Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Little sneaks

Lately Allegra has gotten plenty of opportunities to perfect her “Little Miss Innocent” look. Ears back, head down, big brown eyes looking up at you, standing next to you while you point and accuse, “Did you do that? Did you?” She has gotten this look down to an art, hoping that you will think she’s not the culprit. After all, it was her brother Dante who turned tale and ran outside, thinking that out of sight means out of mind, not daring to come back in until the yelling subsides. Still, you know that both dogs are guilty of the crime, and lately there have been several indiscretions.

About a week a left the house for a about 20 minutes, just to pick up a few things at the store for dinner that night. The night before I had roasted some seasoned chickpeas in the oven, seeing a recipe where they make healthy, crunchy snacks. I placed some in a plastic baggie on the counter for Doug to take to work, but he was so preoccupied that morning, he forgot. While I was gone, the dogs discovered the baggie on the counter, stole it, tore open the plastic and devoured the contents. I was livid! “Did you do this?! Did you do this?!” I screamed while shaking the plastic remnants at them. This was one of the few times Dante didn’t run, and as I was shaking my hand accusingly at him, he turned his head in such a way that the knuckle of my right index finger hit is head. Although there are times we call him “cement head,” we’ve never thought his head to actually be made from cement. I was wrong. Banging my knuckle on his head caused extreme pain and a bruise. I guess that’s one way to keep me from fussing at them.

The next incident occurred two days later. Again, I wasn’t gone for a long period of time – just long enough to go to the gym and back. I came home and they looked guilty, hiding in the kitchen, just waiting for me to fuss at them, but I didn’t see any evidence of wrong doing. Later, I went outside to feed and water them and saw it – my square glass baking dish that weighs a ton. I had made a breakfast casserole a few days earlier so that Doug could simply re-heat it and have breakfast on the go. We finished the casserole that morning and I had left the dish on the counter to clean later. Somehow when I was gone, the dogs managed to get this dish off the counter and outside to lick clean without so much as chipping the glass. I’m still not sure how they managed that one.

Talking to my friend Debbie over the weekend, she again reminded me of leaving red pepper flakes on the counter. This worked when her Zoey was counter surfing. I wasn’t sure how it would work on my dogs, as they have been known to eat a jar of Adobe chilies, but I decided it couldn’t hurt. Saturday I left paper plates of red chili flakes on the counter and table when we went to run errands. I’m not sure if I would count it as a success or failure as they didn’t get into the flakes (which we wanted), but then again, they didn’t get on the counter to get them (which we didn’t want).

But the sneaks have been into other things lately. We’ve been working hard to declutter the house. I’m packing up my graduate school papers, getting rid of a lot of my novels, and organizing magazines into what to keep, what to toss, and what to give away. We’ve also been going through certain magazines to pull articles before we toss. Anyway, our living room had stacks of magazines and boxes of books when Doug and I had to run errands. Thinking of all the books and papers the dogs have destroyed, I had Doug put the dogs outside, but instead of sliding the metal doggie dog in place, he simply propped it against the wall. Coming home after trying unsuccessfully to sell our books at Half Price Books and going to the grocery store, we came home to find the dogs in the house. Luckily, they hadn’t gotten into anything. We had only come home long enough to put up the groceries and when we left, I had Doug slide the doggie door in place. It didn’t work. Somehow these dogs where able to pull the metal door out of its track and come inside. Guess they thought they should be in the air conditioning instead of the 100 degree heat. Again, they didn’t get into anything, so all was well.

Until last night, that is. The decluttering process has moved into drawers and closets. I figure if I haven’t looked at or touched in three years, it goes – either to Goodwill (if appropriate) or the trash. I had two trash bags of 10 year old half-empty bottles of suntan lotion and assorted stuff, which Doug placed by the door to remember to take to the trash this morning. “Do you think the dogs will get into that?” I asked. He didn’t think so as it wasn’t food, wasn’t rotten, and that usually our bedroom door is closed. I figured that he was right. Of course, I didn’t remember this at 3:30 last night when the dogs woke me up to go outside and I was so tired I simply left the door open. This morning when Doug gets up, he comes back into the bedroom. “You’re not going to like this,” he informs me. Evidently the dogs did get into the trash. Maybe they liked the aloe vera lotion in the bag or the broken hair clip, I’m not sure. “Did you do this?” I started in on the dogs when I got up to see the mess. “Did you?” Allegra is just standing there, looking pitiful and innocent as I point, while Dante is outside not daring to come in. They know they are little sneaks and have been discovered once again.

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