This was not my first trip to the big hunting house where Pack Leader often did her hunting, leaving me tied to the bike outside because, rather irrationally since as far as I know, wolfy dogs outperform humans on the hunt any day, canines were not allowed inside. This time, however, was different.
We ran smoothly around the parking lot to the back of the building, where Pack leader dismounted and leaned the bike against a high wire fence, the kind you can’t break apart with your teeth, that created a kind of open room next to what she called the loading duck. As far as I could sniff, there was no duck in the enclosure but my nose told me astounding news: that wire-bound room was full of good food. Also some food that had passed the yummy-in-the-tummy stage and was well into the good-for-a-roll stage, a category that I had not thought interested Pack Leader much.
Apparently I still had much to learn, for Pack Leader climbed that fence quicker than a raccoon, our bags slung around her neck. “Stay,” she told me, unnecessarily—I wouldn’t have missed this for the biggest, juiciest marrowbone in the world. I watched her technique with fascination. Her front paws scrabbled through the chest-deep pile of stuff, unearthing already-butchered-and-wrapped cow and chicken and fish from under the mountain of bags of greens and fruits. Vegetables didn’t interest my nose at all but they made her smile. Somehow she had known that all this stuff would simply be waiting for her. “We’re the first ones here today, o mighty fellow hunter!” she crowed happily; then swore as she stepped on something crunchy. A box of eggs dripped yellow goo—that should bring the raccoons running. ‘Oh, wait—there’s more….” She discovered two more egg boxes, intact. “Don’t they know that eggs stay good for months?” She packed them carefully into her backpack and then scrambled up the fence, hanging our packs gently from the fence top before dropping, back paws first, onto the concrete.
I wagged my tail hard to show my admiration and stood patiently while she strapped my load onto my back. Apparently I was carrying all the greens and fruits, so that I wouldn’t be tempted, I supposed. “Silly,” she said. “Your back is too young to carry all this heavy stuff. But just wait till you’re all grown up—you’ll work for your supper then!”
That sounded like good fun to me. The husky in us always appreciates a good workout. This expedition had been just a quickie. Pack Leader had saved a lot of time by using the grocery’s back yard instead of going in the front door and having to kill and catch all that food by herself! I was proud of her. Couldn’t wait to show off our prowess to mistress and Chichi.
We were half a block from home, just passing the house where a certain male human named Randy lived with his dog, Mary Jane, when I was hit full in the face by the most compelling scent in the world. Instantly intoxicated, I bolted towards its source, jerking the leash out of Pack leader’s unsuspecting hands and clearing a fence twice my height in the time it takes to crunch a pork bone. Once inside the fence, my leg rose up of its own accord and I peed on every upright thing in reach. I was a canine possessed, a monster whose paws scrabbled madly at the door, which rapidly failed under my onslaught. There were no thoughts in my brain, no social rules, no dreams of treat-treats or fears of being a B-A-D D-O-G. Somewhere behind that door was the object of my desire, whatever it was, and my entire being was hell-bent on securing it.
Continue reading →