Sunday, December 01, 2013

World AIDS Day + The Muffin Saga

 Today is World AIDS Day

Return of 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 Parts of The Muffin Saga:

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