Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dog Bone Rescue

Moose was possibly the smartest dog that ever lived. Not in the obedient kind of way, but in the way of finding loopholes in the rules, general mischief making, and her extraordinary autonomy. She made me laugh every day of her life.

She was tuned into the universe in a way that I never would be, and I accepted that her wisdom was greater than mine in certain things. Here is an example:

One Saturday afternoon Moose demands a walk. It isn’t her regular time, but she scratches at the door and paces and fixes me with a very stern look.

So, what do I do? I clip on her leash to see what this is all about.

Moose tows me downstairs and out of the apartment building, tows me to the park. Focused and looking neither right nor left, she pulls me down the path and into a street that we may never have walked before.

With no hesitation at all, she gallops onto the front lawn of the third house, plucks up a giant bone from the grass and charges around the corner, still towing me like a water skier.

The bone is enormous. It is half a cow’s leg, and it juts out on both sides of Moose's mouth, hoof dangling. It is a prize. Her tail is high.

Moose pauses at a bush, glances up and down the street, then digs a shallow hole. In goes the bone. With her nose, she covers it lightly with pine needles and dirt.

Mission accomplished. We start home.

Back in the park, halfway home, I meet another woman coming the opposite way with two dogs. I don’t recognize her, but the dogs greet each other like old friends, so we pause to chat.

“You wouldn’t believe what my dog just did,” I say, and launch into an account of the bone retrieval.

“That’s funny,” she cuts in, and then she tells me her half of the story:

She gave her dogs a bone that day. A big bone. The dogs were overjoyed. They were supposed to gnaw it in the back yard, but they kept dragging it through their dog door, parading it around the house and getting beefy drool all over the carpet. Exasperated, the woman repossessed the bone and chucked it onto the front lawn, where the dogs couldn’t reach it.

That happened about the same time Moose demanded her walk.

We glance down at the three dogs, all wagging and smiling. Happy. Self-satisfied, even.

And it dawns on us: the bone has been relocated exactly according to plan.