I told you the Sophia/food story in order to lay a background for this one. As I’ve mentioned before, Dawg is another well-behaved companion. Even around food, he minds his manners (unless it’s found outside on the ground and is disgusting, then all bets are off). He doesn’t get into the trash, he doesn’t snap food out of the air if we toss it to him, he doesn’t steal food off our plates. At least, that’s the animal with which we’ve lived for the past 10 years. Now, I’m not so sure.
As you may recall, there was the episode with the peanut butter sandwich. I really thought that had taught him its own lesson, but I might have been premature with my conclusions. You see, last week, Dawg actually took something out of the kitchen trash. Yes, the big white bag of which he’s so fearful — that trash. And it wasn’t anything particularly yummy, like bacon or chicken (he does love him some chicken). It wasn’t anything to eat at all, in fact. It was just something smelly.
Since dogs love to smell stuff, I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I figured it was one of those one-time happenings, like the sandwich. A momentary lapse. Yeah, I’m real good at jumping to conclusions without any basis. After all, I’m a guy. I didn’t consider that it might foreshadow other changes in my friend’s behavior.
The steroid treatments that Dawg’s been having have been stretched out considerably. What started as a two-week dose is now entering the second month. Fortunately, the amount has been reduced, so the whole bathroom thing isn’t as hectic, but I’m still having to watch and take him out at a moment’s notice. We’ve put down puppy pads (which he will use in an emergency), but they aren’t engineered to hold the entire contents of an adult dog’s bladder. And apparently his bladder hits the full mark unexpectedly. I’ve had him come to me, whining to go out and before I can slip on his leash, he’s already wetting down a pad. Now that’s what I call sudden. But, as an old man with a large prostate, I can sympathize.
Anyway, the other day my blood glucose had been dropping, so I’d picked up a bottle of water and a day-old dinner roll and was about to chow down, when Dawg came to me saying clear as anything that he needed to go outside. I sat my bottle and roll down on a TV tray beside my chair, and turned to get his muzzle. I wasn’t worried about the roll because Dawg won’t eat bread. Nope. Not a crust. You can wrap a piece of cheese, his favorite food, around a crust of bread and he’ll suck the cheese off and spit out the bread. Hates bread. Well, mostly. Recently I found that if I break off a corner of a piece of toast he’ll eat that because it crunches. But he’s definitely not a bread eater.
Turning back, I found he’d sat down, right beside me, almost quivering with the need to go. As I slipped his muzzle over his snout, I happened to look over the top of his head at my tray. There on the tabletop sat my bottle of water, but no roll. It also wasn’t on the floor or in my chair (it’s called a “roll” for a reason, after all). It had just vanished.
I looked Dawg in the face for a full minute — something that will make almost any dog in the world feel guilty — and he just looked right back at me with this closed mouth smiling. That’s right. Closed mouth. Not open, panting, and not chewing and swallowing. That told me all I needed to know about where that roll was now.
Naturally, I didn’t say anything else to Dawg about it. Let him have his small victories. If he wants to turn into a normal dog, then so be it. It’s not worth turning into the Man in the Uniform over…