing I’ve been teaching her lately is to “stay.” She sits for a little but will usually get up and follow me if I go around a corner out of sight.

I have started working full-time and I’ve been taking her to the office with me. She loves it. People talk baby talk to her and give her scratches, so she can’t wait to go in the morning.

Yesterday I had a commitment first thing, so I wasn’t going straight to the office. She had been following me through the house, worried I’d forget to take her with me, and I finally said to her in the living room, “I’m sorry, honey, but you’re going to have to stay here this morning.” She immediately sat down, all pitiful like, because that’s the words I use to tell her she’s not going to get to go somewhere and she understands. Brilliant dog, that one.

She quit following at my heels, and I told her I was sorry again and rushed off to dry my hair. When I came back into the living room about five minutes later, the poor thing was still sitting there, as if to say, “See, momma, I did exactly what you told me to do. Please take me with you.” She’d heard that one word in there, “stay” and was being obedient.

Now you’re probably thinking that I need to see a shrink about talking to my dog, and you’re right. But she understands what I’m saying. Furthermore, she doesn’t argue, talk back, put me down, complain, or ask me for money or my car keys. There’s no one else in this house that does that.

Now I have a nice, clean, sweet-smelling dog curled up at my feet, and life is good – as long as she doesn’t start passing gas. Oh my gosh, her SBD’s live up to their name. Ghastly! (get it, “gas” tley).

Not laughing? My dog thinks it’s funny – she just told me so.