Iggy spends quality time with Brian.

Hi, Brian, how was your day?

Tiring. But not too bad, really.

You’ve worked the early shift for how long, two weeks now? How are you adjusting?

Well, it’s a tradeoff. I hate getting up so early, but then I’m home a lot earlier now, which I like, so—

“Hi hi hi hi hi hi hi! Look at me look at me look at me!”

What the—

Yes, we see you, Iggy. Very nice.

“I’m climbing on Brian’s lap!”

Yes, you are.

Yes, he certainly is. Hello, Iggy.

“Hi Brian! Look at me! I’m being friendly! Friendly Iggy!”

Wow, okay. Very friendly.

Well, Iggy was always tired by the time you got home. Not so much now, with you coming home so much earlier.

Yeah, I noticed he’s been—

“Hey Karen! Hey Karen! You know what? You know what? You know what?”

What, Iggy?

“I’m gonna shove my head against his hand and make him pet me!”

That’s nice.

Make me pet him?

“See?”

Okay, yeah, that’s pretty cute.

“Now I’m gonna lick his face! All of it! A whole lot!”

Good boy, Iggy.

Wait, I’m not as nuts about that.

Trust me, Brian, it could be worse. Let him lick your face.

“Oh boy oh boy oh boy!”

Worse? Really? Okay.

“You know what I’m gonna do next? It’s the best thing ever! Guess what it is!”

This should be interesting.

What are you going to do next, Iggy?

“I’m gonna step on his balls!”

No you’re not.

What the hell-

Yep, worse. Told you so.

“Hey Brian! Karen said I could step on your balls!”

What?! When did you–

I didn’t, Brian. Iggy, you know I didn’t. Get off his lap.

“But Brian said I could step on his balls!”

What?! No I didn’t!

No he didn’t. Neither of us said you could. Get down.

What goes on when I’m not here?

This.

“Yep! Pretty much! Now hold still, Brian, ‘cause I’m gonna step on your-”

Down, Iggy!

“Aww, c’mon! It’ll be awesome!”

No, it won’t be awesome!

“I’mma step on his balls! Happy Iggy! Happy Iggy! NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I BEEN AS HAPPY AS I AM AT THIS VERY MOMENT!!!”

Down, Iggy. RIGHT NOW.

“Aaaww!”

What is wrong with this dog?

A great way to start the day.

Good morning, Iggy.

“Ugh.”

You okay?

“Ugh.  How long did I sleep?”

All night.  You — HA HA HA HA!

“What?”

Nothing, sorry.  Just — ha ha ha ha ha!

“What?!  What’s so funny?  Oh no, please don’t tell me I have–”

Ha ha ha!

“Oh, no.  Morning nose!”

 Ha ha ha!  Okay, come on, Iggy, let’s brush that out.  

“Don’t show anyone the pictures, okay?”

Sure.

Iggy comforts the afflicted.

“Hey Karen!”

What, Iggy?

“Hey Karen!  Hey Karen!  Hey Karen!”

Ugh.  Dot dow, Iggy.

“I wrote you a poem!  Wanna read it to you!”

I cad’t wait to hear it.

“Okay, here goes!”

For My Human, Not Dewormed
by Iggy 

Poor Karen, sickly,
visible suffering, pain –
don’t care.  Wanna play. 

Well, that’s about what I expected.  Ad I dod’t deed to be deworbed.

“How do you know?  Have you been checked for worms?”

Doh, I haved’t.  But–

How about distemper?  Did you get a distemper shot this year?

I dod’t deed a–

“Then you could be all sorts of sick!”

It’s just a–

“We might have to put you down.”

What?  You dod’t have to put–

“It’s the most humane thing.  Look at you, suffering like that.  Breaks my heart.”

It’s just a cold.

“Could be rabies, or–”

It’s dot rabies!  It’s dot distebper, or worbs, or bordatella–

“Ooh, I like bordatella!”

What?

“Yeah!  Some bordatella in a white wine sauce, served with calamari and–”

Bordatella is keddel cough.

“What?”

Keddel cough!   You rebebber, you had it whed we adopted you — ow, by head.  Ugh.

