Monday, April 09, 2007

A Doggy Tale

Hi, Jake here. Thought I'd tell you what's up with our pup, Duke. He don't look like a little puppy anymore, that’s for sure. He's over seven months now, with paws about as big as a house. Maybe one day he'll grow into 'em.

Remember, Duke is part Lab and part who-knows-what. So Mable got the bright to teach him how to fetch, since that's what Labs do. Only she thought he might as well fetch something significant. Like the newspaper off the front yard. Little did we guess what trouble it would bring us.

Since we have a doggy door in the garage, where Duke sleeps at night, Mable figured she'd teach him a way to do it that's easiest on us. In other words, without any prompting. So she started in the mornings, telling him, "Paper." Then she'd shove him out his doggy door, lead him around to the front, pick up the paper and put it in his mouth, lead him back through the doggy door, and get him to let the paper go right at door that opens into our kitchen.

I'm tellin' you that dog is smart. Took four times, that's it. On the fifth time, he went out the doggy door and his own and brought back the paper.

Day one after that--in the morning Mable opened the garage door, said, "Paper," and Duke ran and fetched it. Day two the same. On day three she opened the garage door to give the command--and found the newspaper already lying at her feet. She was so excited. "Hank, look, he did it!"

Duke got a lot of extra dog biscuits with his breakfast.

Day four went fine. Another newspaper, lying at the garage door.

Day six we ran into a little problem. Mable opened the garage door to find eight newspapers lying at her feet. Eight copies of the same paper.

We called the newspaper boy. Had he given us eight copies of the paper? Nope, he said. But he'd been gettin' calls from all our neighbors that morning, asking where their papers were.

Turns out Duke was havin' so much fun fetching the paper, one just wouldn't do. He'd visited every house on our street and brought back the newspaper. Mable and I had to go up and down the street, returning them all. Pretty red-faced, we were.

"Mable," I said, "how are we goin' to unlearn our dog from his life of crime?"

The next two days cost us some sleep. We had to be up before the paper boy came, ready to stop Duke in his thievin' tracks. When he brought in our own newspaper, we praised him and gave him a biscuit. When he headed out to grab one off a neighbor's lawn, we waited until he got it in his mouth, then went over and gave him what for until he dropped the paper. He slunk home with his tail between his legs. Poor thing looked awful confused. It wasn't until the second day that the nickel dropped in his doggy head. Since then--no more neighbors' papers.

I'm thinkin' it'll be awhile before we teach him another trick. Never know how far he's gonna take it.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Jake, teach Duke to fetch your wallet. Maybe he'll rob a bank for ya.
Posted by Blogger Wilbur Hucks : 2:57 PM
Sounds like that dog's just a little too smart for his britches.

If he wore britches, that is.
Posted by Anonymous fred wiley : 2:58 PM
Try teaching him to fetch his own food from the pantry. Maybe he'll end up cooking your supper.
Posted by Anonymous r.j. hager : 3:01 PM
How about teaching him to grind coffee? Bailey can hire him at Java Joint.
Posted by Blogger ~ Brandilyn Collins : 11:16 AM
Sounds like something my dog would do! LOL!
Posted by Anonymous Karla : 5:27 PM
This is why I don't own a dog. They are highly unpredictable creatures.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 1:02 PM
Oh, hogwash, dogs are as predictable as any creature on earth. Give 'em a pat on the head and a piece of bacon, and they're happy.
Posted by Anonymous tom r. : 1:03 PM
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