I was dreaming about the schoolchildren I had helped read in the morning. They read See Me Dig, Go, Dog, Go, and books about an elephant, Gerald, and a pig, Piggie. I like it when they pet me in between books with their small, smelly hands.

When you let me come with you to tonight’s meeting, I didn’t know it would be so boring. You were enjoying yourself, but I had to lie down and snooze. A few people had dogs with them. The smart ones left their animals at home. Every time you stood up to move from table to table, I thought it was time to leave. I am always alert, even when I pretend to be sleeping.

Suddenly, I heard someone outside the closed double doors. That someone did not sound or smell right. He was shuffling and breathing hard. I barked once to let everyone know there could be danger. The sound and smell dragged across the floor. I barked again several times. You took my face in your hands and tried to calm me down. I knew better. It was not good. I kept barking.

You put your big purse on your shoulder and we walked out. There he was, right outside the door, just like I was trying to tell you. You saw him too. He didn’t look as bad up close, but he had me worried. It is my job to locate all people who could be a threat.

I know I am not supposed to bark at meetings. You have told me that before. But, I had a conflict of interest. It happens.

Oliver’s Advice: I’m glad you understand me. Sometimes, I can’t help barking.

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