I’ve Been Falsely Accused
Pepsi the Perfect Puppy sets the record straight
Canine Story Advisor — it seemed like a good fit for me. I live in suburbia, there are no cattle to heel around here, and a working dog needs a job. So, story advice, I could do that.
I thought it would entail imparting wisdom about the inner workings of the doggy mind. My words would provide meaningful advice for other puppies and their humans. But there was an awful lot of lounging about while the writing happened. After taping away frantically on the keyboard, my writer would read aloud to me. Reading aloud sessions were the fun part — I got to hear my name a lot. I was going to be famous!
But when I started to pay attention to the other words, I noticed something. Words like naughty, shenanigans, trouble, and problem seemed to be on high repeat. This tome did not bear my wisdom. It seemed to be all about the naughty things I had done.
And I wasn’t that naughty. Really, I wasn’t.
There’s a whole chapter devoted to my toilet training. It’s not like I was overly hard to toilet train. I like to call it stubborn. I had a spot I liked, and I didn’t want to give it up. Not that everyone needed to know about that. Some things happen secretly and should remain private.
I also have a sock fetish, taking socks out of the laundry and playing with them. That’s just normal puppy behavior, right? Us puppies, we have noses, and socks smell like an extension of our people. I’d rather play with my people, but if I can’t, socks will do. It’s nothing to get too upset over. Or to write stories about. Yet there was a whole chapter written about my sock antics.
Yes, there was that time I ran away and ate the neighbor’s cat food. For the record, I ran across the road, ate the cat food, and came straight home — end of the story. Everything else in that chapter is just fiction.
The chapter with the bath scene is a concoction from not one incident, but a series of misbegotten attempts to bath me. It’s not like it all happened in one day. Besides, having a good shake when you’re wet always feels better if you do it inside and in as many places as possible.
The burping is real. I often burp after a good meal. And I do like giving my people a good tongue bath. Sometimes they’re a bit messy and need some help cleaning up.
But here’s the thing that rankles the most. The book ended up with the title Pepsi the Problem Puppy. My name, Pepsi Parsons, and the term ‘problem puppy’ are linked forever.
If you ask me, and my writer really should have because ‘advising’ is what a Canine Story Advisor does best, after all, the book should have been called Pepsi the Perfect Puppy.
My stealthy activities, cat food consumption, and antics with socks provided my writer with fodder for her creative writing. Now, instead of being applauded for my ability to provide research material, I am laughed at for my ‘shenanigans.’
My careful attention to making sure my people always have clean faces appears to be more focused on the slobber, not the love and attention I use when I bathe them with my tongue.
I feel that these qualities, which I display frequently, have been overlooked and misrepresented in the interest of entertainment.
My mission now is to forgive and train my people.
So far, I’ve taught them an important lesson about dropped items — the five-second rule for food dropped on the floor does not apply when you have a two-second dog.
Perhaps one day, the words will flow in my favor.
About the Author:
Pepsi Parsons is a disgracefully behaved but sweet-natured Working Dog.
Pepsi takes her role of Canine Story Advisor seriously, putting much thought and practice into the antics and shenanigans of her fictional counterpart.
Pepsi enjoys lazing in the sun and volunteers as Chief of Border Security for her household in her spare time.
This story was first published in Dog Tales.