On Shedding – The feeling just comes over me. I can’t explain it. Believe me, I’m completely wracked with guilt. I know how much extra work this is causing you. If it’s any consolation, you should have seen my Uncle Murray in his prime. He shed enough every hour to make a sweater for Mrs. Rabinowitz, the butcher’s wife who lived across the hall. I used to have a thing for her ankle bracelet, but that’s neither here nor there.

On Music – You do so many wonderful things for me, it seems petty to complain about anything whatsoever. But if you insist on playing Wagner operas, could you find it in your heart to turn the volume down? It’s impossible to nap with Brünnhilde wailing over Siegfried’s body on the funeral pyre. Even the laughing Rheinmaidens are distracting. I need proper rest if I’m to maniacally bark at the mailman, day in and day out. May I suggest Peter, Paul and Mary? I noticed that on your playlist.

On Visiting Your Brother – The next time you visit Steven, please keep me home. I beg you. His dog is a little too “alpha male” for me, if you know what I mean. When everyone’s having dinner, he corners me in the den and makes me dance. It’s so demeaning.

On Aging – Peeing more frequently has taken us all by surprise. I realize there are many demands on your time. You seem like a very important person – and I don’t want to be a burden. Honestly. I feel horrible about having to do my business more often. Your euthanasia comments certainly don’t help my self-esteem.

On Food Portions – I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but some days just another half a scoop – even a dollop – would mean the world to me. I’m not even asking for variety. Forget pork roasts or grilled salmon. I know these are out of my league. If I’m to eat dry pellets exclusively, well, you know best. But please consider my humble request, if it’s not too much trouble. The water bowl is always full, yet the food bowl only gets replenished once a day. I hope you understand my confusion.

On Seeing the Vet – I know you’re doing this for my own good, I really do. But the guy persistently probes me and jabs me with needles. He acts like a ninth-grade bully who forgot to take his medication. All the “good boy” and “good doggie” accolades do nothing to ease the pain. Or the humiliation. Not only am I vulnerable, but I’m on display. I feel like a hooker who doesn’t take credit cards. You have no idea!

On the Poodle with the Red Studded Necklace – To you, she’s just a poodle. But don’t you see the way I salivate when we walk past her? If you stopped just once to allow me the pleasure of giving her a good, long sniff, I’d be eternally grateful. I’ll bring you your slippers and your pipe every night without fail. And your iPad, too. We could even adopt her, should something happen to her owner. God forbid. I’m not suggesting. But no one lives forever. And accidents do happen.

On Rubbing My Butt Against the Carpet – It’s biological, I swear! I would never intentionally do anything to diminish the value of your personal property. You know that. I get this yearning to scratch my anal cavity, but of course I can’t. It’s not within the canine skill set. When you say it was a mistake bringing me home from the Humane Society, nobody wins. Rather than trouble the vet for such a minor inconvenience, maybe I could see your analyst. A lot of other things have been building up inside lately.

Joe Fumo is a Milwaukee-area business writing consultant who has published two humorous fiction collections: “God’s Web Site” and “Things To Do This Week” (purchasable on Amazon.com) He has been a newspaper reporter, corporate newsletter editor and public relations account representative . Thus, the need to write silly pieces.

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