Monday, February 17, 2014

Moses, Maggie and the Butter Dish


     Almost everyone has heard the lazy student’s lame excuse for not turning in homework, i.e., “The dog ate it.”  I could have used that one over and over again if I’d had Moses when I was a child.
     Moses is my 9-year-old American Mastiff. I chose him after an internet search, and flew to Houston, Texas, to get him. I brought him home in a small carrier that fit under the seat in the airplane. Today, at 115 pounds, he’d require a seat of his own.
     I’ve never had much luck training dogs. Moses had to repeat first grade, so we never went any further. He responds to, "come," "sit," and, "shake," most of the time. He’ll "stay," for a few seconds. He likes 98 percent of the folks he meets, but I never know who will fall into the two-percent category. He’s unpredictable. He might snap at someone for no apparent reason. He once bit a deputy sheriff who came to check on the burglar alarm. No skin was broken, but the deputy called twice to gather material for his report.  So I put him in an outside pen when anyone comes to visit.
     When I was having a doggie door installed in one of my back doors, friends admonished me, “A burglar could crawl through a door that big!” My reply was, and still is, “Let him try.”
     Moses is so tall that he can easily reach my kitchen countertops when he stands on his hind legs. He has eaten chicken thawing in my sink and a pork chop dinner that was cooking in my crock pot. So, everything edible that I don’t want refrigerated has to go on top of the refrigerator, which often gets quite crowded. I have a Scat Mat (a plastic strip  that sends out a mild shock when touched) that I can put on the counter to keep him off. I also have fake ones I keep on the sofa to fool him. So far so good.
     He’ll eat anything. Once I set some butter out to soften before baking cookies. It disappeared. For some reason, I thought a butter dish would deter him. I searched antique shops in Springville, Trussville and Tallahassee, FL, before finally finding a gaily-colored, hand-painted one last October in Cordoba, Spain. One day, I came home and found the top in the floor, where Moses had knocked it so he could eat the butter.


     But today takes the cake, or the butter, if you will. I forgot to put the Scat Mat across the countertop. I came home this afternoon to find the top of the butter dish missing and the bottom empty. I immediately knew what had happened. 
   You see, while Moses is tall enough to grab food off the counter, Maggie, my sweet rescue dog, is the one who likes to bury stuff. Somewhere in the three or four acres surrounded by an underground electric fence she has buried three flip-flops, two doggie toys, and one mud boot. I figure Moses knocked the top of the butter dish off the counter. Maggie grabbed the top and ran off with it. So, after searching the house and the driveway surrounding it, I spent another half hour scouring my woods, looking for signs of digging. Nothing turned up.
     I know it’s out there somewhere. It’s probably in the same hidey-hole as the shoes and dog toys. Maybe I’ll stumble on that hole one day.
     Yeah, and maybe one day pigs will fly.


  1. This post totally brightened my day! I had a dalmation who would eat anything that wasn't glued down. We lost a few bricks of butter, boxes of Kraft dinner, any meat that wasn't out of reach, bread, a couple of pairs of glasses, candles, he even gnawed on a frozen turkey...... you get the idea. He was also the sweetest, most loving dog that I've ever had.

  2. Those wacky dogs. Ours do some of the funniest things.