by cheri sabraw
I have never in my entire dog-owning life encountered an animal as focused on food as my dog Dinah.
This Labrador retriever’s nose is as impressive as a Vermeer painting with their unparalleled attention to minute detail and ultimate focus.
I spilled a bag of cashew pieces in my pantry last night.
The sound of the pitter-pattering of small nuts clattering to the floor awoke a sleeping old dog out of her slumber. Slightly arthritic, she exited her bed with the rapidity of a ferret to investigate the possibility of whatever had hit the hardwood in mass.
The race was on: I dropped to my knees, madly scrambling to retrieve 50-100 small nut pieces before the two of us would get into an all-out free-for-all akin to a pinata breakage. Never mind the mop, the extra paper towel rolls, the cutting board, and the olive oil boxes crammed under the bottom shelf. The two of us, one 110 pounder (me) and the other, a 70 pounder (she) both entered the pantry at the same time.
Two older girls in a small pantry on the floor in a chitter-chattering of pitter-pattering, clattering, and the ultimate shattering of a perfectly peaceful evening.
I managed though my dexterity and over-stimulated reflexes to grab 7/8’s of the nuts. Dinah, with her tongue of fire and sheer intensity of purpose, sucked up the other 1/8 like a Roomba in less than 30 seconds.
It was over or so I thought.
Before bed, I make the coffee every night and must enter the pantry for a coffee filter. Dinah, by this time, was back in her bed by the fire, snoring, having tucked herself in for the night.
The wind was howling with a ferocious snarl last night. The sound of deck furniture being moved by the Hand of Zephyrus added to the outside clatter. I approached the pantry door.
Quietly, with the facility of a lock-picker, I opened it without sound or so I thought.
Before I could say almond, walnut or cashew, that damn dog beat me into the space to retrieve a cashew piece the size of a peppercorn which had rolled under the Swiffer and which, she had remembered.
And with that Labradorian retrieve, she retired for the night.