A Joyful Dog

Jordan walked into the kitchen to feed the dogs. Lady, a red mutt the color of an Irish Setter, but thank you no, not an Irish Setter, was lounging under the dining room table. Misty, the Brittany, had jumped up onto the bench seat in the bay window and was looking at something while her stubby tail was wagging her butt.

He opened the cabinet under the counter holding the dog food and supplies an inch and ran his finger along the inner edge of the door until it hit the child-safety latch. He released it. At the sound, Misty launched herself from the bench and in two bounds was in the kitchen dancing around his feet. He scooped kibble into one bowl, pushed Misty out of the cabinet, and scooped kibble into a second bowl. He pushed Misty out of the cabinet again and closed it and checked to make sure it had locked. He had had to put the latch on because Misty the Wonder Dog had figured out how to claw the door open and had dragged an entire new twenty-pound bag of food into the living room and tried to open it. She had been caught before she had started her feast, much to her disappointment.

“Lady,” he called holding her bowl, but not yet placing it on the floor. She elegantly walked into the kitchen long hair flowing and silky tail held high. When Misty bounced into her, she raised her lip slightly. Misty planted her butt on the kitchen floor, tail still going.

Jordan put Lady’s bowl down and said, “There you go Queen Under the Table.” She precisely ate one piece of kibble at a time. He walked to the other side of the kitchen and put Misty’s bowl down. She shoved her snout in and ate. Then she was done. Criminy, did she just swallow it whole?

Misty hovered around Lady, and stayed exactly three feet away. Jordan hadn’t taught her that. Lady had. Misty burped and chewed something and swallowed. Yep, she ate it whole.

Jordan made himself a sandwich and ate. Lady finished her food. When she was out of the kitchen, Misty attacked her bowl, found no food and went straight to the cabinet and pawed it open one inch. She tried to power-nose it open further, but it wouldn’t budge. There was a great deal of snuffling, then a sudden charge to the living room and a leap onto the bench.

Jordan’s dad had just moved into a new house, and he had promised he would come over to visit this afternoon. Dad had a fenced yard, which he did not. He was looking forward to letting the dogs loose. It would be a new experience for them.

He went straight to his dad’s backyard and let the dogs off the leash. Misty ran around the perimeter and Lady settled comfortably in the shade of the lone maple tree. Dad came out the back door. “Oh, they’re going to love this,” dad said.

“Yep,” Jordan said.

“Come on in and I’ll give you the tour.”

At the end of the tour they were at the back door again and dad said, “Hey the neighbor has a new dog.”

Jordan looked and said, “Oh Christ, that’s not a new dog!” He grabbed Misty’s leash, hopped the fence, apologized profusely to the cursing neighbor as he tried to catch his dog. He finally got Wonder Dog on-leash and walked her back to the yard.

“How’d she do that?” dad asked.

“She jumped the fence.”

“Bullshit! That’s a four-foot chain-link. No way she jumped it. Must be a hole somewhere.” They inspected the fence closely. No hole.

Jordan let Misty off-leash and walked into the house with his dad. They both stood at the door and watched. There was no hole, nor did she jump the fence. She went to the corner and put her front paws as high as she could reach, then tilted her head and pressed it against the other side of the fence that was at a ninety-degree angle to the fence she was currently hanging on. Then she moved her front paws up and hooked her back paws onto the fence. She moved her head up and started the whole process again and was over the fence and in the neighbor’s yard again. Lady watched the entire process from her spot in the shade.

“I’ll be damned,” dad said.

“Here we go again.” When Jordan returned to the yard, dad was waiting. He held the end of a long chain-link leash and the other end was secured around the trunk of the maple. Jordan walked Wonder Dog over and dad clipped on the leash. They didn’t say a word. Lady still lounged in the shade of the maple calmly watching the entire thing.

-Names and details have been changed slightly to protect the goofy

-Image drawn by Phyllis Praski

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