Friday, January 25, 2008

The Muffin Saga, Part V

In Part IV of The Muffin Saga I wrote that after Muffin’s leg healed from being broken in whatever accident she was involved she didn’t limp. This isn’t quite true. There were a few times that she did limp, but not because of any physiological reason. Muffin limped to evoke sympathy. She limped especially when she was caught doing something she knew she shouldn’t be doing, such as jumping up (we didn’t know she could jump that high) on the dining room table and grabbing a piece of roast beef off the serving plate as we were clearing off the dishes after dinner.

Someone yelled Muffin, get off the table. She jumped down and began limping as if the landing on the floor had reinjured her leg, while pitifully looking up at us. Of course, at the same time she was gobbling the roast beef as fast as she could. And, within moments of obtaining our sympathy (and consuming the beef), she was again walking normally.

Another time she suddenly began limping was when I confronted her as she was raiding a garbage can across the small city part that was behind the church and parsonage. I was in the Sunday School annex of the church when I spotted her through a window as she was trotting across the park. I followed her and watched as she began exploring the garbage behind the home of a family who had ties to the church—a family that I knew was the “meat and potatoes” kind of folks who consumed quite a bit of beef. Muffin had evidently also learned their eating habits.

When I was about ten feet behind Muffin, who was too busy with the remains of a t-bone steak to notice me, I said Muffin! She knew perfectly well that she had been caught breaking two doggy rules: (1) being outside the yard of the parsonage without a leash and (2) scavenging through garbage. She didn’t even look at me! Muffin simply headed back across the park toward home. Only this time she wasn’t trotting. This time she was limping—and carrying the t-bone in her mouth.

As you may have figured out from these incidents, Muffin often got into trouble in relation to food. It wasn’t that she wasn’t well fed. We served her the best doggy food available. She also received numerous food offerings during meals, as I and my sons would slip her some nice meat as she sat beneath the table as the family ate.

I must admit that that sometimes confused poor Muffin, especially when Rob, Nick III, and I each offered her a morsel at the same time. She wanted all of them, but usually couldn’t fit all of them into her doggy mouth at the same time. So she would go quickly from one of us to the other and as she would take the food from our hands we could feel that her mouth was already full. Muffin, of course, was not going to drop any food on the floor for one of us humans to pick up and deny her the gastronomic pleasure of consuming it.

No matter how much she had to eat, Muffin always came running into the kitchen whenever she heard the refrigerator door open. That was a weakness we exploited. Unlike Alex, Muffin hated being groomed. Yet, with her long hair, she really needed grooming at least on a weekly basis—and, more realistically, on a daily basis. Yet, whenever Muffin spotted anyone us carrying her grooming brush and comb, she ran and hid.

That was frustrating for us, until we learned to exploit Muffin’s weakness for food. With her grooming utensils hidden on the counter, one of us would open and close the refrigerator door. Like clockwork, within moments Muffin would enter the kitchen where we would pounce on her. This was a two-person operation, because Muffin could escape the grasp of one person.

After capturing the shaggy dog, we would carry her to the living room couch where one of us would hold her while the other brushed and combed her long locks. When we finished—or if the Muffin holder unintentionally loosened his grip—she would jump to the floor—and, you guessed it, limp away as soon as she was beyond our grasp.

The Muffin Saga will continue. There are still more Muffin tales to tell.

Previous Part of The Muffin Saga

The Muffin Saga, Part I

The Muffin Saga, Part II

The Muffin Saga, Part III

The Muffin Saga, Part IV

Something from Mel's Blog

"Big Bang" - World Record

*Start Copy Here*

You do not have to be tagged to play along. This game is simple and so are the rules.

1. Copy from *Start Copy Here* through *End Copy Here*

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*End Copy Here*


  1. Bronte (one of my cats) does that too. He had a sore leg and surgery and whenever he feels like he needs extra attention or when he's been naughty he limps and gives me his best 'love me I'm injured' look.

  2. Oh that was so funny the way you describe Muffin limping for sympathy!
    I can soooooo picture her, t-bone in mouth, limping back home looking at you out of the corner of her eye!
    Great post, Nick!

  3. Glad you're doing okay after your doctor marathon.

    Poor Muffin. She HAD to limp to get the attention or pity she wanted. She couldn't use language to manipulate like the rest of us can. ;-)

  4. Although I met Muffin years ago in Cannelton, I did not know she was so mischievous. I am anticipating with pleasure the next part of her saga.

  5. i luv ur animals

    muffin is almost as cute as alex

  6. Muffin sounds surprisingly like a cat, Nick. My grandson has a dog called Muffy, who is just a clever (or cunning, take your pick). I swear they'd leave most cats dead in the emotional blackmail stakes.

    Hugs to Alex from Mitzi. Hugs to you, too.

  7. Puss in Boots is right, Muffin does seem to act like a cat. You aren’t confusing Alex’s antics with Muffin’s are you? I can’t wait for the next part. Will it be soon? I don’t understand the “Big Bang” thing. Is that because I’m not a blooger?

    Have a fun weekend, Nick. You, too, dear Alex.

  8. Muffin was a very smart dog. My brother does not feed their dog human food but their dog comes a running when ever the fridge opens. Dragon loves ICE. He goes crazy over it so I think that trick could work. We also had several cats when I was growing up. The magic thing for them? Just turn on the can opener for a second and they would show up.

    Muffin was a little rascal for sure but you have to admire one so smart also.

    Glad you survived. Hope all is well.

  9. I usually think cats far outrank dogs in the intelligence race, but not so now... hmmmmm!!!!

    Hope you're doing okay... just been catching up. Just thought I'd tell you that it's not just the rabbis of old who debate and deliberate, torah scholars today are still at it in the many yeshivot around the world

    wishing you well and hope you have a lovely weekend

  10. Muffin reminds me so much of our beloved Guinness. He used to limp for sympathy too. :)

  11. You know I have a cat named Muffin.

    I need to backtrack on the series. I know I will enjoy it. I love my cat Muffin more than most people. I also think animals can be spirit guides and we are drawn to them in accordance to our karma and what we need to work out in our lifetime. When I met my Muffin, he immediately took to me. And that has never changed. He doesn't like anyone else. I think I have a totem protector!

    Okay, lock me up!

  12. Muffin must have brought you many smiles.

  13. When I was little, we had a Golden Retriever named Moosie who always ran to the fridge when he heard the door. I figured out that if you gave him a piece of lettuce, he'd walk away. Lettuce tastes like nothing. LOL.

  14. Oh, I forgot! Thanks for adding a link to my website! Cool:)

  15. whoa... i go out on a back injury and the template changes!!! Thought i had the wrong place!!

  16. lol.. either i am way to observant or i need to get a life. hehe. I notice template tweeks. But this was a pretty big flip over.

  17. i love these muffin stories, keep 'em coming! glad to hear you're better!

  18. What a clever girl ! I've never been able to resist a pair of sad eyes at the table either !

    Take care,

  19. Oh, dogs do that! They are so crafty.

    Muffin sounds like an incredible character.

  20. Muffin was one smart dog. I love these stories, Nick. Please don't stop sharing them!

  21. Nick,
    You may want to consider coming back over to my site and updating your Big Bang list. We are up to 236 sites on the list now.

  22. What a clever baby dog! She'd know how to manipulate me. :)

    We used to have a little boy cat by the name of Henry. He was a little bit evil and would sometimes pounce on Princess Nina. Dad (James) would punish Henry by banishing him from the flat. Mum (me) would then undo all James' kind and gentle training by letting him straight back in.