Just when you think your life is so boring you couldn’t possibly find something to write about, your dog pulls a new one.
Maybe what Freddie did isn’t interesting enough to constitute a column, but we’re in a pandemic and I haven’t been anywhere in eight months, so please humor me.
At the suggestion of a friend, I signed up for Freddie, some kind of crazy poodle mix, to receive a Barkbox each month. It’s a service that delivers a box of toys and treats for your dog once a month. You specify your dog’s size and preferences and they’ll fix him right up.
Freddie is about 20 pounds of muscle and intensity. He loves to play, especially with balls. He’s not overly interested in food, unless you happen to have a hot dog.
He’s been getting a Barkbox for five or six months, and he knows what they are. While he’s interested in every box and bag that enters the house, he seems to know the Barkbox is meant for him. Either he has learned to read the label on the box or there is some subtle bacon (or hot dog) scent embedded in the cardboard.
As he clawed and sniffed at the box, I managed to open it and extract one toy to throw across the room for him. That kept him occupied for a while, so I slipped to the back of the house, put the box on my bed and shut the door.
The day progressed with whatever activities I was involved in — I don’t recall what because it was a week ago. By evening, I began my ritual of stretching out on the couch to read and watch television. Soon, I became drowsy and put the book down.
It was a great feeling, to fully relax, to feel free to slide into dreamland knowing no alarm clock awaits, just free and soothing sleep.
I drifted off until I heard the ferocious squeaking of a dog toy. Freddie’s really digging that toy, I thought, and continued unwinding. Eventually, the squeaking ripped through my cone of peace, so I rolled over to watch him. Hmm, I thought. I don’t remember his toy looking like that. I thought it had been a ball-shaped ghoul, but he was squeaking a candy corn-shaped plush toy. What it was wasn’t that important to me at that moment, so I drifted off again. When I finally woke up, just in time to go to bed, of course, Freddie was playing with yet a different toy, one that had not been chewed much and looked like a bat.
It finally dawned on me. I trekked down the hall to find my bedroom door was open. Inside, I found Freddie’s Barkbox open — and empty, except for a couple of small bags of treats.
I was saving those toys for times when I needed him to be distracted, but that was not to be.
Even though I didn’t catch him in the act, I know he did it. He incriminated himself: He returned to the box several times after it was empty, hoping another toy would magically appear.
I told him, "Yes, son, another one will appear, but you’ll have to wait another month."
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