Me: Hey, Mischa, look. A new study says that dogs cause three family arguments every week.
Mischa: The only argument we have is whether we’re kicking the dog enough.
Me: We don’t kick the dog.
Mischa: That’s what I mean; we’re just not kicking him enough.
Tierce: Am I allowed to weigh in here on the whole dog-kicking thing?
Me: Well, zero is technically a score that could be improved on- wait. We’re not kicking the dog just to confirm your theory.
Tierce: IX-NAY ON-WAY UH-THEY OG-DAY ICKING-KAY.
Mischa: Is this one of the things that other people argue about regarding their dogs?
Me: No. Wait, there’s a top 20 list. Hmm. Oh, here’s number 6. “Being too harsh on the dog.” That would apply.
Tierce: Does the article make any definitive statements concerning recommendations against kicking dogs?
Me: Nope, actually they recommend it. It’s a perfect training tool, they say.
Tierce: That’s a lie! Let me see that!
Me: Okay, it actually doesn’t say anything about animal abuse. But I’m sure that I could find a place on the Internet where puppy-booting is an approved and even a religious practice.
Tierce: You can find any kind of bullshit on the Net if you look long enough. Look at this piece of crap from ScienceDaily where they talk about a study saying dogs read humans’ intentions? Why the hell would I pay attention to a video of some asshole pointing at a dogdamned pot? Speaking of crap, I need to take a walk.
Mischa: Hon, do you mind taking him out this time?
Me: That’s number 2.
Me: No, that’s number 2 on the list. Who should walk the dog. Big arguments there.
Mischa: Well, what’s number 1?
Me: What to do with the dog during a vacation.
Mischa: We mostly take him with us.
Tierce: Let’s take a vacation right now! Outside. Where I can, you know, argue number 2?
Me: And number 3 is whether the dog should be allowed on the beds.
Tierce: Good luck arguing that one. I’ll be plastered miserably to the door if anyone needs me.
Mischa: We don’t seem to argue a lot about the dog.
Me: No, doesn’t seem like it.
Mischa: Well, you did get on me about feeding him at the table.
Me: That’s number 10.
Mischa: Mostly, though, we’re okay.
Me: Yeah. Anyway, I’ve got to get to work on this blog post.
Mischa: Before you do, can you take the puppy out? I’m kind of tired.
Me: Dammit, I really need to get this done!
Mischa: Just this one time? After all, he’s YOUR dog.
Me: Number 14! You’re the one who spoils him. That’s number 17!
Mischa: That says humanising. I don’t spoil him!
Me: Close enough!
Tierce: Are you two having a fight?