“What can I get you, son?”
“You look like you just got dumped,” the burly bartender says, “You up for sharing?”
Arillo sighs and starts to talk.
“…And I just don’t understand what’s going on, you know?” he says
The bartender nods sympathetically.
“Sometimes he seem so happy to just hang out with me, and it’s like we’re best buds again, “ he continues, “But then he seems like he’d rather be anywhere else but with me.”
“That’s rough man,” the bartender says, “I had a buddy like that back in the day. Would always go hot and cold on me. Finally decided he wasn’t worth the aggravation and had to cut him loose.”
“But I’m responsible for him,” Arillos protests, “I can’t just abandon him. We’re going to have to figure out how to fix everything.”
“It’s just that lately since he’s been going to those meetings, he’s made so many new friends, “ He says, “I guess I’m just feeling replaced.”
“What’s this guys name anyway?” asks the bartender, wiping off another glass.
“Brutus,” Arillo answers.
“Brutus?” the bartender is surprised, “Who names their kid Brutus?”
“Hey, I thought it was a good strong name!” Arillo says, offended.
“Wait…I thought you said this guy was a bud. Are you talking about your kid?” the bartender has put down the glass now and is staring at Arillo in concentration.
“I mean I guess you could say he is, “Arillo says, “I put a roof over his head. Food in his belly. What do I get in return? Half hearted looks and annoyed grunting.”
The bartender now looks at Arillo dubiously.
“I guess I should head home,” Arillo says.
He gives the bartender a final wave, leaves some money on the counter and heads back to his apartment.
As he walks in the door, Brutus is sitting on the couch. He huffs as Arillo sits next to him.
“WELL I’M SORRY THAT YOU FEEL LIKE I’M SUFFOCATING YOU,” Arillo yells.
Brutus just stares, not saying a word.
“You know ever since you started going to those doggie day care meetings, you think you are such hot stuff,” Arillo spits out, “Just because the other dogs think you’re cool doesn’t mean you can lord it over everybody. I was your friend long before you met those thugs.”
“You know I thought we were best friends?” he continues, “Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. And you sir, are doing a terrible job.”
Brutus stares blankly, and laps at the air once.
Arillo ends his tirade in a huff and sits back down on the couch.
Brutus lifts himself up lazily and walks over to Arillo’s side of the couch. He plops down next to him, lays his head softly on his master’s leg and gives a satisfied huff.
Arillo looks down at this 2-year-old greyhound, and the dog looks back with soulful eyes.
“You give such mixed signals,” Arillo says.
Brutus rolls over to expose his belly for petting.
“You are the worst dog in the history of doggydom,” Arillo says but obliges anyway.