I can always tell when we’re walking to Kenwood. There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, so I have a lot of sniffing and pee mail to catch up on before we arrive at the building. My nose is very busy. When we go into the building, I try not to run. You press a buzzer, the door clicks open and we strut into the office. Heads turn to look at us. I like going to school. I twirl around a few times to see if anything has changed.

This is Danielle.

Danielle, the secretary, is one of my best people. When I come to Kenwood School, she always says, “Hello, Oliver!” and I put my feet up on her counter so I can see her better. I’m really not supposed to do that. I am supposed to keep my feet planted on the floor, but I can’t see what’s going on that way and sometimes, depending on who’s around, you pretend you don’t see me. It’s a little game we play.

Danielle and I are very excited to see each other. She usually gets up from her chair and comes over to pet me. I talk to her in my Oliver talk. “Grrrowrrower!” She understands me completely. I don’t talk to very many people, only the unique ones who speak my language. We don’t use the same words, but we both understand a smiling face. Do you see how my paws and Danielle’s feet line up? We’re besties.

While Danielle and I are making eyes at each other, you write our names in a notebook.

Danielle unlocks the conference room door where I work with you and we listen to children read and write and tell funny stories. Sometimes . it’s very warm in the conference room and I have a hard time keeping my eyes open. If i go to sleep, I snore. That blows my cover.

You laugh a lot when you read with one of our favorite little girls. She likes to get down on the floor and play with me. I like to smell her boots. They smell of other dogs and a cat. She pretends she’s a feline, but I know she’s a girl. I am a canine, otherwise known as Oliver.

Advice from Oliver: I can tell who really loves me and who is just pretending. If you want me to talk to you, try being polylingual like Danielle.