Yes, EZ is still a resident at The Compound. Nobody has adopted her yet, so it looks as though she’ll be spending the holidays with us. As the resident foster dog, she’ll get a lovely lump of coal and enjoy Christmas Day in the attic with the rats. I just returned from taking her to the vet for a check-up. She’s up to date on her shots now, weighs fifty-three pounds, has a wonderful mani-pedi, and her bionic paw is functioning beautifully. On our way out, she growled at a small child who was there with his father to pick up their cat. I couldn’t let her get away with that, so immediately yanked on her leash and sternly said, “No!” Shocked at my outburst, she immediately lay down next to me and looked up as if to say, What the hell? I was only trying to protect you from that unpredictable and possibly rabid child. I pointed at her, silently intoning a Stay command, and stepped away from her and sidled up to the boy. “Hi. Can you help me with something? My dog wants to eat you for lunch, but I need her to know you don’t mean any harm to me. I won’t let her hurt you. Can you stand next to me? Thanks.” We faced EZ, who was still laying down, and the boy stood next to me. I crouched down next to him, so the boy was taller than me, still pointing at EZ and keeping a tight grip on her leash. “Can you put your hand on my head?” The boy put his hand on my head. He did. I knelt, moved even lower, and the boy kept his hand on my head. I figured it would look to EZ as though the kid was dominating me. I kept saying, “Good,” and “Yay.” Words EZ associates with positive actions. EZ seemed cool with it, so I thanked the boy and his father, and then crawled over to EZ and to give her a big hug and praise her. Hopefully, she learned something.