The Naughtiest Dog
The lovely magazine, Country Life, recently published a list of the naughtiest dogs in Britain. That is Rabbit pictured above, posing with his adorable mistress, Violet. She would agree with me, I know, that “naughty” is merely a matter of opinion, despite the fact that Rabbit has some pretty impressive credentials in that department including, but not limited to, stowing away in an Amazon delivery truck and chewing up all the parcels before being discovered by the distraught driver. Our adorable Apple, not being British, was of course not eligible for this contest, therefore I can only picture the spot on on shelf where her trophy would go. But here are some of her claims to that prize, and I’ll let the reading public decide.
In the realm of child psychology, it is widely believed that the most carefree child is the youngest child. I can empirically state that this fact carries over into the canine world as well. Apple, being a year younger than Edward, exhibits all the characteristics of a child without a care in the world. If she happens upon someone or something that gives her pause, she simply barks for Edward to come take care of things and on the occasion when she gets herself into such a pickle that even the infinite capabilities of Edward are stretched too far, she knows full well that The Songwriter or I will be on hand to bail her out. For example, there was the morning she dug underneath the fence and became wedged like a sausage between our fence and the one next to our property. She summoned Edward immediately, of course, and he, seeing he was seriously out of his depth on this one, came trotting inside the house to stare meaningfully in our faces. We know that stare. The Songwriter quickly followed him outside to find Apple, stuck fast. She put her front paws up like a toddler for him to pull her out.
Though she is undeniably a large dog, Apple feels entirely comfortable climbing over into my lap whenever I am occupying the passenger seat of the car. She began doing this whilst still a tiny puppy and does not consider her current size to be any sort of impediment in continuing the delightful habit. From this vantage point, if I am accommodating enough to roll down the window for her, she can hang her head out and fly, ears in the wind. Her obvious glee in this activity is what causes me to indulge her, though, if I’m completely honest, it’s never the most relaxing situation for me. Of course, Edward would never dream of doing such a thing and can always be found sitting in his back seat like an Edwardian gentleman being driven to the park in a coach and six. But Apple? Apple is another story altogether.
There have been countless evenings we’ve returned home to find yarn strewn all over the house, the result of a foray into my knitting bag. And in case you're thinking that perhaps I’m judging her too quickly,…. after all… it could be Edward, right?……. there was the night she ran with the yarn round and round and round a large rocking chair until she managed to tie herself to it as tightly as a damsel on the railroad tracks. We came home to find Edward lying beside her, looking both protective and irritated. I swear I think he rolled his eyes. She’s been known to run through the house with my undergarments on her head and just last week as I was writing I heard a strange rustling sound coming from my office and rushed in to find her finishing off a dozen or more foil-wrapped Easter eggs that had been carefully hidden in a sealed bag beneath my desk. This latest escapade saw the two of us rushing to the vet for an emergency “purging”, an event that gave neither one of us any pleasure.
Squirrels drive her crazy, but chipmunks are the bane of her existence. A couple of years ago, she chased one with such vigor she tore the meniscus in her knee, necessitating a three thousand dollar surgery and twelve weeks of crate rest. If we let her outside at night when it’s raining, she disappears completely and ignores our calls and whistles. The Songwriter finally pulls on his raincoat and troops out only to find her far back in the garden, standing stock still with her head tilted back, mesmerized by the sound of the rain in the trees. You simply cannot get mad at a dog so enamored of the world’s wonders, now can you?
She’s always thinking, always busy - but then there are times when she sidles up to me and makes it clear she’d like a hug. I sit down on the floor and she snuggles up to me, sometimes with her head on my shoulder, sometimes climbing atop that shoulder to look around. She’ll stay like that till she’s ready to tear off someplace new. If I’m ever ill, she exudes the sweetest sympathy, sticking beside me for hours. And she thinks The Songwriter hung the moon. A naughty dog? Perhaps, but a thoroughly beloved one.