KENNEWICK, WA—Deftly maneuvering to control the emotional tone and establish the primacy of her own narrative before the story got out of control, 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier Muffin met her owner at the door upon his return from work Monday in a desperate attempt to get ahead of an unfolding diarrhea-riddled-living-room-rug scandal. The companion animal reportedly took quick action by enthusiastically leaping at her owner while wagging her tail and whining with supposed joy, attempting to mitigate the coming fallout over the discovery of the 2-by-5-foot slick of fecal liquefaction slowly drying mere feet away, and to present herself in the most positive light by nuzzling her owner’s arm and licking his face. Moreover, Muffin immediately initiated a counter-narrative by scampering off to the dining room, grabbing the stuffed giraffe, and presenting it to her owner in a manner suggesting they play tug-of-war with the toy, evidently hoping that the creation of a favorable emotional atmosphere would soften the impact of the reeking cloud already wafting in from the next room. At press time, a severely chastised Muffin had instituted a total media blackout from beneath the bed, refusing to comment on her owner’s disastrous slipping in the noisome, viscous mass or take any responsibility for the shirt and pants destroyed during his subsequent fall.

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