“Oh, you’re getting worse.  I’ll call the vet.”

Seriously, Iggy?

“Oh, wait, I don’t know how.  You’ll have to call.  Just tell him it’s time.”

Doh!  I ab dot callig the vet.  I just deed sleep.

“Okay.  We’ll give it one more day.”

Thagk you.

“Karen?”

What?

“Wanna play!”

I’b sick, Iggy!  Leave be alode!

“Okay.”

Thagk you.

“Wanna play!”

 You doh what?  Just have be put dowd dow.

Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak.

“Psst — hey! Reader people!  I did it!  I escaped!  Karen left the crate door unlocked, and I snuck out!  I’m free!  What a badass I am!  Of course, I’m a wanted dog now.  Look, see?”

Iggy?  Where did you go?  I found your drawing!  Do you want it?

“Don’t say anything, reader people!” 

There you are!

“No I’m not!”

Iggy, I can see you.

“No you can’t!”

Iggy, I’m looking right at you.

“No you’re not. I’m still in the crate.  Not escaping.  Nope.”

You’re in the living room.

“No I’m not!  Um… okay.  Maybe I am.  But you can’t catch me!”

Whoa, Iggy, slow down–

“HA!  Now you’ll NEVER get me!”

Okay.

“You know why?”

Fine, Iggy, go ahead.  Say it. 

“I’M ON THE LAMB!” You know, after that you don’t deserve to hear this, but–

“What?  I’m on the lamb.  Anyone on a lamb can’t go to prison.”

–your thirty days of confinement are up. 

“What?  Really?”

Really.  It’s all over, and you’re okay.  You don’t have to stay in your crate anymore.

“YAY!  I LOVE YOU A LOT!”

I love you too.  By the way, Iggy, it’s l-a-m, not– 

“I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!”

–ah, never mind.  I love you too, Iggy.

“I’M FREE!”

Day 29.

“Karen?”

Yes, Iggy?

“Can I ask you something?”

Sure, Iggy, go ahead.

“Do you suppose dung beetles feel pride?”

What?

“You know, like, do they get a huge bit of dung, roll it to wherever they bring it, and go, ‘Look at this killer hunk of dung I found all by myself, damn, I’m a kick-ass dung beetle’?”

I’ve never thought about–

“And what if they find a really huge hunk of dung, how do they get it back to wherever they bring it?  Do they climb up and walk backwards on top of it to roll it, like a circus act?”

What?

“Do they even have dung beetles in the circus?”

Iggy, I have no idea.  

“I mean, are there little kids at the circus going, ‘Ooh, Mommy, look, dung beetles’?  Are they waving flags with dung beetles on them?  Wearing little hats they bought at the souvenir stand that have antennae sticking out the top and and dung beetle eyes on the front?  ‘Look, Mommy, I’m a dung beetle’?”

I have no clue, Iggy.

“Neither do I.  I’ve never been to the circus.”

How does this even occur to you?

“I’m going mad.  Lemme out.”

Not yet.  

“Now please?”

 No.  Sorry.  

“Okay.  How about now?”

No.  Sorry, Iggy, you still can’t come out.

“Okay, what about now?”

No, Iggy.  One more day.

“Okay.”

Good boy.

“Thanks.”

Sure.

“You suck.”

 

Day 27.

You know, Iggy, I wish we knew exactly how you got heartworms.

“Bad luck, I guess.”

You’ve been on heartworm prevention since we adopted you. Something went wrong. It’s not just bad luck.

“It floats around. It’s got to land on somebody.”

But it makes no sense that–

“It was my turn, that’s all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has.”

Well, just a couple more days and your confinement is over.

“Good.”

Yep.

“Forty years I been asking permission to piss.”

Relax. It’s only 30 days of confinement, not forty years. Besides, you’re only two years old.

“I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so.”

Damn right you can’t. No peeing in the house.

“Hmmph.”

You’ll live.

“Karen?”

Yes?

“I understand you’re a woman who knows how to get things.”

What?

“I need a—“

Not happening. So don’t get your hopes up.

“Hope is a good thing—“

Not this time, it isn’t.

“–maybe the best of things—“

Nope.

“—and no good thing ever dies.”

