Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 24, 2013

Chomp, chomp, chomp

Cathie Shaffer
The Independent

ASHLAND — There should be no ants in my recliner when I get home. Not that I expect any, really, but strange things happen.

Like how a cloud of cinnamon ended up on my recliner to begin with.

I have a large container of cinnamon in my kitchen. That’s partly because I cook with the spice but also cinnamon keeps ants away if you sprinkle it on a window sill or along a counter.

I let the older dog out first this morning, as always, and left the half-grown yellow lab in the house unsupervised for those few minutes. When Dog 1 came in, I took Dog 2 out and then prepared to leave for the office.

When the scent of cinnamon first reached my nose as I walked into the living room, I thought it was from a seasonal candle. But as I grabbed my purse from beside the chair, I saw the cinnamon container in the chair and groaned.

The lid wasn’t quite tight over the sprinkler top. So when the dog made her run from the open, low kitchen cabinet to the living room, the cinnamon came out.

Since the container was only about half full, the descent of red spice didn’t begin until she rounded the chair. I could tell because a section of Sunday’s paper lying on the floor by the chair was covered with the fragrant powder.

The dog apparently hit the chair about the same I called her name from the kitchen. In her haste to go out, she dropped the cinnamon which plopped onto the chair.

In a hurry, I grabbed the cinnamon, put it far back on the kitchen counter and used a damp paper towel to clean the ground spice from the corduroy of the chair. Thanks to the upholstery attachment on the vacuum cleaner, the remnants disappeared pretty easily.

On the plus side, like I said, cinnamon keeps ants away. The living room should be safe. On the minus side, the dog has a great memory. I’m sure she filed away the attention this little trick got her so she can pull it out again if I stay away too long.

I suppose I should be grateful it was just cinnamon this time. The dog has a tendency to grab and chew whatever catches her fancy whether it’s good for her or not.

Like disposable razors. She managed to pull a new pack out of the store bag and demolish them in the short time it took us to put groceries away.

And an entire bag of sore throat drops. Whatever the active ingredient is, there’s one thing for sure. Even a whole package of drops doesn’t contain enough to even slow down a 70-pound dog.

I caught her with a chunk of fly strip the other day before she could begin chewing on it and stopped her from ripping a tiny tire from a toy ambulance and swallowing it.

Since I’m away from home so much, I always wonder what I’m not able to keep from her. Like the new shoelaces I swore I bought a couple of weeks ago and can’t find anywhere and all those pens that used to sit by my chair.

I console myself with the idea that if she was an outside dog, she’d get into just as many things. And lucky, that encounter with cinnamon had a much nicer smell than, say, if she’d tangled with a skunk in the back yard.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net