Things have been rolling along pretty smoothly, I gotta say. My mom and dad have been taking me with them almost everywhere, even in the new car. I get treated pretty special,that’s for sure. What I love most is sitting out in the front yard while Dad throws me the ball. We do it all the time. Then one day for no reason at all, this other  dog comes strolling up on the porch like he owns the place. My dad gets real serious and puts me in the house. “Let me out!” I bark loudly, while I watch my dad pet him. “Are you kidding me? I’m trying to chase him out of here for ya!”

“Maybe he’s a stray,” Dad says to Mom, like he wants to keep him. “A stray!?” by now I am mad, and whining as loud as I can. He doesn’t look like he’s missed any meals to me.

“Come here Buddy,” he says to the black dog. “BUDDY!… NO! That’s what he calls me. Please let me out!” I bark loudly. Whew, I see my dad coming to the door… with my dish? I follow him as he fills it up in the laundry room. “I already ate!…Dad! I ate already,” I bark. He heads to the door and tells me to stay. “WHAT?” He’s feeding him my  breakfast! “Let me out,” I screech again.

Then Dad says, “we could call him Blackie. Tank could use a buddy.”What’s going on around here? Did I ask for a buddy? Have they snapped? “Let me run him off, Dad,” I yell through the window. But no matter how many times I wipe my wet moosh across the window, even Mom doesn’t respond.

Well, he ate all my food; now where’s he going? Into the yard? Don’t tell me Dad’s going to throw the ball! Whew! Mom finally lets me out and “Blackie,” “Buddy,” or whatever you want to call him, is half way down the street already. Thank goodness! I bring the ball to Dad and he throws it. We play for a while, then Mom and Dad go in the house. Soon “Blackie” comes back up the walkway. My hair is standing up on my back as I guard the porch and my now-empty dish. I glare his way. The next thing you know, he and I get into it. I let him know strongly that he needs to stay away from my dad. I scared him; I know I did. Then I give him one more nudge. Just then, my mom and dad come walking outside; Blackie finally retaliates. He comes at me hard, and Dad intercepts, chasing him away. Good! Dad pets me, “You ok, buddy?” Mom pets me some more, “Was that mean dog trying to pick a fight with you?” Yeah, that’s it. I don’t think I’m going to tell them that I started it.