My dog is making it hard to write this morning because he is under my desk making pouting noises. He feels he should be supervising the HVAC repair man that is currently in our basement. The more I think about it, maybe I should have let him supervise.

He just let out a loud moan like his life is in a constant state of misery. The dog did, not the repairman. I have no intel on the state of the repairman’s life. My dog, however, was snuggled under the covers of our bed watching my wife and I get ready for the day less than an hour ago, so I can say unequivocally that his life is NOT in a constant state of misery.

In fact, he has a pretty good gig. His only responsibility is to protect the house from intruders and keep squirrels and chipmunks from the property. In his old age, he isn’t fast enough for the squirrels and chipmunks, but he keeps them on their toes. His hearing is declining, so I’m pretty sure an intruder could make it into the house and eat our snacks before he would sound the alarm.

In return for his services, he gets an unlimited supply of carrots, spoiled by all of our friends and family, and he reads all of my books and newsletters before you do. So, there’s no reason why he should be pouting today, but he keeps letting out woe-is-me groans. I don’t think he trusts the HVAC guy. This is only a routine “tune-up” visit. But they always manage to find something “troubling that if we don’t address it soon, could turn into expensive trouble down the road.”

I think they get paid a commission for how many “troubling things that could be expensive down the road” they find. And maybe that’s why my dog is groaning. Maybe he can’t articulate that my day is about to get expensive if he isn’t there to see that the intake valve compressor modulator isn’t really about to stop working. Maybe he knows that the recoil flange isn’t slightly cracked. Maybe he knows that I’m making all these parts up because I have no idea how an HVAC unit works.

I’m sure that’s the reason. He’s groaning because I’m about to be taken again. So, I open the door to my office and tell my dog to go protect the checkbook! Minutes later he arrives with the repair man who tells me the flux capacitor is broken. My dog doesn’t say a word. And that’s when I notice biscuit crumbs in his beard. My dog looks away, ashamed of his betrayal. And I say, “Well played Mr. Repairman. Check or card?”

Carry on, Citizens!