In the past, I’ve written about my dog Quagmire’s uncanny ability to bring me foodstuff out of nowhere. Bananas. Watermelons. Peaches. An egg. I never got to the bottom of that mystery. I was kind of hoping it would come to an end once I’d moved. I figured, once the supply lines were cut, whatever, whomever, and wherever they happened to be, things would become normal.
Apparently not. We hadn’t been in our new house for a week when Quagmire emerged from the bushes with the dried husk of a butternut squash, full of seeds. The thing was almost as big as he is. And he was so proud of himself. I almost felt bad having to confiscate it.
Since the husk was cleanly cut and devoid of all but the seeds, I could only assume that the former occupant of the house had been drying them for planting. “Okay, dog, I’ll let you have that one incident,” I thought.
Then he started bringing me crab apples. It should be noted that there’s no crab apple tree anywhere in my yard. Where the hell were they coming from? I asked my neighbors if they were feeding Quagmire, and they assured me that they weren’t. So here we go again.
I decided that this would require some stealthy investigation. For a week, I stopped sitting in the back yard. I let Quaggie think that he had the place to himself. What he didn’t know was that I was watching him from the kitchen window.
For seven days, he didn’t do anything unusual. He played with his stuffies. He barked at the mailman. He peed on my pansies. He basked in the sun, and wriggled in the grass on his back.
And then finally one day he seemed to have a false sense of security that mommy wasn’t going to come outside and ruin his fun. He ran out the back door and made a bee-line for the bushes.
And he disappeared.
I thought I had thoroughly inspected the entire backyard fence line before we moved in. But I discovered that deep in the shadows, aligned exactly with the trunk of a bush, was a Q-sized hole in the chain link.
It almost looked as if it had been deliberately cut and bent back, and there was a well worn path that led right through it into my neighbor’s unfenced yard. Yup. My dog had been cruising the neighborhood, and, apparently, harvesting crab apples.
This, of course, horrified me. He could have run away. He could have gotten hurt. He could have gotten into something that would make him sick. He could have gotten into a fight or been hit by a car or… Omigod. I’m a terrible mother.
But then, in a weird way, it also made me smile. Because he always came back to me. He didn’t have to, but he always did. And this time was no different.
My dog loves me.
And then I blocked the hole in the fence.
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