The reception on the AM and FM radio was not the best, but given the location and distance one could hardly complain. At times Shepherd listened with great interest, but most of the time it was just listening to another human voice.
“I know a little bit about the advertising world,” Shepherd said. “I’m not going to run right out and get a set of Goodyear tires, but be assured if ever in Fairbanks that will be near the top of my list, right after a Big Mac, fries, and Coke at McDonalds. But bare in mind I‘m not running right out to do either.”
“You know something, Pal,” Shepherd said seriously, “I’m afraid to go to Fairbanks, too many people. My skin is almost crawling thinking about it. I wouldn’t know what to do. You got it made. You can just be yourself. There is no expectation that comes from being a dog.”
“Was that it, Pal,” Shepherd said. “Was it expectation that drove me up here. Were others expecting too much from me or more troubling was I expecting much from others?”
“I’m going to write a book!” Shepherd said. “I’ll call it Great Expectations… What was that you said? It’s been taken. Okay, how about Greater Expectations… but what if it’s not. Ahh, I expect too much from myself. I’ll write it, you read it, and then I’ll let you name it. Call of the Wild… That‘s been taken. You knew that. You were just testing me I read that to you two years ago… No, in dog years… Okay a year and a half, but we‘re in the second year. You are so picky.”
“You have to promise me what happens in this cabin stays in this cabin,” Shepherd said. “These are my deepest and darkest secrets. I hacked into Weber’s accounts. I didn’t use anything he had, but it was fascinating. What was fascinating, you say? He was hacking into my files for three months. Don’t tell a soul, but I was the one who set him up and he got fired. The last I heard he took his Harvard MBA to a dairy products distributor in Wisconsin. Say ‘cheese.’”
“That guy was always trying to move around me. He got what he deserved.” Shepherd paused. “That’s not right, is it, Pal? I shouldn’t have said that. Weber was just doing what we all did. I wish him well. In fact, I wish him better than me.”
Pal got up on all fours and walked up to Shepherd and licked his hand.
“That means you approve or want out,” Shepherd said. He opened the door and Pal stood motionless. “I guess it’s approval. Thank you, Pal.”