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Small Talk: Duped by the dog

It seems we have been party to a fraud. A dog fraud.

Fortunately, we never intended to show our German shorthaired pointer, nor did we intend to train her for field trials or her traditional role in the hunt. We just loved her softly spotted exterior and her big brown eyes when we rescued her from the pound, absent any sort of pedigree.

Nevertheless, I feel we were duped. She looks like a pointer. She stands like a pointer. She has the high-energy temperament of a pointer. She gets crazy when birds land in the yard. But it’s all a ruse. If she were a true German shorthaired pointer, she would spot that bird, then freeze and simply point to it.

Apparently, our dog is a German-shorthaired eater. We haven’t positively verified this, but we had a bird catastrophe offering strong evidence that, well, points in that direction.

We foolishly brought one of our parakeets in from the aviary one blustery, stormy morning. We intended to place him and his mate safely under a basket in a closed room until the weather improved. When we returned with his female companion, the door to the room had been pushed open, then knocked closed again. The dog was trapped in the room, the basket was turned over and there was no parakeet to be found – ever.

After pondering all the possibilities and searching all the corners, we checked the dogs’ mouths. We found only two small feathers. No blood, no feet, no nothing.

The fact that this dog can smell microwaving bacon from the farthest reaches of the yard should have been a tip-off. Her unquenchable skill at stealing food off the kitchen counters, also a clue. Her ability to wolf down cold, congealed, soggy, leftover anything and half a chocolate birthday cake, without so much as a burp, has given us pause.

I realize the German shorthaired eater is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club, but we suspect there are others out there. I know she’d nail the blue ribbon, but we hope there won’t be a Bird-Gulping competition.

Other German shorthaired eater trials would feature Leftover Plate-Licking and Under-The-Table Morsel Snatching. Her best event will be the Cross-Kitchen-Counter Body Stretch, with extra points for use of paws to drag plates to the ground.

I’m making room for the trophies.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer hoping all spring birds are paying attention. Contact her at [email protected]

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