They say there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.
In that case……..
Hello. My name is Wendi. I am a bad dog owner.
One day last week I came home from running a few errands to discover my poodle Cocoa had chewed his way into an ‘edible gift’ I’d left under the Christmas tree.
You’re probably asking why anyone with a dog would be foolish enough to leave anything edible under their tree. On the floor. At ground level. Conveniently placed for the dog to find. Isn’t that just tempting the dog, baiting him, daring him to make a snack of the gift? In fact, inviting him to be a bad dog?
In my defence, if I’m allowed to put one forward, I didn’t think the gift in question would be a temptation. (OK, so now you’re thinking not only is she a bad dog owner, she’s really not that bright.)
Furthermore, the gift – which I’d received in a game we’d played during the office Christmas potluck lunch – had been under the tree for days without any problem! There had been no telltale signs from Cocoa that the gift was proving to be a temptation. NO prowling about the tree pawing the gifts that lay underneath. NO stolen glances toward the fake fir when he thought no one was looking. NO sniffing of the air under or around the tree. There was simply no indication trouble was brewing.
The gift was a box containing two cardboard tins of hot chocolate mix and a metal tin of hot chocolate rim trim. When I’d tucked the unwrapped gift under the tree after bringing it home, I’ll admit there was a fleeting moment when I wondered if this was a safe place to leave it, but the thought disappeared as quickly as it had come.
I was naively confident there was no chance Cocoa would try gnawing his way into it. For one thing, I didn’t think he could (a silly assumption considering he wolfs downs rawhide chews in mere minutes!). And, I figured if he could even smell anything, it was just dry powder, not cookies or candy. Surely he was bright enough to realize there wasn’t anything in the package he could really sink his teeth into. After all, he is supposed to be a smart poodle.
Well, apparently, like his owner, he’s not that smart. And, like his owner, he loves chocolate.
I know dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate; it’s not good for them. Thankfully, it appeared he didn’t eat too much of the hot chocolate mix.
After mentally scolding myself, scolding Cocoa in my most serious “I’m-SO-annoyed-with-you” voice, then valiantly attempting to ignore him for 10 minutes to prove my displeasure, he managed to find his way onto my lap. He turned to look up at me with his big brown eyes, laid his head on my shoulder and heaved a deep sigh. What could I do? All was immediately forgiven. After all, he wasn’t really at fault, right? It helped that he smelled really good – sweet and chocolatey. The aroma was probably from the dried hot chocolate mix clinging in clumps under his chin.
It’s hard to be mad at a dog with good taste.