Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Plaster of Guilt


Imagine opening your front door, stepping inside, and seeing your rug covered with a white powdery substance.You do a quick review of your habits and remind yourself that as far as you can recall, you haven’t started a drug business, and then you run through a list of what the foreign powder could possibly be.

This is precisely what happened to me two years ago. After being gone for several hours, I returned to find the area carpet in my living room covered in a fine, white powder in some places, a plaster of white sticky stuff in others. I ran through a list of possible causes, and that’s when I remembered the five pound bag of flour I left on the counter.

Weimaraners, the big, gray breed of German hunting dogs, are often referred to as “counter surfers”. They are known for leading with their gastro desires and are big enough to search out counter tops when the urge hits. My husband once owned a Weimar-lab mix named Kelly. Kelly was a delight to her family, until one afternoon when they returned home from a church service. This inventive dog had managed to open the refrigerator door and devour an entire ham—Sunday’s special supper. After expressions of dismay and scolding, the family started watching the poor, bloated dog carefully for distress in case an emergency Sunday vet visit was required. Fortunately for Kelly, Weimars are also known for their fantastic capacity to digest large amounts of food. Kelly survived. And my husband’s father rigged up the refrigerator with a bungee cord so no further furtive feasting could occur.

Bungee cords also make an appearance in my house. In fact, before leaving the dog alone, we often ask each other, “Did you dog-proof the house?” Dog-proofing is a process that requires an extra five minutes planning before we can go anywhere. 

Dog-Dog, despite his lack of opposable thumbs, has learned to open the kitchen cupboard door beneath the sink where the garbage is stored. On more than one occasion, before we mastered the dog-proofing routine, he managed to drag the garbage out from beneath the sink. Not only did he drag the garbage out, but he preferred to eat his feast of culinary crap out on the area carpet in the living room. Perhaps the softer setting was more comfortable for his coffee ground and orange peel noshing. In keeping with the family tradition, we started to bungee cord the cupboard. But that didn't completely deter our poor, starving dog. He also learned to push open the Lazy Suzy cupboard, which doesn’t have a  handle to secure, so we now push a chair in front of it so he can’t reach it. Dog-Dog has us trained very well.

But back to the Great Flour Incident where, what I had finally deduced was flour, covered my floors, including a fine trail of the white stuff leading to the back of the house where the family room is located. I sighed and followed the trail back. There, on Dog-Dog’s bed, was the opened and ripped bag of evidence.

He walked out to greet me, his tail wagging, and his long floppy ears slightly back on his head in a failed attempt to appear contrite. He cocked his head and looked at me as if, I swear, to say, “What? I didn’t do anything! Honest!”  Except that the guilt was written all over his muzzle, and chest in the form of a dried, white plaster. Dog-Dog was imitating a walking, breathing piƱata. No court would have acquitted him, no matter how sympathetic the judge. And I was not very sympathetic.

When we adopted our Weimie over five years ago, we knew that adopting an older dog meant we didn’t get to start from scratch. We knew providing him a forever home came with accepting a few foibles and quirks. I just never suspected I’d be replacing bags of flour, picking up garbage or getting calls from neighbors.

But that’s another post for another time.






28 comments:

  1. Loved this story, Julie!!! Dog people always have them. Our late, great golden retriever Duffy was a destroyer of sorts; he once found a loose corner of kitchen wallpaper and tore it as far up the wall as it would go, he ate some of the drywall in the garage, and he was slowly working to un-upholster a couch. Vic had a dog just like yours when he was a kid. One Sunday, as the family bowed their heads in prayer over dinner, Duke grabbed the roast right off the table.

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    1. Oh my!!! Your response made me laugh. They are ornery and we just love them. Now snatching dinner during prayer is truly taking advantage of the situation. Have to kind of admire Duke!

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  2. Haha! I love this post so much! What a crazy experience! I can just picture that "innocent" look too. Makes me feel a bit better about my Layla and her destructive habits.
    Susie

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    1. I love your stories about Layla. Our dogs, Susie... just have to love 'em.

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  3. I was waiting for you to tell how his poop turned out. I really was. Being me is sometimes quite interesting in a rather disturbing kind of way. Sigh.

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    1. Oh Jerry-- gotta say, that never occurred to me!

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  4. Julie, reading your story reminded me of how much I miss having a dog. They are such lively characters. :)

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    1. Hey Mel! Good to see you. Pfff-- yeah they are er... "lively" (that was such a kind way of describing him).

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  5. Now I'm appreciating having my son home for the summer! Sorry Dog-Dog made all of those terrible messes. Sounds like you're a good sport about it, and it is hard to resist his adorable face. Great title!

