2018-01-17 / Editorials

Milly is four!

Other Voices
Mitch Clarke

It’s hard to believe it’s been four years, but Milly, the liver and white springer spaniel who lives at my house, just celebrated her 4th birthday.

She’s my second springer spaniel, and, though for a long time I really wanted a white English bulldog, I can’t imagine having any other kind of dog. They are smart. They are loyal. They are friendly.

Not everything about springers are perfect, of course. They are called springers for a reason. I’ve never been able to stop either of mine from springing onto me or anyone else, for that matter. They are hyper. Milly, for instance, has more energy than any four-year-old child you know.

They shed. A lot. If I could teach Milly to do anything, it would be to run the vacuum cleaner. It ain’t my hair that’s getting vacuumed off the carpet.

And Milly will eat just about anything, especially if I made her think it was a treat.

There are, of course, a few things it makes sense that a dog would attempt to eat. A dog shall not live by Dog Chow alone, I suppose.

So it was no surprise to me that when Glory, my first springer, was about six months old, she snatched a freshly grilled hamburger patty off the kitchen counter the moment my back was turned.

Milly is no different. One of the Chelseaapproved snacks I eat each afternoon are cheese sticks. This weekend, I put a couple on the table next to sofa and went back to the kitchen to get my water. When I came back, both cheese sticks were gone.

I wasn’t even angry about it. I was more curious about how the devil she ate two cheese sticks in the time it took me to walk 15 feet.

I understand that dogs like hamburgers or cheese sticks. But sometimes, as I remember the things that she’s eaten, I wonder what is going on in that little canine brain of hers to make her eat the things she eats.

Glory ate the bottom third of a window blind once. I left the blinds raised about six inches for her just because of that little stunt. And I do the same for Milly. I’ve learned my lesson.

Milly doesn’t chew on the things most dogs chew on. Never once have I had a gnawed tennis shoe or loafer. But I once caught Milly chewing on a paper clip.

She regularly attempts to drink my Manhattans. Last week, she pulled a bottle of water off my bedside table and was gnawing it. Fortunately, I got there before she punctured the bottle and my bed filled with water.

And now this week, on two occasions, Milly has outdone herself.

Tuesday morning on the way to work, I realized that I left my briefcase at home. So I turned around. When I opened the bedroom door, Milly was lying in the middle of the floor eating, chewing on a book. Fortunately, it was a book I didn’t really enjoy.

Two days later, I discovered that she had ripped apart the pad in her crate. Not simply chewed a corner. Shredded. With stuffing scattered from one end of the room to another.

The only good news here is that I now won’t be the only suspect the next time I can’t find the TV remote.

Mitch Clarke, a native of Blakely, is the editor of AccessWDUN. com in Gainesville. He can be contacted at mitch. clarke @gmail.com. Read previous columns at www.accesswdun.com/ blog/ mitch.

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