Dear Pet Lady,
My father-in-law is a professional photographer of some skill. While visiting, he took a fantastic portrait of my dog, Pete. I have the picture in my office at work. The problem is that when people see the lovely photo, they don't believe it is actually my dog. Instead, they think that I have vandalized a book to obtain the picture. What am I to do?
P.S. Also my dog smells really bad and consequently my wife wants to drown him in Lake Washington.
What a lovely word you use, "flummoxed." You seem to be the sort of nice person who would never tip pictures ever so slightly askew on their hooks to drive other nice people mad, nor would one think you the kind to spindle or otherwise mutilate our friends the books. Indeed, the Pet Lady has often remarked that one might divide the persons of the world into two categories, and were one so inclined, as good a way as any to undertake such a division would be the following two categories.
Category A: Those who revere the books, do not turn down pages, hesitate to borrow the books lest they be forgetful about returning them, and endeavor not to spill within the pages of the books when reading tipsily late at night.
Category B: Benders of covers of the books, turners-down of pages, writers-in of the books (excepting a nice inscription in a gift of a book, of course), leavers of pieces of bacon and other foreign items in the books when returning them to the library, and otherwise disrespecters of Literature.
The Pet Lady thinks you see what she means. You tell the visitors to your office that suspicion is unattractive and, further, that envying a man the fine background of his wife is, the Pet Lady believes, against some Commandment or other. Then, in a conciliatory gesture, offer them a nip from the bottom drawer. With regard to smelly dogs, the Pet Lady must agree with your wife that they have little redeeming value, but yours does look handsome in his portrait.
Best to you and your lovely wife,
The pet lady
Is your dog as handsome as Pete? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or send by land to The Pet Lady, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104.