I’ve lost toys. I’ve lost keys, leashes, dog food bowls. But lose a dog without ever opening the front door?
I should have known something was up when my aging sable, mahogany Sheltie, who always sleeps under my bed, wouldn’t settle down for the night. My dogs and I have a nightly ritual. They all are used to getting treats before I get into bed. The Brown Border Collie (Brown Dog) liked to bully the Sheltie into giving up his cookie. So rather than a nightly ritual of, “No-no-bad dog, poor Sheltie”, I simply would throw the dog cookies under the bed for the little guy and he would happily scoot under and munch and crunch and fall asleep. This has worked out great all winter long. But the puppy Border Collie (Black Dog) had been watching this ritual from his bedside crate for months and finally decided he wanted a piece of the action. One morning, with one eye on the hallway and one eye on the open bedroom door, he went exploring under the bed in search of those treats. Finding nothing of value under there (since it was morning and the cookies were long eaten) he settled on ripping the muslin attached under the bedsprings. He wasn’t very quiet or neat about his new adventure and it didn’t take long for me to discover him.
Older and equally intelligent Brown Dog was sitting on the sidelines watching the Sheltie’s nightly snack and now the Black Dog’s adventure under the bed. The bulb over Brown’s Dog’s head finally came on. “If they can get treats under there so can I.” That was when it happened, a scene from out of the Twilight Zone. My dog had heard a call from the other side and was gone, disappeared, not in the garage, kennel, bedrooms, bathrooms or even hidden in the broom closet where the dog food canister resides. That evening the Sheltie would not go under the bed to retrieve his treats and was pacing nervously, following me around from room to room. Finally, I heard a whine from my bedroom. The sound was from under my bed. I got down on hands and knees. There was my full-grown 22”-high Brown Dog stuck under a bed that is 7” off the floor. I encouraged him to come out. He whined.
“I’m stuck, you idiot” He glared at me. I went around the other side where his bushy brown and white tail was sticking out and asked him to move out from under there.
“Duh! I’m stuck and all the goodies are gone. Throw more cookies or get me out of here”.
Okay, okay, I’m supposedly the more intelligent one of the bunch. I’m alone and my dog is stuck under the bed. Do I call 9-1-1?
“Hello, Fire, Police or Medical?” Hmm, just send a 40ish Firefighter and maybe the dog AND I will get lucky.
But I knew the only thing left was to lift the bed up from one end. I assumed the dog would be smart enough to understand that once I lifted the bed he could simply walk away. Since I couldn’t see the look on his face he was saved my laughing at him. Well, it took a couple of encouraging words, some silence while he figured it out and then he jumped up, up and away.
See, what’s nice about dogs is they don’t suffer from embarrassment; quite the opposite. His motto is nothing ventured, nothing gained. The next night he started to put his nose under the bed again to scope out the cookie situation.
”Sorry, Bud”, I patted my leg to keep him from repeating his search. “This isn’t going to be a new nightly ritual”.
And the cartoon frame over the Shelties head? “What a moron!”
PS: Does anyone do caricatures? If only the Fireman was there to hold the digital camera.