49: Swinger

49: Swinger

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Dog Did That!

Swinger

To swing or not to swing? Swing.

~Brendan Fraser, George of the Jungle

Watching our eleven-year-old, mostly Spaniel dog, Peggy, follow me from room to room, my husband Gord said, “What are you going to do when anything happens to old Peg?

“I don’t want to think about it,” I said.

“Maybe we should get another dog now, so you won’t feel so devastated.”

“Maybe,” I said, without much enthusiasm.

Fate has a way of stepping in sometimes. That very afternoon our neighbour Linda asked us if we knew of anyone who wanted a two-year-old purebred Basset Hound.

“I’ve always wanted a Basset Hound,” Gord said. That was a surprise to me, but I didn’t argue. Two dogs had to be twice as nice as one dog.

Before you could say Jack Russell, our new Basset Hound Milford took up residence and established his top dog status to all the humans, but not to Peggy, who wasn’t going to accept any nonsense from the upstart. The rest of us were enamoured of this canine aristocrat. So much so that I wrote to the Marquis of Milford Haven, a cousin to Queen Elizabeth II, to ask permission to use his illustrious name when I registered him. The Marquis replied in his own hand that he would be delighted, but I was to use the alternate spelling of Marquess when I registered him.

Milford was the perfect dog for the first few weeks. When he felt he had wheedled his way into our affections enough, he showed his true colours. He did everything we asked him to do, just as long as he wanted to do it too. Otherwise he disobeyed and if pressed to conform, he bit.

In the house, with just the dogs for companionship, I was startled by a noise that took me a few seconds to identify. Then I recognized the sound of the rocking chair, rocking. Suspecting an unwanted intruder, I tiptoed into the living room to find long-bodied Milford positioned in the rocking chair so that he could rock.

Milford had an adventurous spirit. He liked to go on unsupervised walks, but generally returned before mealtime. Once, he was gone overnight. We worried about him, so we placed an advertisement in the local paper. A lady phoned to say that she didn’t know what Basset Hounds looked like, but there was a dog on her swing seat. She paused for a moment and added with surprise in her voice, “And now he’s swinging himself.”

We went and claimed our swinging dog.

~Pamela Kent

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