walking on eggshells

Sometimes a dog gets bored. I know this. Depending on the dog, this can be problematic. When Luka, our labradoodle, is bored, she thinks about philosophical concerns, which appears as if she’s napping. Or she stares at us until we do whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing next.

Button the standard poodle looks for something to occupy her time.   Or, as we humans might think of it, gets into mischief.

Now Luka is deeply invested in being a GOOD DOG. Also she takes very seriously her role as senior dog in the family. In other words, when Button starts doing something she should NOT be, Luka comes and tells us.

The problem is, we don’t always get it. I imagine Luka thinks training humans is incredibly hard. I bet she hopes that someday there will be a breakthrough and we will start to understand what she so clearly is communicating.

Yesterday Button was having a poodle day. There are days like that we all have, I guess. First she discovered Lauren’s tote handing from a knob on a drawer on the living room sideboard. The tote was not zipped. So what’s a dog to do? Not her fault.

She stuck her nose in, very delicately, neither removing the tote from the knob, nor making any sort of noise – an underappreciated skill indeed – and lifted out the purse-sized pack of tissues. Luka came and nudged my arm several times as I was working on the computer. “Good dog, I’m working,” I believe I said.

Then Luka went to find Lauren, who was transplanting her Spring seedlings into larger pots, and who responded much as I did. So Luka came back to me and sat down near me, staring at me.

Eventually I had cause to go upstairs, where, on the landing, I noticed an empty plastic package which once held tissues. And on the living room floor, looking VERY innocent, Button.

Believe me, tissues in a dog’s poop are not much fun for dog nor owner.

Later in the day, I was finishing my exercises, but being, evidently, slow about it. I heard Luka barking at Lauren in the yard. Lauren said something like “don’t bark!” It dawned on me that Luka had been barking at me directly prior to that. And then had laid down in front on me, showing me she had nothing to do with whatever was happening in other parts of the house. “Oh no,” thought I.

So I reach the top stair, and before me, scattered all over, and I do mean ALL OVER, the living room and dining room, and a little bit in the bedroom, and a couple of pieces in the kitchen, are the teeny, weeny pieces of EGGSHELL from a bag Lauren had been saving up to add to the garden. They were everywhere.

So I moaned, apparently quite loudly. Luckily Button still had the plastic bag they were in so I was able to make sure she didn’t eat that. Lauren, who thought something horrible had just happened to me (see dramatic moan), came running in. She moaned. She thought she had them in a secure place, which was, of course, part of the challenge for Button.

Eggshell vacuums up pretty well. Even LOTS of eggshell. Amazing how some of those teensy particles can stuck to things. Scientifically interesting to some, no doubt, although not to me, is how far they can stay on a paw and travel to other rooms.

I praised Button for giving me the plastic bag without a tuggy-of-war, and I praised and apologized most heartedly to Luka, the GOOD DOG.

And there is hope, for Luka. Because this morning, when she barked her special Button-is-Doing-It-Again bark, it did dawn on Lauren, pretty quickly actually, that maybe she should check out Button. And believe me, we don’t leave Button alone much but there are moments when she is unsupervised and this was one of them. She and Luka were on the deck, taking the air, surveying their kingdom.

Ah, yes, and Button was eating the fertilizer out of the newly planted seedlings now living on the deck.