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By Andrew Guan

“Give me my ball back.”

Dogbert and Dogger pranced around in the front yard of Felix’s house. The ball was the size of a computer mouse and it seemed hardly likely that either could hold the ball in their mouths, for both Dobert and Dogger were merely puppies. Nevertheless, Dogbert won the footrace by inches and snagged the bright blue ball in his mouth, turning triumphantly to Dogger.

“No fair! You cheater!” Dogger bounded over and took a swipe at the ball with a poorly judged swipe and ended up taking air in his paw.

The day was bright and sunny, with no clouds in sight. Thanks to Felix’s proximity to the beach, winds ripped through the street, whirling up a storm of leaves and dust. Dogbert coughed, momentarily dropping the ball and Dogger pounced on the ball, nearly ripping it to shreds with his sharp canines. Felix strolled out of his house and made his way over to the dogs.

“Uh, no, it is not dinnertime already,” whimpered Dogger with a mouthful of red rubber.

“Of course not, dummy, it’s only noontime,” Dogbert shot back. He was trying to figure out how to get the ball back, but with no luck.

Felix bent down and gave each puppy a scratch of an ear and whispered, “Gonna go get some lunch. You two behave!”

Dogbert and Dogger gave each other a piercing look.

Dogbert decided enough was enough. He should get the ball! He was obviously more loved, more important, and more doglike. As soon as Felix drove away, he charged Dogger, knocked him to the ground, and took the ball, sprinting back to the house. He dropped it just long enough to yell, “Come and get it! If you can!”

Laughing hysterically, he powered through the kitchen, forgot to avoid the broom hanging in the corner, tripped, and sprawled across the white marble floor. The ball disappeared.

Oh nooo, thought Dogbert, panicked. Without the ball, there was a huge chance that Dogger had the ball!

In the meantime, Dogger had seen the whole thing but had not seen where the ball went. Consequently, both dogs were now tearing through the house, upturning trash cans, rooting through cabinets, and spreading dust over the recently cleaned floor.

Both dogs were unaware that Felix was due to have an interview at his house, given by the town newspaper, because Felix, incidentally, was the mayor of Unknownville. Felix was to participate in an interview about the town’s economic status. The dogs didn’t know this. They only cared about the companionship of their bright blue ball.

Finally, after ten minutes of chaos, Dogbert emerged victorious, slinking out of the bathroom with a bright blue ball in his drooling mouth. He turned a corner into the kitchen to look for Dogger when a horrible sight met his eyes: Dogger was choking on the floor in a pile of toilet paper. No, Dogbert was not sure how toilet paper managed to gather in the kitchen.

Dogbert had observed plenty of times in his life people saving others by applying the Heimlich maneuver. Dogbert figured it was his best shot, so he scampered next to Dogger, placed a hand on his stomach and pushed. A large chunk of sticky cereal popped out with a glob of dog saliva. Dogbert jumped back, just realizing what a mess they were in, literally. Streams of toilet paper littered the kitchen. Boxes and boxes of food littered the once-clean floor. Metal silverware was strewn in random places. Fruit rolled around aimlessly, occasionally rebounding off cabinets.

Dogbert and Dogger looked at each other and came to a silent agreement.

Within twenty minutes, the kitchen was back to normal. The puppies had learned much from this experience, and when Felix came home, he could not have been more relieved. The interviewer arrived a few minutes later and once they were finished, Felix gave each puppy three dog treats.

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