Saturday, January 5, 2008

The nose of a beagle

Hershey, our boy Beltie (half beagle/half Sheltie) was in the living room with my husband this afternoon, watching football. Or to be more precise, my husband was watching football and Hershey was watching the bowl of potato chips my husband was snacking from. Both were very intent; my husband hoping that the Redskins would beat the Seahawks, Hershey hoping that my husband would drop his entire bowl of chips on the floor and maybe a rack of lamb along with it.

Hershey is terribly hard to resist when he's begging. He's too empty-headed to do a cute trick, such as sitting up like a kangaroo, so he just stands there, his shoulders and ears drooping, his eyes wistful and pleading. He is quite clearly communicating this thought: "How could you sit there, eating your chips, while your very best dog stands here starving to death?"

Or maybe he's just thinking, "Please food please food please food please food please food..."

At any rate, my husband finally took pity on him and tossed him a chip. Hershey is usually pretty good at catching morsels of food in mid-air, but he missed that chip. It fell amidships on his broad back.

Hershey turned around and around and around, smelling the chip, but unable to find and eat it. He continued this maneuver, sometimes putting his nose to the floor in an abortive attempt to track it, until Aisling finally screamed in frustration and got up from the card game she was playing with Meelyn, plucked the chip off his back and fed it to him.

"You are the stupidest dog," she said fondly.

Hershey wagged his tail gratefully and pranced around the living room with his white boots. "I know!" he seemed to be saying cheerfully, savoring the taste of a cheddar and sour cream chip on his lolling tongue. "I know! I really am, aren't I?"

I am so glad we don't have to count on him to track our meat through the forests of pioneer Indiana.

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