Jon de Vos: What’s big and rubbery and opens doors? |

Jon de Vos: What’s big and rubbery and opens doors?

“I think your stupid mutt ate 40 bucks I had in my pocket,” my wife said to me over the phone.

“She wouldn’t do that,” I replied.

“It was folded up next to my Chapstick, which is also missing,” she said. “I went to pay my tab at the bowling alley and came up dry. I think your dog got my loot while going for the Chapstick.”

“Um, yes,” I agreed. “She would do that.”

“Would you go out to the pen and see if my money’s out there? If by some strange chance, my expensive Chapstick survived, bring it in too, please,” and we hung up.

The dog has committed this sort of assault upon property before, so I’d told my wife I would go look.

OK, rewind a year-and-a-half. I’m in front of my computer ordering parrot food on-line.

Our three parrots eat like birds. Three big, fat, ravenous, cranky birds. Wow! Look, there on the screen. Auto-ship! Every two months? How does it know? I slapped down right there for parrot food, a chew toy for the dogs, and a one-ounce cardboard container of TetraMin Pro Flakes, breakfast of guppies, every 60 days for the rest of eternity.

Looking back, somewhere shy of eternity, the timing’s been overall good. Just when the parrots have run out of almonds and filberts to fling across the room for me to step on in the dark, a big brown truck rumbles to the rescue. It takes the dogs about eight weeks to separate the squeaker from the purple squid, but I seriously overestimated the eating habits of my finny friends and over the months accumulated a startling number of cans of fish food under the aquarium. I thought.

First, to answer the obvious question; I never reduced the order because when I was near the computer, I forgot the aquarium and when I was near the aquarium . . . well, you understand. Besides, so what if I have a lot of fish food? Some people collect porn; there’s lots worse things to have in abundance.

OK, so here I am out in the dog pen, tiptoing through the . . . well, these aren’t tulips, but I certainly am on tiptoes, looking for a Chapstick and the money would be nice. What the . . . what’re all these fish food containers doing out here on the ground? Hey!

They’re empty. I wonder . . . FREETA GOODHOME, YOU STUPID BASSET! But I was shouting to the wind, she’d ducked through the dog door, raced upstairs and buried her head under my wife’s pillow for sanctuary.

She has a prehensile nose, capable of opening cupboards, refrigerators, drawers and doors. I’ve seen it in action; why am I surprised that she’s eaten all the fish food? Her nose is big and rubbery and she mooshes around the edge of the door and pulls it open. She could pull herself up a ledge with it.

So, somehow my wife got out of hock with the bowling alley, came home and found her Chapstick and 40 bucks in a different pair of pants. I told her about the discovery in the dog pen and she said, “Well, you probably shouldn’t have had so much around,” then she looked down, “Yuck! What’s all over your shoes?”

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