Due to my mild manners and impeccable behavior, the son of my two-legged pets takes me everywhere when I visit him — including the laundry room of his apartment complex.

I admit — this canine’s curiosity gets the best of him.  For the love of all that is mountain spring fresh, from where does this cacophony of laundry room smells emanate?  The people, the clothes, the plastics bottles of washing liquids … it’s enough to overwhelm a member of the noble family of Canine.

So I go, for the excitement and the discovery.

In fact, I’d almost be blissful … if it weren’t for my pain-in-the-arse arthritic knees.  (And yes, there are four of them.  Blast you, oh Blessed Lassie gods on high!)

Because a visit to the laundry room means … we have to walk to the laundry room.

So we walk.  Down some stairs, across the parking lot, down some more stairs to The Den of Exotic and Unnatural Smells.

Michael — the son of my pets — puts his metal money bits into the machine, presses a button … and stares at it.  Nothing happens.  He hits the machine.  Jostles it from the side.  Pushes the metal money bit button erratically.  Still nothing — no gushing water sounds, no strange clanging.

Michael tilts his head to the side in confusion — and I guffaw out loud.

“What is it, boy?” he asks.

I wink and smile.  Humans have never figured out we learned the “confused look” from them.

“You’re right, I think something’s wrong.  Let’s head over to the office.”

So we walk some more.  Up some stairs, across the parking lot, down some stairs into the complex’s main hub.  I silently curse Michael for being healthy and limber.

“Yeah, well the water’s turned off today from 10 – 2,” the woman tells us.  “There are signs posted.”

Michael hits The Look again.  “Where?”

“On every building’s bulletin board,” she says.

Feeling his empty pocket, Michael asks, “How do I get my money back?”

“You’ll have to call the laundry machine company,” she says, annoyed.

We walk (curses!) — Michael crestfallen — back to his apartment.

“Man, I really wanted to get this load done,” Michael says.  “Later I won’t feel like doing it and then a week’ll go by with all these dirty clothes laying around.”

I panic.  How will I keep down my dinner when faced with such a disheartening stench?


Michael looks alarmed.  I swing my head, worried a burglar has been caught in the act … only to regret the stinging sensation rocketing up and down my neck.

“There are no signs here,” Michael says. “Look, no sign about the water on the bulletin board, no sign on the door, no sign on the wall … there are no signs here.  And there definitely were no signs in the laundry room.”

I sense anger rising in him now.

“I’m going to go back over there and share a piece of my mind,” he says.

I panic again.  Sharing a piece of our minds means walking.  A lot more walking.

“Burrrghghhgh,” I moan.  (Or however it sounds to audibly-handicapped humans.)  I flash my most pathetic of puppy-dog “let’s-stay-here-and-watch-‘The-Price-Is-Right’-instead” looks.

He looks at me.

“You’re right, boy,” he says, calming noticeably.  “‘The View’ it is.”

I panic.