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Chapter Three: Bow Ties Are Cool

Well needless to say, the tailor is not where you go to get neutered.

It's where you go to feel like a million Beggin' Strips.

The human-girl made me scared at first because she had this long tape thingy she kept wrapping around me and she'd pull it tight, then mutter a number and write it down and she just kept doing that over and over. I thought for sure she was fitting me for my Cone of Shame that I'd be forced to wear after the Operation that would steal my balls. I hunkered away from her every chance I got. But after a little bit, she went in another room and I sat there on the fluffy cushioned table she'd tethered me to, looking around. The walls were covered with pictures of other dogs. None of those dogs looked like they were being neutered. They all had their tongues hanging out and happy.

Maybe they were drugged.

Then the human-girl came back and she had clothes. She came over and sat down and started putting the clothes on me. At first I wriggled to get away, then she got the thing on me and she showed me a mirror and ....Oh hot dog, is that me? I really am a sexy beast. I walked closer to the mirror and bopped my nose against it, tilted my head... the dog in the mirror did, too. Yep, that's me. I checked me out.

She'd put a little tuxedo on me. It made the curve of my chest look important and handsome and I puffed it out even further in pride. Ah Lauren, look at this. The Beggin' Strips really have done me good. Look at thaaat... I turned and checked out my back end, my tail sticking out of a pair of pants that had a big hole in the bottom that let my belly and privates hang out so I could still pee without any hinderance... awesome.

"One last thing," she announced, and she reached around my neck and attached a big red bow tie to the front of my chest. "There we go." She smiled at my reflection. I did, too, but she probably didn't notice. "Wanna go show Nick?"

He's gonna be so proud.

Human-girl untethered my leash and walked with me back out where we'd left Nick sitting. He wasn't on the chair. I panicked. Where the hell was he? I started sniffing the ground, trying to pick up his scent but my nose isn't all that great, I mean it's flat to my face and usually has a lot of snot in it, so my smelling ability isn't as high as it probably should be. Human-girl pulled me down a hallway, despite my trying to go back to pick up Nick's scent, and into another room.

"Hold still," a guy was saying.

"Nick, I'm finished with Nacho."

Nick? I turned around and saw my human standing on a small platform looking really bored while some guy was kneeling in front of him messing around with the ankles of his pants. He turned and the guy said a bad word and dropped a bunch of sharp shiny things to the floor.

"Heyyyy, Nacho!" Nick said, grinning ear-to-ear, "Shit you look sexy bro!" He got down off the platform thing and the guy at his ankles threw up his hands in frustration and Nick came over and knelt in front of me. "Gimme five?" Nick held up his hand and I hit it with my paw, which is what Nick calls Gimme Five. This usually resulted in a Beggin' Strip and I got excited, but he didn't give me one this time. Instead he stood up,"He looks fantastic. Lauren's gonna be very happy."

We hung out at the tailor's a little longer. I got to lay on a big comfy bed and chew on a bone they gave me that was shaped like the bowtie. I let the human-girl take off everything except the bowtie of my tuxedo. She laughed and left it on, so I still looked super distinguished as I laid there watching the guy fix Nick's pants. When he was done, Nick stood and looked in the mirror and spun around, too, just like I had.

Lookin' sexy bro, I told him.

He heard woof, but he still turned and grinned at me. "Thanks Nacho."

Any time.

When we left, he was carrying three garment bags - one his size and two mine and Igby's size. we walked back down the sidewalk and across the street in front of more tame cars until we got to our car where I jumped into my crate and Nick took my leash off and closed the door and we went home.

At the house, Nick opened my crate and let me run loose across the yard. I rushed over to a bush I hadn't peed on inawhile that had Igby's smell all over it and marked it as mine. Nick was getting the garment bags and my crate out of the car and walked up toward the door. I marked a couple more plants then ran after him, barking excitedly. When he opened the door, Igby came bolting out onto the lawn.

"Pee! Pee! Pee! Pee!" Igby was shouting. He ran over to the bushes I'd just marked and quickly remarked them. I stood by the stoop, watching.

"Hey my balls are still here!" I said.

