Essays

Conned by a Master

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Most dogs are con artists. They know, without a doubt, that people are the world’s biggest pushovers. Here in Carpenter Country, we aren’t pet owners at the moment. But we recently had the pleasure of being re-educated by a furry expert.

Woody, the German Shorthaired mix we were babysitting, was officially a yard dog when he arrived. Then he hoodwinked his way into the house via a convenient limp. A trip to the vet uncovered the infirmity was a scam. Back home, the door swung open and Woody got the word: Time to go outside.

Sensing he was about to lose his newly acquired housedog status, Woody let out a huge sigh, struggled to his feet as if weighted down by an anchor, then inched his way across the room, head and tail drooping.

Some battles are winnable, some aren’t. A down-at-the muzzle stance and sad brown eyes are worth a pat on the head. A great act is priceless. The second time we pushed open the door, we waved a doggy treat.

Woody stopped doddering, lifted his head and perked up. Feet dancing, tail flagging the sky, he pranced over and quickly took the biscuit. As he high-stepped across the threshold, he glanced back at us, and we’re certain we saw him smile. Was he thinking, ”You guys are so easy”?

Probably. And he was right.

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