We have experienced another misdemeanor at Ashtree Way. This time the delicious, carefully wrapped, warmed corn bread from Whole Foods was stolen from my daughter’s desk, an off limits area for dogs, even in our permissive home. No crumbs have been found and the criminal would have gotten away without a trace, had I not found Violet, our rat terrier, trotting out of the office with plastic wrap in her jaws. She looked extremely pleased with herself until I told her to “Drop it!” Then she mimicked the guilty, down-cast-eyed looked that seems to be genetically inbred into dogs so owners rather than the dog feel terrible. I believe the plastic wrap in jaws condemns Violet.
The problem with this theory is that the crime was more consistent with our other potential perpetrator, Shani, who was also in the house at the time. Shani, our Sheltie, is the dog who gets on unattended tables. I’ve seen her basking in the sun on the glass patio table outside on numerous occasions. I know Shani is capable of an unthinkable theft of this nature despite her sweet demeanor, snatch and grab from high places is her specialty.
When caught with hard evidence in her jaws, Violet was banished outside to reflect upon her crime while mindlessly chasing squirrels from tree to tree and barking aggressively. The crime of barking led to my husband tossing her back in the house where she smugly took up residence on my blanket while visions of corn bread made her fat and drowsy.
Dogs, even misbehaving dogs, have a way of wheedling their way into your life and ultimately drilling a direct pipeline to your heart. When we got Violet from the Humane Society, she came with a hand-written note that said Violet was not capable of love and was not a lovable animal. Saturday, as Violet dragged her little butt outside, head down, tail between her legs (she is quite the drama queen), I thought about her previous two homes where she had faced complete rejection. Violet is not an easy dog to live with but the same could be said for me, I am not always an easy person to live with.
Over the years, Violet and I have spent many hours curled up together on couches, scrunched under soft blankets watching TV or in bed taking naps. Sometimes, the cats join us, sort of a muti-species event, everyone welcome. Violet acts as a small little heating pad; quiet, soft and warm resting while the house is at peace. The wildl barking, jump-up-on-you-no-matter-what, crazed terrorist vanishes into thin air replaced by the beloved companion. Sunday with the gas fireplace humming, the Denver Broncos playing, and a slight drizzle spewing from gray clouds marking the arrival of fall, Violet had her head nuzzled on my leg while I rested with strep throat (Apparently strep isn’t just for kids). As I stoked her velvety-soft little head, I asked myself how could anyone think this dog was unlovable?