Give up.

“I will be hoping for a poodle.”

Could we put on something other than The Shawshank Redemption now? It’s doing things to you.

“I hear the bite reflex is so strong they have to pry the victim’s jaws open with a crowbar.”

Right, that’s it. Gimme the remote.

Iggy copes with loss.

“Hey, what did I win?”

What?

“The photo contest.  What did I win?”

Oh, that.  Sorry, Iggy, you didn’t make the finals.

“What?!  I didn’t?”

I’m afraid not.

“But… but… *sniffle* you mean nobody thought I was cute?”

What the — are you crying, Iggy?

“They thought I was ugly!  They thought, ‘Ha, look at that stupid Schnauzer, thinking he can win a cute dog contest.  He’s all wormy and stupid and hideous!’  *sniffle* I bet they laughed at my picture!”

Aw, Iggy, no!  You got hundreds of votes!

“I bet they just felt sorry for me!”

Aw, hang on, let me open the crate.  Come here, I’ll scratch your ears.  

“No.  Don’t want anyone scratching my ugly ears!”

Don’t be like that.  Do you want a rib bone?

“No.”

What about a chewy hedgehog?  You love those.

“No!”

Is there anything you do want?  Your Kermit?  Your squeaky chicken?

*sniffle* I dunno.”

Come on, Iggy, name it.

“Really?”

If I can get it for you, I will.  I hate seeing you so sad.  A marrow bone?  How about some jerky?

*sniffle* Okay.”

Okay, what do you want?

“HA!  I WANT A POODLE!  YEAH!  YOU SAID ‘NAME IT’!  I WANT A POODLE!”

You manipulative little–

“All perfumed and poofy-tailed–”

–bastard.

“–and shaved!”

No.

“Another Schnauzer, then?”

No more dogs.

“A girl Schnauzer would work!  We can shave her!”

Nobody’s shaving any dogs, because we’re not getting any more dogs.

“She’d have to have her face shaved, in the very least.  The mustache and beard would just make her look menopausal.  Oh — no offense, Karen.”

Get back in the crate.

 

Iggy really wants your vote.

Hi, everyone.  Just a reminder that today is the last day you can vote for Iggy in that pet photo contest Iggy and I have been telling you about.

“That’s right, Karen.  It’s easy, reader people — click the link and you’ll go straight to my picture.  Simply click ‘vote’ and you’re done!  Karen says we’re getting a lot of votes but I shouldn’t get my hopes up because there are other dogs with more votes.”

Well, yeah, Iggy, it might be kind of a long shot, but it’s worth a try.

“Yep.  So please vote for me, reader people.”

Thank you.

“Or I’ll die.”

Wait, what?  You’re not going to die, Iggy.  It’s just a photo contest.

“Okay, vote for me or I’ll eat this kitten.”

You don’t have a kitten.

“The reader people don’t know that!  They can’t see what I’m doing right now!”

That doesn’t mean you can lie to them.  

“Yes it does!”

No, Iggy.  Nobody’s dying, nobody’s getting eaten.  

“I’m waving a crossbow around in a room full of bunnies, reader people!”

You’re in your crate with a chewy hedgehog and a toy sheep.  

“It’s gonna be a baby bunny bloodbath!”

No it isn’t.  

“Is!”

Stop it, Iggy.

“Well, can I get some bunnies?”

No.

“One bunny?”

No.

“I’d like one bunny and a crossbow, please.”

No.

“How about a poodle?”

Lay down, Iggy.

“We’re gonna lose.”

 

Iggy approves a campaign ad.

Fluffy says he wants to win the Publix Paws Photo Contest to get a supermarket gift card for his human. What Fluffy doesn’t say is that he favors cutting funds for early childhood education.

Lulu likes to talk about how sweet she appears with a squeaky toy in her mouth and a tutu around her waist. But when will Lulu talk about ISIS? Or is Lulu a secret terrorist sympathizer?

And isn’t Bongo just adorable with his football chew toy? But if Bongo had his way, we’d all have Ebola right now.

Vote for Iggy so your children don’t end up imbecile hostages with Ebola.

I’m Iggy, and I approve this message.