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©May 1998

Carol Jane Remsburg








Have you ever lived in close association with someone only to find out after some serious years of cohabitation that they have some severe social flaws?  Okay, well with people that’s more the norm and it doesn’t take as long to discover, but with your pets?  This spring has been an unusual awakening.


Besides the birds and the bees getting into an uproar, the dog has taken to strange behavior.  Granted, until last fall she was always penned, and now due to budgetary constraints, she is running free in the yard because she’s worried her way to freedom.  It wasn’t until the last few weeks that she showed her true colors.  The dog is a klepto!


It was a normal evening, the rush homeward was over as was homework, I was scrubbing up the dishes when there was a great war cry heard from outside.  My daughter, Queen of Leaving-Her-Belongings-For-Her-Personal-Maid-To-Retrieve, learned a valuable lesson.  Mommy doesn’t pick up toys left out in the yard—ever.  She had left her skates outside from the previous day, and now one was missing.


I arrived to survey the damage and see if any of the neighbors had been unduly provoked by the uproar.  I was faced with an angry tot and a very guilty looking dog.  Sissy, the poor dog’s name, only carries this expression when caught red-handed reducing the rabbit populace of the area.  Guilt is guilt is guilt.  Granted, I knew Sissy was the culprit, so a search was made.  Beneath the porch, in the nether regions that I’d rather not belly crawl into ever again, was said skate.  Also found there was a small plastic toy that Erin had howled over several weeks earlier along with a sweatshirt that I knew was missing from the clothesline and had given up on finding.  There was also a cache of other decomposing prizes that I’d rather avoid mentioning in detail. 


In other various places were found, buried, one Barbie doll, one stuffed “old” Barney, Erin’s new ball, and my husband’s favorite shirt (that he left outside).  Sissy, weirdly named dog, who should have been labeled “Digger,” views this as a great game of hide and seek. 


Last week she attempted a big haul, the cushion of the fan chair off the porch.  Erin caught her and raised a scream to levels only found in operatic arias or in scientific experiments, (I later checked my windows for cracks).  The dog dove for cover dropping the cushion and I ran out with my heart in my throat expecting bloody mayhem.  This scenario is beginning to happen often enough that I should be over the shock.  Now, Erin only hollers if it’s something of hers.  Her father’s belongings and tools are now fair game as the gruesome twosome of dog and child laugh in their conspiracy.


Hubby often appears vexed and deep in thought as he scouts out his missing items.  He, the reigning king of I’ll-Leave-It-Where-It-Lies-Until-It-Becomes-A-Permanent-Fixture, is totally at a loss.  If the item is somewhere within the sanctity of our little four walls, I know where it is and always produce it.  If, for whatever reason, he’s left it in the garage, flung over the side of his pickup truck, or in the yard, I lay all odds on the dog having it.  Once Sissy has it, it’s duly marked (chewed) then buried.


As with most of her kind, my dog carries a grinning expression.  This isn’t to say she isn’t expressive.  Sissy has the ability to show happiness, sadness, illness, curiosity, anger, and guilt.  The one she shows least is anger, she saves that for male strangers of all breeds.  Once acquainted, she’ll be your best friend for a tidbit of food.  However, she saves her best loving and special protection for the children.  Babies and small people she tries to mother since she’s had none of her own and would protect them fiercely, though has never been put to the test, I have no doubts on that score.


Sissy is a brown, white, and black mutt.  She was a gift from my sister when I said I didn’t have time for a dog with pending child coming and a house full of cats, we received her with open arms anyway.  My sister knows I’m a sucker for a dog, or for any animal for that matter. 


Her thievery skills have the finesse of a pickpocket and will face you with the innocent guile of a professional.  The only way I know that she’s guilty is by looking into her eyes.  This dog cannot lie to me, I feed her and she knows it.


Premium canned dog food and kibble are last on her list of considered foods.  She requires people food or the rotting carcasses of the neighbor’s fish.  Okay, I know she’s weird, yet when she turns her nose up to the regulation fodder and I have no leftovers, I’ll make them.  What it says about my cooking isn’t to be considered.  It seems to calm her toy taking machinations, and my world remains on the calmer side of chaos.


Since the beginning of this siege I have been entertaining some of the most intriguing thoughts.  This is possibly the best way to unload most of the things in the house that I want to get rid of and point the finger at the dog.  I can cart them away surreptitiously several at a time in the back of the car to disappear before coming home again.  As the other two don’t feed the dog, then they’ll never be the wiser. 


This will be a great plan of action until the new and improved dog pen is complete.  I think I have another three weeks or so to accomplish the task.  In the meantime, all blame goes to the dog.  My poor little baby, good girl!


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