Z is in trouble because she disobeyed a request from her mother and instead got into a physical altercation with her. She’s here this weekend and has an attitude about the whole thing. She fell asleep on the couch. When I woke her up and told her to move to her bed she started to say something that wasn’t going to be pleasant. I gripped the pillow and said, “One!” in a tone perfected during years of owning hard-headed horses. The child rocketed up off the couch and headed to bed.

I was feeling all big and bad then. I was strutting to myself. Yeah, I’m tough and scary.

Then I called Freckles in from the back yard.

Nothing. Nada. No way. She looked at me and blew me right off. Nothing like a dog to deflate your inflated self importance.