It was just after 12:30 at night. We’d all been in bed long enough for the Peoples to be sound asleep. I was in my bed by the wall, across from the door to the hallway. Blondie’s bed is near Volt’s. Volt said, “Blondie, you awake?”
“I am now. What is it?”
“I’m hungry. You hungry?”
“I could be. What do you have in mind?”
“I have a plan to raid the kibble treasury. Want to come?”
Blondie Bear is not starving: pretty far from it, actually, but is not one to turn down a snack. Ever! I do. If I’m not hungry or if the snack is not up to my standards, I’ll pass. I was more interested in my warm snuggle-bed than in some goofy scheme that might or might not net some food. I laid still and watched.
None of this alerted the Peoples because dogs don’t always have to make sounds to talk. A lot of our communicating with each other is done with our brains, not our mouths.
Blondie said, “Okay, I’m in. What do you want me to do?”
Volt got out of bed and crept out of the bedroom, Blondie followed. They stopped at the hallway bathroom door: sometimes called The Kibble Treasury because that’s where the Peoples store the dog food.
When Volt first came inside the house, HairyFace had to keep that door closed because Volt was too excited by the possibilities a room containing almost 700 pounds of kibble offered. In time Volt learned to respect that room as off limits. Then the door started being left open again.
“Okay, Blondie, you stay here in the hallway as look-out. You let me know if anyone is coming. I’ll try to crack open one of these kibble vaults. Then we can both fill our bellies!”
Blondie looked at him kinda sideways, “I … I don’t know about this Volt. This is “bad dog” behavior. If we get caught …”
“That’s why you need to be look-out. You let me know if anyone gets up so I can get out.”
“And what happens in the morning when they find a bin busted open?”
“Easy: we blame it on the cat!”
“We don’t have a cat.”
“Oh, yeah … well … You really need to get a cat, you can blame it for so much stuff!”
“We don’t have a cat.”
“Let’s worry about that later. First we need to get a bin open.”
“I could use a snack.” Blondie thought about it for a moment, “Okay, I’ll keep watch.”
Volt ambled into the bathroom and started nosing around. “I’ve been watching HairyFace when he fills our bowls, our kibbles are in these bins on the floor. He just lifts the lids and scoops out kibbles …”
Volt pushed the lid of the red bin with his nose (I know this because Blondie told me all about it later). He tried several places, but could not get the lid to lift. He moved to the purple bin and tried that one. No luck there either. So he tried pawing at the lid, scratching at it with his claws. That didn’t work either.
He tried to dig under the bin by digging at the floor.
“Someone is getting out of bed! I think it’s Hairy! You’d better get out of there!”
HairyFace was indeed getting out of bed, awakened by the scratching. He probably thought one of us was at the back door asking to go outside. When he turned the corner into the hall, Blondie and Volt were bouncing around in the hallway.
“Do you two need to go outside?” He asked, still mostly asleep.
Blondie and Volt decided that was a great redirection and rushed into the laundry room. Hairy made his way through them to the door, undid the deadbolt, flipped on the porch light and opened the door. Both of them rushed out on the porch – and stood there.
“I don’t NEED to go out in the yard,” wailed Blondie to Volt, “and I don’t want to get my feet wet in the dew.”
“This could still work out.” schemed Volt. “The Peoples have been training me not to scratch on the screen. If I scratch gently, down low like you do, or if I call them, like Cochise does, or if I just sit there, being real good until someone notices me, I get a treat when they let me in. The treats are on top of the hot box thing NiceLady uses to heat our blankets. All we have to do is be good and wait for Hairy to let us back in!”
“Maybe. Hairy does not like it when we get him out of bed in the middle of the night.”
“Let’s try it.”
So they both sat there on the porch while HairyFace went to use the bathroom.
Peoples get to go potty inside the house, dogs have to go outside. I don’t understand how that’s fair at all, but it seems to have something to do with that big white water bowl thing. They only go in that, not wherever they want. Maybe one day they’ll train us to use that, then we can stay inside when the weather is bad.
“Okay, so what kind of funny game are you two playing at? Neither of you left the porch.”
He opened the door and let them inside. They both sat obediently in front of the drier and gazed expectantly up at the place where the treat bag stays. Volt even licked his lips.
“Oh, no!” Hairy said, “You two get me up so you can play games, hoping for treats? No … everyone back to bed.”
Blondie quickly slunk back to her bed and curled up. Volt thought about pressing the issue: he HAD refrained from scratching the screen, after all. But Blondie’s quick departure made him think again and he too returned to his bed.
HairyFace stopped in the hallway, thinking about what had gone on: the noise that woke him, the two dogs in the hallway acting odd, the refusal to leave the porch … he pulled the bathroom door closed, muttering, “Just to be sure.” before returning to his bed.
“I knew that wasn’t going to work,” Blondie said, “you almost got us both punished.”
“I almost got us both fed.”
Both closed their eyes and drifted off to sleep. Now that it was all over I did the same. But I couldn’t help chuckling at Volt. He’s come a long ways, but he’s still got a few things to learn. I’ll have a talk with him about trustworthiness in the morning. I’ll straighten him out. He’ll be okay. He’s a good dog at heart, as long as he doesn’t listen so much to his stomach.
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