I go inside and find my mother straightening up closets. "Why does he do that, Mom? Why does he pretend he's a dog? Is he crazy?"
My mother sighs and sits back on her heels. "If he thinks he's a dog, why can't we let him think that? If that's what he wants, is it so hard for us to go along with it? It's the polite thing to do, don't you think?"
"I guess, " I say, though it doesn't seem polite to me, exactly.
"If he thinks he's a dog, then he is a dog," my mother says, in a way that means, That's final.