Hello, everyone. Today you and I were walking around one of Minneapolis’ wonderful, odoriferous lakes. The tree bark smelled especially slurpy. I had just been groomed and I was very clean and handsome. That usually lasts about three days. A friendly, delicious labrador, wet and muddy from the lake, bounded out of nowhere to greet us. You were twirling around trying to keep him away because he was not on a leash and you had just paid a lot of green stuff to the kind person who grooms me.

From far away a woman called his name. She looked like she was pushing a stroller. You hurried toward her to help, and we both saw she wasn’t pushing a stroller at all. In fact, she was pushing a knee caddy, the kind you had in December when you broke your foot. She was out of control and her dog was out of control and it was a very bad thing. Suddenly, her knee caddy slipped out from under her, and she toppled over. Right on the gravel. Her dog pounced on her and sniffed and licked her until she grabbed her long Chuck-it with the ball in it and whacked her dog a few times on his back.

I felt very sad. So did you. We hurried to help, but she had already righted herself and gotten her caddy, dog, Chuck-it, and herself into the car. You talked to her through her car window. She was crying. Her face looked squinched up. She said she’d had a very bad day.

You get upset with me when I steal socks and shoes, but you have never ever hit me, especially with an instrument of torture. You get particularly mad at me when I turn down your bed. I will admit that my service is not at neat as it could be. After you have made the bed so nicely, I like to put my stamp of approval on it. I toss your pillows around and pull your bedding down just like I have seen in the hotels we stop in on our way to California. I am an amazing dog, quick as lightning.

Oliver’s Advice: You aren’t perfect, but thank you for not hitting me no matter how naughty I am.

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