Here's the scene: I’m sitting at the kitchen table, filling out obedience trial entries. Phoenix trots into the room, puts his front feet in my lap and stares me in the face.
Phoenix: You are a liar.
Phoenix: You lie.
Me: What are you talking about?
Phoenix: I saw the entry form for the QCDOC trials. You entered us in Novice. You said we were DONE with Novice after the Five Seasons shows.
Me: Oh . . . umm . . . ooops.
Phoenix: See. Liar.
Me: I am not a liar.
Phoenix: Are too.
Me: Am not!
Phoenix: Are too!
Me: Am —Oh for heaven’s sake. I am NOT arguing with you about this. I’m the superior species here, opposable thumbs and all that. If I want to change my mind and show in Novice again, I can.
Phoenix: I want to do Open.
Me: You're not ready to do Open.
Phoenix: Am too.
Me: Are not - oh stop it!
Phoenix: I can do everything in Open.
Me: You can’t be still for three and five minutes.
Phoenix: Being still is overrated.
Me: AKC obedience regulations don’t think so.
Phoenix: Obedience regulations are overrated. I will chew them up.
Me, sighing: If only it were that easy . . .
Phoenix: Why can’t we do that Graduate Novice class instead?
Me: We can’t. You have your title. The AKC says we can’t show in it anymore.
Phoenix: AKC bites.
Me: You may have a point. But humor me. One more weekend in Novice, okay?
Phoenix: Then Open?
Me: Yes. Then Open. In the spring. After we work on being still all winter.
Phoenix: Boring. Don't wanna.
Me: Deal with it.
Phoenix: What’s in it for me?
Me: Lots of good things.
Phoenix: Can I have a cat?
Phoenix: Get rid of the sit-box?
Me: No. Sorry.
Phoenix: I will bite the sit-box.
Me: Go right ahead.
Phoenix, launching at my face, licking madly: Here! I will give you kisses instead! I will kiss you now! I will bite your nose because I love you! And you will forget about stupid boring sits!
Me: Ack! Help! Pppphhhhbbbbbttt!
Stay tuned for Act II: working stays in the hay barn. Here, kitty, kitty, kitty . . .