Yes, That Was A Beagle

[Re-posted from Sunday.]

Here's a funny and moving obit about the most characterful - and food obsessed - dogs I know:

Rosie, who died yesterday at 13, was the World’s Most Food-Motivated Dog. She won the title with a stunt modern science has yet to explain.

Rosie-running-cropped-s1 One evening about five years ago, I returned home from a day-trip to Sydney with a notion to make a sardine sandwich for supper. I had left an unopened tin of sardines on the kitchen table before leaving for town. At least, I thought I had, but now I couldn’t find it.

Losing things is nothing new for this blogger and finding them is not his long suit. I spent a few minutes searching for the sardines, then made something else for supper.

While putting Rosie to bed later that night, I spotted the sardine can stashed among the blankets at the back of her sleeping crate. She had chewed the top off, and extracted every morsel of fish and every drop of sardine oil. The can didn’t even smell of sardines anymore.

In horror, I rushed to inspect Rosie’s mouth, expecting to find her lips and tongue shredded. Not a nick. Rosie was fit as a fiddle, and wondering when her next meal would arrive.

“Golden slumber close your eyes.” And sate your tummy.

Dusty, our eldest, is almost the same. When I got her as a tiny puppy twelve and a half years' ago, the vet told me not to worry about keeping her food intake down. I was told: puppies need lots of food, and you could even just let her eat out of the bag; she'll take what she wants and grow. This was probably the craziest advice anyone has ever given me. Barely a few inches long at the time and a few pounds, she  plowed into the bag with manic determination until she all but disappeared. I left for a few moments and returned to find that she had puked a couple of times already, eaten the puke, and started over with the food. I learned my lesson. She has been the same ever since.

Then there was the time when two friends came to visit, a gay couple one of whom had planned to propose to his boyfriend on the steps of the Supreme Court (yes, a drama queen if ever there was one) while he Dustyivy was visiting. They came by first and dropped their bag off and we went out to dinner. No one told me that in the bag were two large boxes of Godiva chocolates. They left the bag on the floor.

I came back early (can't remember why now). When I walked in the entire loft was an explosion of wrappers, ribbons, little bits of silver foil, ripped shards of boxes, in every corner of the room. In the middle of it, lay Dusty, bloated to almost twice her size, with a grin of ecstatic pleasure and satisfaction and chocolate smeared all over her face. After the shock, my immediate thought was panic. Chocolate can be poisonous for dogs and she'd eaten two boxes of the richest chocolate there is. I immediately tried to get her to vomit (if it ever happens to you, get a tea-spoon of salt and pour it down their throat). No luck. She seemed to need water, so I gave it to her and she just drank and drank until she looked like she'd burst. I rushed her outside and waited for the puke. No luck. I took her in to phone the animal hospital. And then it started.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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