    Julie

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    1. He's my buddy, Julie. God help us all...

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  6. LOL! Dog-dog is awesome. he needs to have a "Dog Shaming" pic done LOL

    The Muses have figured out how to do a stepping stone thing to get into the cupboards. The desk chair->desk->microwave island->kitchen counter->dish drainer->CUPBOARDS FILLED WITH FOOD! I caught them once, doing a happy dance with each other as Prinny pulled down the peanut butter crackers ...

    And let's not get into Editor Kitty *sigh*

    What would we do without them to remind us to laugh?

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    1. I thought you, TJ as I was reading a book about the writing habits and quirks of famous authors. Quite a few of them had muse kitties including Eliot, Dickens, and Poe. You're in good company!

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    2. I told the furballs. The Muses did hip high jumps in happiness, Editor Kitty is currently cleaning himself. Figures. :)

      I find it interesting, that cats were more popular, whereas now it is dogs. Of course, I couldn't make up my mind - I had to have both :)

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    3. I like cats but they make me sneeze and itch. Sigh-- so I'm stuck with the aforementioned menace. Good thing I rather like him. But I certainly don't credit him for being a muse, unless his antics count.

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  7. I love dogs. My mornings are spent sitting in bed with the computer in my lap, Rameses at my side pushing his head into my thigh, and all the while looking up for a skritch. Buster jumps into the mix and the computer is put away for a spell while the boys get some lovin'.

    What Dog-dog is really doing before you get home is sitting in the leather armchair, wearing a smoking jacket with a snifter of brandy in his paw (he had a spare liquor cabinet key made), and watching "Masterpiece Theatre" on PBS.

    He hears your car turn the corner and bolts into action, stashing the jacket and pipe, swigging the last of the brandy and frantically searching for something to chew and scatter around the living room. The flour—perfect. A lot of mess in one little bag. He chews and slings, just as your key enters the lock.

    THE TELEVISION! It's still on "Masterpiece Theatre!" Remote, remote, remote, remote...where the heck is that remote? The doorknob turns just as he spies it across the room. Barreling off to snatch it, he slides into the throw-rug, smashes into the end table, knocks off a priceless Hummel figurine (or was that Precious Moments?) and chomps on the remote.

    CLICK! Off goes the tv; in comes you.

    You survey the mess, look into his woeful eyes and say, "Oh, you're such a dog, Dog-dog!"

    His tail a'waggin', he jumps up and puts his paws on your shoulders and licks your face like there's no tomorrow.

    After a little scolding and some loving, you walk to the kitchen and begin to clean, wondering why his breath always smells like apple brandy in the afternoons.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. Mike -
      That. was. A W E S O M E!! LOL!! (Masterpiece Theatre - snort/LOL)

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    2. What I want to know is where he got the brandy?! Who's his seller? It would explain why he rolls his eyes when I ponder out loud about the fine theater and acting of Grey's Anatomy....

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    3. Just a little something that came to mind, imagining what Dog-dog would do. He has a standing order for the brandy through a St. Bernard he knows.

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  8. LOL to the "Great Flour Incident!" Totally laughing. Great story, Julie. I can't imagine the clean-up. :D

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    1. I ended up just throwing away his bedding. It was too overwhelming to try to clean!

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  9. You gave me a flashback to the time when my toddler sons (the two legged variety) made it "snow" in their bedroom with a giant size container of baby power. The climbing abilities needed to access the shelf the power was on were pretty impressive too.

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    1. Ohhhh that is so funny! Kids and pets-- there really are quite a few similarities. Hmmm.. maybe fodder for a future post. Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. We love our little creatures so much that we'll forgive them the most outrageous transgressions. I would have had a few choice words to say while I cleaned up that flour mess, though.

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    1. Yeah that one pushed my usual "ohhh silly dog" response a bit. It was HARD to scrub out. Dog drool and flour make for an interesting paste!

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  11. Haha, oh wow :) Yeah, fun quirky pets are the best. And I LOVE that photo :)

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

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    1. The picture makes me laugh, Sarah. I had to totally bribe him with a treat to make him sit like that. If you look closely, his paw on the left (in photo) is slightly up. It's his training-- shake for a treat. LOL

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  12. I love Dog-Dog!! This story is fabulous, although I can't imagine why a dog would want to eat plain-old-flour! Yuck! But...of course, he's the same animal who licks all parts of his body and must think they, too, are tasty! :)

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    1. lol Becky-- I'm completely laughing out loud. Yes, yes a dog who does that may just like flour, just fine.

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