Thursday, January 14, 2010

But wait! There's more!

The January thaw is finally here, and not a minute too soon. With the temps in the 30s, I've been able to take Dempsey out to potty in my shirtsleeves, and -- more importantly -- we've resumed our walks. The poor boy had been going crazy with so much indoor time, and driving me crazy, too.

As you may recall, Dempsey is not a fan of fetch. But with so much indoor time, I had decided to keep working on it, until it was fun.

Not surprisingly, this didn't go over too well with Dempsey. The other day, instead of running after the tennis ball, as I had hoped, he started sniffing around the refrigerator. Then he barked. Then he started scratching at the foot of the refrigerator. I knew this could only mean one thing.

I put Dempsey in his kennel, wheeled out the vacuum cleaner, and pulled out the fridge. There, just as Dempsey claimed, were two (2) pieces of dust-encrusted kibble. I can only guess how long they had been there, happily hidden from Dempsey, until he got bored and decided to find them.

The space under the fridge now nice and clean, I put away the vacuum cleaner, pushed back the fridge, and let Dempsey out. He immediately ran back to the fridge, took a few sniffs, and sighed. I tried tossing the tennis ball again, but instead of chasing after it as I had hoped, Dempsey walked to the dishwasher and started sniffing.

"But wait!" he said. "There's more!" He started barking and pawing at the base of the dishwasher.

I couldn't see what he was talking about, so I got a flashlight and peered under the dishwasher. Lo and behold, there was one (1) piece of kibble, about 6 inches back.

I put Dempsey back in his kennel and wheeled out the vacuum cleaner again. With the flashlight in one hand and the vacuum cleaner hose in the other, I tried sucking out the one (1) piece of kibble, but to no avail: It was back just far enough that it just sort of wobbled in place, without moving. Aargh.

I put the vacuum cleaner away again and got out a chopstick. With the chopstick in one hand and the flashlight in the other, I deftly nudged the one (1) piece of kibble towards the front. Unfortunately, it turns out there is a small lip where the hardwood floor sits on the subfloor, which makes it very easy for the kibble to go in, but very hard to come back out.

I batted around the one (1) piece of kibble, hoping I could get it to pop up. It didn't. I put the chopstick away, and got out the vacuum cleaner again. Still, no luck: Instead of simply being sucked out, the one (1) piece of kibble flipped onto its side, and got itself stuck on the lip.

Mindful of the last time I had tried using a chopstick and a vacuum cleaner at the same time, I very carefully put the vacuum cleaner hose in one hand, the chopstick in the other, and the flashlight under my chin. I turned the vacuum cleaner on, knocked the one (1) piece of kibble around with the chopstick, and voila! -- success! And I didn't even poke my eye this time.

I put away the chopstick, vacuum cleaner, and flashlight, and let Dempsey out of the kennel. Again, he dashed towards the dishwasher, took a few sniffs, and sighed.

"Happy now?" I asked.

Dempsey didn't reply. I lobbed the tennis ball one more time, and Dempsey desultorily walked towards it. When he got to the heating vent, he sniffed it, and, with his paw, lifted up the register cover: "But wait! There's more!"

I put Dempsey back in his kennel, got out the flashlight, chopstick, and vacuum cleaner again, and peered into the vent. There was nothing there, except maybe some kibble dust. I vacuumed the vent anyway.

When I let Dempsey out of the kennel again, I mocked him for being wrong about the vent. To which he replied, "I didn't bark that time, so I never actually said, 'But wait! There's more!'"

True. No one appreciates an infomercial dog, but a lawyerly, hair-splitting dog is even worse. Good thing the little punk is so cute!

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