It all started because Robin missed her dogs. Or, rather, it started because Lily had mentioned her new classroom pet one night at MacLaren’s. Which made Robin think about her dogs.
“You visited them last weekend,” Ted said.
Robin sighed. “It’s not the same.”
“You could get a dog!” Lily said. “One of those little ones, so he wouldn’t mind being in an apartment.”
“No, she can’t!” Ted said. “I don’t want a dog.”
“The dog can live with me,” Barney said.
Everyone stared at him.
“What?” Barney asked. “Robin’s at my place all the time anyway. She’d see the dog more than if he lived at Ted’s.”
“I think the part we’re all stuck on is you taking care of another living creature,” Marshall said.
“Please,” Barney said. “All you have to do is feed it and walk it.”
“I don’t think—“ Ted said, but Robin cut him off.
“Really?” She grabbed hold of Barney’s arm. “You’d adopt a dog for me?”
“Sure,” Barney said. “As long as you let me name it.”
“I get veto power?”
“It’s a deal!”
And Barney and Robin shook hands and then kissed.
“This is depressing,” Barney said.
He and Robin stood in the middle of an animal shelter. Dogs on either side of them barked, some looking at them longingly, some huddled in the back of their cages.
“That’s why we’re here,” Robin said.
“You brought me here to depress me? Worst girlfriend ever.”
Robin laughed. “No! These are the ones who need homes. Don’t you want to rescue one?”
Barney wrapped his arm around her. “I think you’re overestimating my good nature.”
“No, I’m not. Oh! Look at this one!” Robin knelt down in front of a cage. A small white dog scampered back and forth. He leapt up at the sound of Robin’s voice, paws up as high as he could reach.
“He has a friend!” And now Barney crouched down next to Robin. “Look!”
He pointed at the back of the cage, where another dog, about the size of the first one, but black, slept. The white dog ran to the back of the cage, jumped on the black dog and then ran back to bark at Barney and Robin. The black dog opened her eyes, stretched, then walked to the front of the cage and sat down, eyes locked on Barney’s.
“Oh, she wants to go home with me,” Barney said.
“But look at the white one! He’d be so much fun!”
And then the white one ran to the black dog and sat down next to her, and licked her coat.
“See, they are friends,” Barney said. “We can’t split them up.”
“Barney, do you have any idea what the gang would say if we got two dogs?”
“Since when have we cared about what the gang said?”
He had a point.
“This is Princess Leia,” Barney said. He held up the black dog. They were back at MacLaren’s and he and Robin were showing off their new pets.
“Does that makes the other one Han Solo?” Marshall asked, eyes lit up.
“Yes!” Barney said.
“Awesome!” Ted said. He, Marshall and Barney exchanged high fives.
“Seriously?” Lily asked. “You’re letting him get away with that?”
Robin shrugged. “Han is awesome.”
“The best dogs ever need the best names ever!” Barney said.
Han barked, then jumped out of Robin’s lap.
“Uh, the best dog ever is escaping,” Ted said.
“Crap,” Robin said. She slid out of her seat and ran after Han and nearly collided with Wendy.
“You can’t have dogs in here!” Wendy said.
“But Wendy!” Barney said. “Look at how well-behaved Princess Leia is!”
He petted Princess Leia, who opened her eyes briefly, licked Barney’s hand, and then went back to sleep.
“What about that one?” Wendy pointed at Han Solo. Han jumped on bar patron after bar patron, always one step ahead of Robin.
“You can’t really expect Han Solo to behave now, can you?” Barney asked.
Wendy rolled her eyes. “No dogs allowed!”
Robin finally caught Han Solo. She rushed back to the table, out of breath, with her hands clasped firmly around the dog. Han glared up at her. “Sorry!” she said. “We’ll tip extra!”
Wendy sighed. “Just clean up after them?”
“Clean up after them?” Barney asked. He frowned.
“This should be fun,” Lily murmured.
Fifteen minutes later, Barney leapt out of his seat. “She peed on me!”
“She’s a dog,” Marshall said. “What do you expect?”
“Leia!” Barney put the dog on the ground and sat in front of her. “That is no way to treats suits! Look at this fabric.”
And he stroked the arm of his jacket and held it out to Leia. Leia sniffed it, then licked Barney’s hand. Barney smiled. “I knew you’d understand.”
“Uh, Barney?” Ted asked. “Dogs can’t understand humans.”
“Yes, they can!” Robin said.
“The best suits are custom designed,” Barney said to Leia, who sat looking up at him.
“Are you even paying attention to us?” Ted asked.
“Sh, Ted, I’m having an important conversation.” And Barney turned his attention back to Leia.
“This is ridiculous,” Ted said.
“Oh, let him be,” Lily said. “It’s cute.”
After a while, Barney slid back into his seat next to Robin. “It won’t happen again.” He looked Han. “And you better not hurt my suits either.”
“Good,” Barney said.
“How did you know that didn’t mean ‘I’m going to eat all your suits while you sleep’?” Marshall asked.
“Han Solo wouldn’t do that.”
“I don’t think Han Solo cared about clothes,” Ted said.
“Oh, come on,” Barney said. “You don’t cultivate a look like that without a lot of planning.”
“Yeah,” Robin said. “He was totally one of those bad boys who wasn’t really a bad boy. Like Barney.”
“Robin, please don’t ruin Star Wars,” Marshall said.
“And what do you mean I’m not a bad boy?” Barney said. “I’m the baddest bad guy ever. Aren’t I?”
The question was directed in a coo at Princess Leia, which pretty much destroyed the bad guy thing.
“And just like Han Solo, Barney’s soft side is revealed by Princess Leia,” Ted said.
“I’m not—I don’t have a soft side! Robin, tell them!” Barney turned to Robin.
Robin kissed him on his cheek. “I think you’re a very bad boy.”
“Thank you,” Barney said.
And Han Solo barked in agreement.