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Emily is a nice person. She is a terrific looker, kind, courteous, an ace designer. She even gives the brush-off in a way which makes you feel you have somehow done your best for Britain. But she has this vile new habit. She has taken to bringing her puppy into the office. She keeps it in a basket under her monitor. And that means in a basket practically under my monitor, too.

The junior partner is putty in her hands and whenever you mumble a vague protest he cites the RSPCBloody-A on the topic of caring for pets.

Apparently this foul organization has recommended that pets remain with their ghastly owners at all times, like at work. Actually, I couldn't care less what consenting owners and their beasts do in private.

But I am an innocent public bystander. A committed pet non-lover.

What a lot of people who have only a casual relationship with other people's dogs do not realize is that they are fundamentally smelly. The owners do not grasp that because they love them and become acclimatized to the close stench of animal. Worse, you are sitting there agonizing over how to cope with having put your day's work on the wrong AutoCAD layer and puffing out a breath of exasperation when suddenly there is this smell. Help. Is that the decomposing remnant of yesterday's burger lodged between various molars? No.

Emily's bloody dog just farted.

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