Deception is almost always an unpleasant bit of business, isn’t it? Sure, a situation might develop wherein one might ethically use deceit, like in the classic, do-I-look-chubby-in-this-muumuu? example.
One might also hide intentions, along with a gift or two, when it comes to a surprise birthday party. Nothing wrong with deceit there.
Deception becomes a problem when it starts occurring regularly in a relationship. We’ve all been there haven’t we? Betrayed by a lover. Stung. Angry. Confused. We become temporary (usually) students of the school of Men/Women-Are-No-Darn-Good. But eventually our wounded psyche heals and we decide to give love another shot.
From a lover, from ambitious co-workers, from those kindly folks phoning and ringing doorbells to offer us wonderful goodies, deception can be expected at some point along life’s path. But how does one deal with it when it comes from man’s best friend, from that most loyal and noble of companions?
Yes. Sadly, I’ve discovered Benny is a four-legged fibber.
Look at this face:
Hard to believe isn’t it? Yet daily, I am confronted by the evidence.
Here’s the sad story:
Ben is crate-trained which basically means he sleeps in a wire cage. It’s not bad. He has a cot, a teensy window, a toilet in the corner and a slot for his food tray.
Hehehe. Almost had you going there, didn’t I? Admit it. Hehehe.
Kidding about the prison thing. Ben’s crate has a bed and a pillow (I spoil that animal) and has always represented a safe place for sleep and for transport. It sits beside Lucy The Parrot’s cage near the front living room window and when at home, we lay a pad across its top. Ben likes to sit atop the crate. From there, he can keep an eye on the front yard in between catching a few winks in the sun. It’s also where he can be seen every time I back out of the driveway to go somewhere. Without fail, every time he realizes I’m leaving the house without him, he leaps onto his crate to watch me go.
Now, I need you folks to picture this. My house is laid out in such a way that upon entering the front door, one can see through the hall, directly into my office/library/den. Behind my desk are sliding glass doors leading to the backyard. Anyone entering the front door has a clear view of those rear doors. Ben long ago determined that our backyard was to be a squirrel-free zone. And rabbit-free. And occasionally mourning dove-free. But squirrels are the main bane of his existence.
So, particularly when I’m in the room, he spends much of his day staring through, lounging beside, or hurling himself at, those glass doors.
Several weeks ago, upon returning from a short errand, I walked through the front door and saw a rear-view of Ben gazing out those patio doors. It was impressive. He was the very Poster Pup of vigilance. His back was ramrod straight, tail erect and unquivering. His ears were perked forward. He did not so much as twitch at the sound of my arrival, let alone do his usual Daddy’s Home! leaping and bouncing off various parts of my anatomy.
This dog was On The Job.
Over the next week or two, the same tableau was presented to my eyes every time I came home from an errand.
I was touched. How comforting to know I could go to the grocery store for 15 minutes, secure in the knowledge that my house would not be teeming with squirrels upon my return. Surely such devotion to duty warranted a treat and an extra dollop of gravy in his evening kibble.
And then it happened.
I guess he wasn’t expecting me home so soon and I caught him red-pawed. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw him through the front window, lifting his head as if from a sound sleep. But, by the time I entered the house some 12 seconds later, he was standing at those rear patio doors, ears, back and tail erect - guarding his fool head off. He didn’t even turn around when I called his name, though his tail wagged once.
I told the boys and Hilary about it and each has now witnessed his deception several times themselves. We’ve all watched him jump off his crate upon our return to the driveway, only to find that seconds later, he has traversed the width of the house and negotiated a set of stairs to pose in front of those patio doors.
So there you have it. Canine deceit. Who’da thunk it? After mulling a while, I decided there’s not much point in talking to him about it. We’d both just be embarrassed. So, everybody pretends we don’t know that he’s only pretending to guard the backyard while we’re gone.
He still gets some gravy or soup mixed into his kibble. He might not guard real well but he’s a heck of an actor.