Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Vacuum Cleaner Trapped in the Body of a Dog

I was lucky. In the first few days, Stella put her mouth on everything she could reach but she learned pretty quickly what she was allowed to chew on. One minor extension cord (for my mouse) was sacrificed as was a small spot on the baseboard in my (landlord's) bathroom. That was it. For the first time in years, there weren't any shoes, clothing or camera gear lying around and fortunately for me I guess, dust bunnies became her main focus. She scoured the perimeter of every room like an anteater. She spent enough time following her nose, (and still does) that I wondered if she weren't mixed with some sort of hunting dog. Meanwhile, I may have the cleanest baseboards in Davidson County.

This habit was dramatically reinforced in January when she and I visited a nursing home across town. I signed us up for a day of pet therapy - hoping no one would notice that she was a pit bull puppy (at least until she'd had time to charm them all) but it was clearly printed on her rabies slip so I wasn't even sure we'd get in. This particular place didn't require the dog be certified as a therapy dog, only that it be well-behaved. Happily, when we arrived the lady at the front desk, mistook us for a dog therapy pair who comes regularly and waved us through without looking at her papers. We got straight on the elevator and once we got visiting, I actually had to drag her out from under the beds of several residents (I hadn't realized but there are tons of rogue cookie crumbs and corn kernels in these places). Hoover likes to talk about their wind tunnel technology but I've got news for them. When they can make a vacuum cleaner with a nose, they'll really have something. By the time we left there, the nurses had declared Stella a better asset than some of their orderlies.

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