By Julia Bonar
In November our home was broken into–a shocking, violating experience even more surprising considering that we had eight dogs in the house at the time and I was on the property. The police and we feel that the burglar was someone familiar with our house and knew that the dogs are kept crated when we are not there. After investigating the incident, the State Policeman's parting comment was "If I were you I'd leave a dog loose in the house from now on."
Right Officer, great idea! Seems like the intelligent thing to do. However,
it occurred to me that there had to have been a good reason for crating
them in the first place. As aging apparently dims the mind, the reason
escaped me. I decided this had to be a simple task–one of the eight had
to be trust worthy, right? Right!
Next day I tried Michael, 10 years old. He decided to point out to the then absent Tinker how very important he was, so he was banished by lunchtime!
Next came Jenny, six, and Corri, three. I thought perhaps "two's company" might be a good philosophy, but I also left the monitor on. Frantic barking had me racing the three hundred yards from the kennel, at speeds worthy of an Olympian, two or three times, only to discover that they were apparently lonely! Off went the monitor; they were on their own.
A mid-afternoon check discovered the contents of the wastebaskets all over the living room. So, I put Corri away and left the more 'mature' Jenny in charge. Dinnertime brought forth more trash, some of it very unmentionable, all over the house. So Jenny was canned.
Next morning I tried Tinker, five, the dominant male on the A team. He apparently felt called upon to point out to Michael, the only male on the B team, that he was in fact handsomer, braver and definitely more important. The end result was somewhat reminiscent of practice time at the sprinkler factory. Tinker departed to the crate room!
The remaining choices were not promising. Galen, three,wants to be an interior
decorator when he grows up and definitely disapproves of my taste as he
spends most of his time rearranging everything in the house, even when
I'm around. Sheer terror at what he might do when I wasn't there made me
not even try him. Toffee and Fudge, 14 months, are juvenile delinquents
and I could just imagine what they’d do left to their own devices!
That night I was getting ready for bed and put on a clean nightshirt only to discover that it now had one long sleeve and one short one! I was amazed that I had washed and folded the shirt without noticing the short sleeve. I had no idea when it happened but assumed Sparky was responsible–she's big on sorting dirty washing.
Next morning I was folding the blankets Ron had thrown in the washer and discovered the sleeve from the nightshirt so neatly severed that I could have sewn it back on. (Seems I'd found out what the disgusting deposit was on the couch). I had forgotten that Corri was into eating things. She ate so many knee-highs as a puppy that she thought peroxide was a regular part of her diet!
Apart from this one indiscretion, Corri has been a paragon of virtue. So, she got the job as guard dog. I am now trained to close doors and dog proof the house. I do feel that if we are broken into again, Corri will probably have a cardiac arrest, but perhaps the hysterical barking will deter most would-be burglars!
© 2001 Julia Bonar All rights reserved
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