Igby ignored me. That was Igby's way. If he wasn't teasing me, he generally ignored me. I think I kind of annoy him. Before me, he was the king of the house and then Nick met me and everything kinda changed for him. Lauren's technically his human but he'd gotten used to going to Tour with Nick and sleeping on Nick's pillow at night and stuff and now that was my job, and he had to sit around and eat tofu all day with Lauren.

And might I add that for all the complaining about my Beggin' Strips that Lauren does, Igby is easily twice as fat as I am.

"C'mon guys," Nick called, and Igby and I both bolted for the door at the same time, bumping into each other's shoulders. Igby finally shoved me out of the way and took the steps scrambling into the house. I ran after him and tackled him in the hallway. Nick followed us into the house and closed the door. "Knock it off, Nacho," he said, seeing me biting on Igby's ear.

I did. Reluctantly.

Nick headed up the steps and I followed him while Igby wandered off to find Lauren or the water dish or a place to sleep. We went up to the bedroom and I tried to jump up on the bed but hit my face on the edge of the mattress instead. Nick threw the garment bags over a desk chair and hoisted me up onto the bed. I ran around, my legs sinking into the squashy softness of the mattress and blankets, messing the nice neat bedspread all up. Nick put the garment bags into the closet and sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed, stretching out his arms and yawning. "Oh shit Nacho, I'm pooped." He laid back and his body made the bed bounce and his hair went all crazy. I started licking his eyes to see if more of those crunchy things had showed up but they hadn't so I went for his nose instead, shoving my tongue up inside his nostril for the salty taste.

"Dude, stop," he tried to push me away, but I love my human too much to be stopped, and he finally just laughed and gave in and crawled further onto the bed, wrapping his arms around me and pulled me into his chest. I couldn't reach his nostrils anymore so I lapped under his chin and neck instead, even though it's fuzzy because he doesn't shave much when he isn't going to Tour, and I wagged my tail. Nick laughed, "You nut."

Lauren came in the room then, followed by Igby, who jumped up on the chair in the corner and curled up. "So how'd the fitting go?" she asked.

"It went good," Nick answered. "Nacho looks like a little mafia man in his suit." I stopped licking Nick, then turned to Lauren and puffed out my chest for her to see my sexy bowtie. Cos bowties are cool.

Lauren smirked, "He looks like a little nerd."

"He looks like Doctor Who," Nick corrected.

Lauren laughed.

"So that was the last of the prep out here, right?" he asked, "Tomorrow we meet the Producer, then Thursday's the flight..."

Lauren nodded. "We're gettin' close, honey." She crawled onto the bed and laid down on the other side of Nick. I nuzzled closer just to remind him that I was there first. "Excited?" she asked.

"Yeah," Nick replied, but I could hear the nervous in his voice. I rubbed my head against his arm and his hand scratched my backside just right and I kicked my leg against the mattress in excitment. Nick scratched harder. Have merrrrcy.

Lauren rolled so she was leaning over Nick's chest, staring down at him. "Don't be scared," she said, "Nothing really changes, remember? It's just you and me." She stared into his eyes.

"I know," he said, "Just you and me. We're gonna be okay."

"We're gonna be more than okay, we're gonna be amazing." Lauren kissed him.

Nick stopped scratching my backside. His hands moved to wrap around Lauren and Igby looked over as she put her legs around his waist and he jumped down off the chair. "Here we go again," he muttered as he waddled out of the door into the hallway.

Nick and Lauren were slobbering on each other again and I think he was trying to make her sit 'cos he had her hand on her butt which is the signal for sit but she wasn't really good at tricks like that. Nick really needs to train her better. Maybe if she had some Beggin' Strips as motivation...?

Suddenly they started to roll over and I scrambled to get out of the way before Lauren landed on me and squashed me.

"Shoo, Nacho," Nick said, waving his hand at me.

I moved to the other pillow.

"Nacho... shoo."

I did shoo. What the hell do you want?

Nick rolled back over and picked me up and carried me out to the hallway. He put me down and tapped my butt to make me start walkin' away, then he went back in the bedroom and closed the door.

Igby was laying on the carpet by the stairs. "Can you believe him? Kicking me out of my own bedroom like that?"

"Trust me, you don't wanna stay in there."

"You always say that, but I don't know why. They're just slobbering."

"For now." Igby stretched out his legs and yawned, then rolled onto his side.

I laid down, too, suddenly quite sleepy.

It'd been a really long day.