When my friend Liezl and her young dog Chomsky visited last week, I had hoped Lila would be on her best behaviour.  Especially since Chomsky always obeys with soldier-like precision.  While I was making coffee, Liezl reported sternly that Lila had installed herself on the sofa.   (Our furniture had formerly been off limits.)  I explained that we had recently reached a compromise:  If Lila lay on her blanket, she was welcome to stay on the sofa.   Eyeing the clutter of squeaky toys, Liezl suggested that Lila would soon be “taking over”, to which I lamely replied, “Oh well.  We’re committed now.  We’ve bought the blanket.”  [read more below]

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Always the consummate hostess, Lila played nicely with Chomsky and shared all her toys.  I suppose if we had left the two dogs outside, Lila’s imperfections might have gone undetected.  Instead, I invited them into the house inspiring her to show Chomsky a few things.  Every few minutes, Lila would disappear and then excitedly reappear with a stolen object…a bar of soap from the bathroom, an electricity bill from the study, whatever she could snatch.  Daring me to retrieve it.  Madly darting around the house (taking a detour across our bed) and ultimately requiring two people to corner her.

Despite my insistence that these antics were highly irregular, my credibility cracked each time Lila swiped another chocolate strawberry from the coffee table.  That, of course, meant prying open her jaws and deftly fishing out the morsel before it vanished into her stomach.  Whenever I growled “leave it!”, I would inadvertently upset poor Chomsky who felt certain that he was to blame.  I would then rush to comfort him, assuring him that HE was a good dog while Lila relentlessly carried on with her pranks.

As uncomfortable as the situation may have been, I should count my blessings…  No one seemed puzzled by the upside-down terracotta pot shielding one (chewed) corner of the living room rug.  Or maybe thought it best not to ask.

[If you have received this post by email, please click “dog downunder” or “showing off for guests” in order to view accompanying video in a web page.]