There are very few more horrific sounds
than the slurp
of a dog chomping on something.
Depending on the breed,
and the size,
and the boredom level,
that chomp could be:
a piece of a curtain-
you will find the rest of it
wrapped as a blanket around
the dog’s rug,
Then there is the chomp
of the small plastic,
ours loves coffee grounds,
you have to take the garbage out immediately,
or of paper:
ours loves to carry books around,
shaking them occasionally,
as she goes for her morning constitutional.
(Often stopping to bury parts in the garden-
this is an Airedale.
There is NOTHING on this planet
that will keep an Airedale interested.
(Except for full and absolute focusing on them,
or simply giving up,
and doing exactly what they want you to do.)
We even tried television.
She yawned at the teletubbies,
looked irritated at us
when we showed her dogs or cats on tv.
Even a lion was relatively uninteresting.
Only birds are interesting to her.
But not a good thing
if you value your tv.
In the end,
the only thing we found
that she actually will sit still for
is “Meet The Press.”
She sits raptly,
head on the side,
panting just a bit
as she concentrates.
when one of the gentlemen
made a bon mot,
I swear I saw her grin at it.
(I thought of actually offering her a cocktail while she watches,
she would get drunk and attack her wind-up chicken,
or she would put her foot in it
to show distaste,
and to fish out the ice cubes,
which is all she really likes-
except for anything from the fridge-
except for the peas,
which she spits across the room.
(We only did that once. Now she gets dry dogfood,
and seems to like that best.
Although no one seems to know where small bags of potato chips get off to)
since she sits quietly and watches the press,
maybe because my father was a journalist,
we keep a supply on tape,
just for her.
But not too often.
We wouldn’t want her to ignore her household chores:
patrolling the grounds,
chasing the neighbor’s coon cat away,
barking at the garbage men
scaring the birds out of the Pyracantha berries
before they get drunk.
And, of course,
watching out for everyone in the household,
or any child who comes through the door-
her specialty is picking up infants by the back of their diapers
and putting them back on the bed,
or in their crib.
Or keeping the adults next to the wall
when they go up the stairs.
there is tasting everyone’s food-
she wouldn’t want humans to get poisoned,
or taking all the cream out of the middle of the Boston cream cake,
so we don’t all get fat.
And finally, there is pulling all the pillows
around on the beds,
so they are ready for their human occupants at night.
And, of course,
just in case someone needs a fur-coated
hot water bottle
to keep them warm at night.
And you can’t get that from a goldfish.
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