Cecilia has chosen, finally, to sit in the front entryway, chewing, then spitting out, a small, muddy leaf. Her preferred action for this morning, however, has been to sit by my desk and whine. I don't know if it because she is bored, because she is hungry or thirsty or worried. Maybe she misses her brother, or mother. In a valiant attempt to get to the heart of it, I had one of those pathetic "conversations" with her. Dog owner talking to dog. My mother used to ask if I wanted to talk to our dear old poodle, Ziggy, when I'd call from college. "Here he is," she'd say. And I, embarrassed, would quietly talk, voice raised, "Hey Zig. Hey doggy." You never know when the phone has gone back to the ear of the more appropriate person. Person. People talk on phones. "I think he heard you! He cocked his head," my mother would exclaim. Whether the dog knew my voice we'll never know. I do realize dogs don't understand. But nevertheless, upon looking into Cecilia's soulful eyes, listening to her pathetic whines, I asked her, "What's wrong girl?" "Do you need to go out? Are you tired? Lay down. Lay down! The office is fun. Offices are fun for doggies. I know. I know Cecilia. Look! Look! Here'a a picture of you when you were a baby. Look Cecilia! A baby!" She scoffed at my photo, carefully placed on my bulletin board, a reminder of when she was small, and my immediate plans were to cast her off on another adoptive parent. I'm glad I didn't. Cecilia didn't care much for the photo. She licked it, whined again. "Why don't you get it?" she seemed to ask. Why? An affectionate pat on the head, she thumped down on the thin carpet. For now, that's enough.