Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 19, 2013

05/19/2013 — Lee Ward: Dog bringing unwanted gifts into house

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — Manny, my male dog, might be getting senile.

At 12 years old, I guess it’s time for some behavior changes, although I hate to see him age.

He’s having a difficult time jumping into my bed and he’s moody about eating: sometimes he wolfs it down and sometimes he’s persnickety about his meals.

The other day, his behavior was way out of the norm for him.

He’d been outside and came into the living room with what I thought was a leaf. Manny’s attitude toward the leaf made me suspect that it wasn’t a leaf at all but a mouse.

He stood over it and stared as he wagged his tail. Then, he gingerly leaned over to smell it. After staring and wagging a little longer, he plopped down beside the “leaf” the way he plops down beside anything he plans on guarding.

Soon, he began thinking about other things and looking around at the room as if he saw things flying about him. This is not unusual for most dogs I’ve had. I don’t know if they see things we don’t see. Certainly, dogs hear things we don’t hear. At any rate, Manny was distracted from his prize.

For a while.

Then, he saw the “leaf” and stared as though he’d forgotten about it and was fascinated with his discovery all over again. This is why I think he might be senile. He carefully leaned in again to take another whiff and resumed staring.

Manny is an odd dog anyway, so his interaction with the thing he brought inside wasn’t as unusual as the fact that he brought something into the house. My dogs tend to take things out of the house rather than bring them in, things like shoes, lipsticks and television remotes. I’ve always been happy about that because I’d rather have to go into the dog pen to retrieve things than to have to call a friend to come over and help me catch a possom.

Eventually, I checked and, yes, it was a mouse. A dead mouse.

Mice are one of the many things I don’t want to touch, dead or alive, and if it were up to Manny, that mouse wasn’t going anywhere, so I called a friend who kindly removed it for me.

If this is going to be regular, old man behavior for Manny, I will learn to live with it. He’s been a lot of fun to live with and provided much laughter for me and for those who I force to listen to my Manny stories.

He’s also been mostly well behaved and he’s the most dedicated guard dog a girl could hope to have.

I’ll just have to buy a long set of tongs.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.