Little Dog: You look worried. Are you worried?
Me: Yeah, I guess.
Little Dog: Me too. What worries you?
Me: I guess it’s a toss up between global warming and the possibility of nuclear holocaust. I don’t know.
Little Dog: Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice, amirite?
Me: You’re pretty well read for a dog.
Little Dog: Robert Frost’s the man.
Me: I’m also not thrilled about the guy down the street with the arsenal. Kind of scared to walk by his house, you know?
Little Dog: His neighbors have that terrifying Jack Russell, so I totally feel your pain.
Me: You are so much bigger than that Jack Russell.
Little Dog: You’d think that would make me less scared, wouldn’t you?
Me: So what’s worrying you, Little Dog? Besides the Jack Russell, I mean.
Little Dog: People. People worry me.
Me: That’s pretty broad.
Little Dog: I can’t decide whether I’m more worried about your stupid president, or the stupid people who elected your stupid president, or the stupid people surrounding your stupid president.
Little Dog: I guess, now that I say that out loud, I’m mostly just worried about the stupid people.
Me: Stupid people are the worst.
Little Dog: If only I had opposable thumbs.
Me: I have opposable thumbs, and I’m still at the mercy of the stupid president, and the stupid people who elected the stupid president.
Little Dog: So thumbs are overrated then?
Me: So ineffectual.
Big Dog: I am also worried.
Me: You’re in the right place, Big Dog. Let’s hear it.
Big Dog: I am worried about dinner.
Little Dog: Dinner isn’t until six. It’s only three.
Me: What’s the worry?
Big Dog: I am worried it won’t happen.
Me: But dinner always happens.
Big Dog: I am worried today it won’t happen.
Little Dog: Dinner literally happens every single day. It happened yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that, and everyday for the two years we have been here. All existing evidence suggests that dinner will also happen today.
Big Dog: There is no guarantee. Because there is no guarantee, I worry dinner won’t happen today.
Me: There are no guarantees in life, Big Dog.
Big Dog: This is why I worry.
Me: You know what? This is something I can actually do something about. Do you want dinner right now, Big Dog?
Big Dog: I do. I do want dinner. If I have dinner now, I won’t have to worry about dinner for the rest of today. Please, oh please, may I have dinner now?
Little Dog: You realize that if you feed her dinner at three today, she will expect dinner at three tomorrow?
Me: It’s a small price to pay for Big Dog’s peace of mind and my own feeling of agency in an otherwise ineffectual existence.
Big Dog: I like you, nice lady.
Little Dog: You could do something for me, you know. Something special.
Me: More special than dinner at three in the afternoon?
Little Dog: You could give me Morris.
Me: Z’s new stuffed moose?
Little Dog: Disemboweling it would temporarily alleviate my ennui.
Me: By transferring it to Z.
Little Dog: I prefer to think of it as a redistribution of wealth.
Me: You had your own stuffed animal.
Little Dog: Big Dog ate it.
Big Dog: I ate it.
Me: The best I can offer you today is an early dinner.
Little Dog: I guess that’ll have to do.