Looks like our dog is finally maturing

Derrick Knutson

About two weeks ago, as I was getting ready to leave for work, my wife told me she let the dog outside to do his morning business and she couldn’t get him to come inside. She called him a few times, but he didn’t scamper up the steps of our deck like he normally does.
Sometimes he hides behind the trees in our yard, or he just relaxes under the deck and ignores our beckoning. So I slipped my shoes on to go get him, and then I realized the gate to our fence was open. I had “fixed” the latch the previous day because it was loose. My handiwork was obviously shoddy, since the gate didn’t stay shut.
My heart rate quickened. I thought to myself, “He’s probably a mile away by now, barking at a squirrel that’s tauntingly chattering at him from the safety of a tree he can’t climb.”
I told my wife the gate was open, threw on my jacket, opened the garage door and prepared myself for a frantic jog around the neighborhood. But that hastily planned search never came to fruition — there was Russell, sitting by the side of the house, watching the neighborhood kids walk to the bus stop. He wasn’t barking, and he didn’t run after them.
Apparently, nearly 3 years old now, he’s matured. Even a year ago, he would have dashed out after those kids — or perhaps taken a solo tour of the neighborhood — had he escaped the confines of our backyard. I’ll admit he has developed into a better dog as time has passed. He no longer destroys the rug in our front entryway, he doesn’t chew the arms off our Adirondack chairs in our backyard and he doesn’t try to consume cigarette butts or rocks he finds along the side of roads when we take him for walks. These were all some of his favorite pastimes when he was a puppy.
I’m impressed with Russell’s new sense of maturity, so much so that I might loan him to my parents so he can teach their new rescue dog, Serena, some proper manners. Serena, a husky mix that was abandoned on a reservation in South Dakota before my parents adopted her, is a big baby who enjoys being petted and trying to sit in people’s laps, despite being 70 pounds. But she’s got a sneaky side to her, likely developed from having to scavenge for food while she was living on her own.
My mom was making cookies one day, and she had two sticks of butter softening in a pan on the kitchen counter. She left the room for a moment, and the butter disappeared. She asked my dad what he did with the butter, and he said he didn’t touch it. She eyed the dog, which was licking its lips. She thought she’d have to deal with a mess after Serena had processed that butter, but the dog apparently had the digestive fortitude to handle it.
The second time Serena decided to treat herself to some extra sustenance turned out to be more troublesome. My parents are now hyper-diligent about not leaving edibles on the counter where Serena can reach them, so she employed a different tactic. While my mom was downstairs, the dog jimmied open the door to their food pantry and proceeded to consume three-quarters of a big box of dog treats.
The result of this food foray was one day of Serena being uncomfortably full and two days of … well … you know.
Maybe if Russell had been there and Serena had started to tear into that box of dog treats, he would have told her, in dog-speak, “Hey, I don’t think this is such a good idea; our humans probably don’t want us to do this.”
But the more likely scenario is the treats would have been completely consumed, and Russell wouldn’t have been able to walk because his bloated corgi belly would have been dragging the ground. Corgis do love food — more so than pleasing their owners with their maturity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *