Please enjoy this scene from the comic mystery novel RED HOT LIBERTY. Talisman is an Australian Shepherd show dog whose love life is very challenging. Ross is a Basset Hound who consistently rebuffs Talisman's romantic overtures.
Despite all the chaos going on around him, Ross fell asleep in front of the wood stove, snored like a New Year's drunk, and didn't budge. For hours. And hours. Talisman kept nudging him but elicited no response. Finally, she plopped down next to him and whined.
Angelina said to Liberty, "Ross seems very lazy."
"Oh, my little flag isn't lazy. He just likes to conserve energy for the important stuff."
"What's the important stuff?" Angelina asked.
"Eating's very important to Ross."
"Tali can high-five me. Does Ross do any tricks?"
"He drools a lot. He sucks on his ears once in a while. His bodily noises are quite musical. He meditates like a Zen master. He wears a flag well."
Angelina shook her head. "I think Aussies are way more interesting."
"I respect Ross for his independence. It's something I can relate to. Besides, Bassets are all-American—George Washington had one."
Finally, Ross defied his vertically-challenged position, raised his head, and yawned. He stuck his tongue out all the way—filling the air around him with a decidedly bad smell—then slowly stood and waddled toward the open door.
Talisman leapt with joy at Ross's sign of life. She ran circles around him as he ambled along. She nipped at his leg to urge him forward. She butt-slammed him with glee.
He mumbled something incoherent and trudged ahead.
"Tali isn't used to being ignored," Angelina said. "It's making her crazy."
Curious as to how this would play out, Molly, Robin, and Angelina followed them outside.
Ross went just a short way from the house, relieved himself, turned around, and headed back in.
Talisman leapt in front of him and posed in a perfectly stacked show dog stance: she stood square and still, watching him with alert eyes.
He grunted and stopped.
She issued a happy yap.
He emitted a mournful howl.
Seemingly encouraged, she scanned the ground. There, near the barbeque, she saw a fresh rib bone. She raced to it, picked it up, and returned to lay it at his feet.
He sniffed the bone with mild curiosity.
She picked it up, tossed it in the air, then crouched in a play bow and waited for him to do something. Anything.
He uttered a sort of a moo, lay down, stretched out on his side, and closed his eyes.
"Poor Tali," Angelina said.
Talisman pounced on the bone, picked it up in her teeth, and proceeded to dig a hole right in front of his nose.
"Omigod, I've never seen her dig a hole before," Molly said. "That's something far too pedestrian for her."
Robin laughed. "I think she's trying to convey the impression that she's, well, a dog. I'm sensing she hopes it will charm him."
"Poor, poor Tali," Angelina said. "Her love life is so very challenging."
Ross started to snore.
Talisman stormed off in a huff and took a position on the back porch from where she could give him the evil eye.