Marj was busy the other day so I volunteered to take Maddie for her walk. Walk is a misnomer...for Maddie, it's ready-set-gallup. It had snowed a foot the day before so the going was very slow for me but apparently Maddie didn't get the memo. She only has one speed, and that's heart-busting.
That's why, when she skidded to a stop and started digging, I knew I'd better check it out. Once she dug up a rotting rat and brought it home in the car with her. (Fortunately, Marj was the designated walker on that day.)
On this day, her find was a rotten apple. Worried it would make her sick, I tried to get her to give it up. She'd drop it at my feet but take it up again before I could snatch it away. I'm not sure what I would have done with it anyway...it's not like I'd stick it in my pocket, and anywhere I tossed it, she'd managed to retrieve.
I had one dog biscuit with me, enough to lure her momentarily away. (She doesn't eat the biscuits, she inhales them.) I kicked the apple deeper into the snow and patted more snow on top of it.
Of course, she found it. How she smelled it through what had to be two feet of snow is the blessing of being a dog, I suppose. No rotting treat can ever be buried so deep as to be lost. We once had a Lab who kept bringing a rotted, unidentifiable carcass home. Steve buried it and Barney dug it up. Finally I picked a hole in the ice on the pond next to our yard, shoved in the fetid flesh-and-bones, and left it overnight to freeze over.
Barney smelled it through the ice and dug and dug until he actually broke through and retrieved it.
Once more I'm reminded of how our dogs model the role of the Holy Spirit. We dig things deep, cover them good, and pretend they're gone. But that wonderful and fearsome Spirit sniffs us out.
When the hound of heaven is on your tail, dog biscuits will not suffice.
Up next for Cat Month: Pam Halter and her Hemingway!