Jenny: What do you think Ernie thinks about the written word and these careers that keep us at our computers for long stretches?
Chris: I’m guessing that he thinks we need to write more about belly rubs, particularly the giving of them, and that we need to do a lot more active research in order to make sure that we get the details right.
But he’s been a good sport about our need for butt-in-chair (BIC) writing time, and has gone so far as to model that behavior for us, along with ample amounts of BOS (butt-on-sofa) and BOO (butt-on-ottoman) time.
And Ernie has also lent his ears to me when I’ve needed an audience that I can read a manuscript to. I try to hit that sweet spot where I get him to stop whining without lulling him to sleep.
Best of all, apparently I’m teaching Ernie to read. (What, you thought it was the cushioned cover of that David Byrne book that attracted him?) You know that magnetic poetry set we’ve got on our refrigerator? A couple of weeks ago, I caught the dog snuffling around at an overturned magnet that had fallen to the floor. It sure looked to me like he was trying to eat it.
“No, Ernie,” I said. “No!”
I pulled him away, and when I turned the magnet over, what did I see?