Does she chew?
The other day I ran into an old friend who had been reading about our new dog River and her many adventures in The Victoria Standard.
After a long, amiable chat, she asked, “Does she chew?”
I wanted to answer, “Does Sidney Crosby skate?” but resisted the temptation.
The answer is yes, she chews... among other habits. We spend a fair amount of time dashing hither and yon rescuing various items from her jaws. Actually, she is technically more of a gummer than a chewer. She spends a lot of time hiding under various pieces of furniture, brown nose peeking out, but far enough back that I can’t catch her as she gums whatever she has managed to steal.
She may never flush a grouse, retrieve a duck, or fetch a Woodcock, but she is deadly on toilet paper or Kleenex. She could find either one hidden in a bank vault.
But all this pales compared to what she managed to pull off the other day. In fairness, I may be somewhat to blame, but only somewhat.
When the weather is pleasant, I like to sit out in the back sunroom and read the paper. That’s not exactly exciting news, but a pleasure nonetheless. Gentle, warm breezes waft through the screened (critical) windows, giving a sense of contentment and peace. It could only be better in a hammock, but black flies make that a hopeless dream. The problem is, this combination often leads to a nap in one of the soft, cozy chairs.
So it happened the other day as I sat contently in the heat wave that had engulfed most of the country. I was reading the paper when I felt my eyelids getting heavy. I reasoned there was no better time for a little nap. And I like to nap sitting up so that I don’t sleep too deeply, or for too long a time. Give me ten minutes and I give you a new man. Well-recycled, at least.
So, I thought, why not? I took off my glasses and laid them on the table next to me and kind of slouched down in the chair as the warm breeze swept over me. It has been my routine for years and there was no reason to think anything out of the ordinary would occur. Wrong. River was lying dutifully at my feet, scratching and sniffing like all good dogs do. There was seemingly nothing to be concerned about. I slept ten minutes tops, but when I woke, I could see the dog’s tail sticking out from under the coffee table. It was the other end I was more interested in. There was a lot of smack, chomp, chew and slobber going on. The object of her attention soon revealed itself. During my brief nap, Miss River had sneaked up (what else could I call it?) and slinked off with my almost new glasses. By the time I got her front end out in sight, the glasses were goners: lens scratched beyond repair, frames chewed, all parts destroyed. She didn’t even have the decency to look guilty.
This lesson will probably cost me around five hundred dollars. Hopefully, one of us will soon get it right.