The day I brought my dog Owen home from his mother’s side, I made up my mind that he would be well-behaved, lovable, and disciplined. I wouldn’t feed him table scraps, he would come when I called him, and he would never mistake my eyeglasses for his chew toys.
Let’s just say it’s lucky for him the lovable thing stuck.
He’s very smart and eager to please, so it’s easy to overlook any bad habits that I’ve been unable to train out of him—like jumping on people and greeting them with an open mouth. (What? Some people like that.) I never feed him from the table and he never gets processed foods, so when my dad had a leftover pork bone at a family dinner, we decided to reward Owen for all his hard work. (Those birds aren’t going to bark at themselves.)
“Just make sure to take it away from him once he eats the marrow,” my mother warned.
My boyfriend and I bestowed our gift to a wiggly, howling Owen, who promptly darted into the dark backyard to feast on greasy treat. We sipped beers on the deck until we heard the first splinter of bone.
“Good boy Owen. Bring it here,” I called.
I tip-toed through the grass, following the frenzied gnawing, but stopped two feet away when Owen lifted his haunches, his front paw wrapped tightly around the bone. He turned away, then scurried to the other side of the yard.
Cut to five minutes and twenty laps around the yard later with me squatting in the far end of the yard, facing Owen, who had his back to the house, where my BF was perched on the edge of the deck, ready to jump at my command.
Owen released the bone to catch his breath.
“NOW!” I shouted.
My BF leapt from the deck, landing inches from Owen, who shot ten feet away. The BF reached for the bone but Owen snarled and grabbed it first.
Ten minutes later Owen happily chewed the remains of the bone from the comfort of the living room chair. I’d say there’s a lesson to be learned here, but I’ll have to figure that out once I clean the grease stains from the chair.
Melanie Hooyenga is a graphic designer by day, and a newly-addicted Kinect player at night. She recently bought her first home and is chronicling her adventures in first-time home-ownership at Hoosblog. You can also follow her randomness at @melaniehoo, or follow Owen at SuperOwen.