At our house, we're sensitive to things that go bump in the night (or the day). Because our 16-year-old daughter has epilepsy and has fallen in the past during seizures, Tom and I have ears that are always listening for a possible thump, bump, crash or anything out of the ordinary. Experience has put us on a hair trigger.
The only noise we don't worry much about is barking. We have a Corgi (named Cooper) therefore we have barking – so much barking. Corgis are herding dogs, which means they've been instructed by God that they are in charge. All the time. Everywhere.
We love our little short-legged boss dog, but he could really learn to shut up now and then, especially when we're watching TV. Last night, Cooper did it again – barked over a pivotal scene in a movie. But this time, instead of barking at a window or the front door as usual, he barked in the kitchen.
Tom paused the movie and yelled at him to stop it already. But Cooper barked again. Then we heard a rustling sound followed by the clattering of dishes. It didn't sound like a fall, but it didn't sound right, either.
Me: "Kate? Are you in the kitchen?"
Tom sprang out of his chair and rushed in there. When he came back to the living room, a guilty goldendoodle trailed behind him followed by a smug-looking Corgi.
Tom: "Kate's not in the kitchen but her dog was, and he was stealing garlic cheese bread off the counter. He got away with one slice, but I saved the rest."
Me: "So, Cooper was barking to let us know there was a bread burglary in process?"
Tom: "Yep, looks like it."
I scooped Cooper up and scratched behind his giant ears. I told him he was a good little narc and that he should feel free to tattle on his bread-stealing brother anytime he sees shenanigans. I set him back down and he trotted off like the proud little Corgi cop he is.
Meanwhile, the curly-haired perpetrator licked breadcrumbs off his chops and had the distinct look of a chastened dog who would do it again, if given the opportunity.
Mac has grown up to be a tall, 80-pound pupper who is well-behaved 99 percent of the time but has been known to surf the kitchen counter when his nose tells him there's something good up there. One day last year, we lost an entire brisket when Tom left the room for just a minute.
Having learned the hard way, we now clear the counters before we leave the kitchen unattended, but this time we forgot about the cheesy Italian bread. And we all know Mac has a chronic cheese addiction that makes him do bad things if there are no witnesses in the room. He didn't realize his canine companion would rat him out.
But Mac is smart and knows how to adapt. My guess is that the next time he's able to reach something tasty left on the kitchen counter, he'll drop a piece on the floor as a kickback to the Corgi before he takes a piece for himself.
It's awfully hard to bark and bust your brother if you're too busy chewing.
Gwen Rockwood is a syndicated freelance columnist. Email her at [email protected]. Her book is available on Amazon.