Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Deception (#196)

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.


Sally said...

Oh, yet again you brighten my day! I think you're doing the right thing, though, in letting sleeping dogs lie. No point in hurting his pride by revealing that you know the truth. :)

Hilary said...

That puppy is at least as spoiled as his old man.. and just about as cute.

I've seen Benny's deceptive trick many times now. I wonder where he learned that. Hey wait.. so you mean I DO look chubby in that muu-muu? I'm canceling your surprise party!

Dawno said...

I just *love* this post. And the dog. Kinda fond of that Frank guy, too...anway, another gem, Frank. Liked it so much I posted the link on Facebook - you might get some new readers today...

oh, and Hilary, *everyone* looks chubby in a moo-moo. It's not you, really. Twiggy looks chubby in one.

Thumbelina said...

That dog has a career in hollywood ready for him! Doggone it.

You had me sucked in a couple of times there. Great post. As always.

Barbara Martin said...

I enjoy these posts about Benny. Dogs have all sorts of quirks they hide from their owners. I had a Doberman once who would turn on the lights and TV in the living room at 7:00 p.m. It was quite the shock to return home to find the lights on in mid-winter and Michael laying stretched out on the sofa watching TV.

Reb said...

Canine deceit? Say it isn't so! Poor Benny, his secret is out.

Silver said...

aaw.. that face will simply melt anyone away. A master of deception?

from One Day at a Time with Silver/

Frank Baron said...

Maud, your comments always brighten mine. Fair trade, that. (And your pun was very funny!) :)

Hil, wait! I can s'plain! (And I am so not too either spoiled hardly!) ;)

Thanks Dawno, for the kind words and the plug. You're a sweetie. :)

Thanks Thumbelina. The camera loves Benny, so you might be right - perhaps Hollywood beckons!

Barbara, if you found him using the remote, I bet you'd be REALLY spooked. :)

Reb, I won't read it to him if you won't. ;)

Silver, he's a cutie all right (and a lot of fun and a great companion). Thanks for the visit.

Stace said...

Poor Benny! His shameful secret is out! He may never forgive you... :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Isn't the real issue here, Frank, the fact than Benny outsmarted you?
Go Benny!

Dawn Wilson said...

Ahh, how sweet. I know, I know. He's supposed to be On The Job. But it's sweet that you're still giving him loads of love and not making this a Big Deal all the same. He's a cutie. :)

Elizabeth Guy said...

That is one little crafty canine! Guess you should be thankful he hasn't mastered the Internet. Yet.

Frank Baron said...

Stace, dogs are quick to forgive. Godbless'em. Thanks for the visit. :)

Huh, Leah?


Yes he is, Dawn. His high cuteness quotient has saved him several scoldings. So far, though, I don't think he's consciously using it. But then again...he's a pretty fair actor...hmmm....

Thanks for the visit. :)

Oh crap, Elizabeth! Don't be giving him any ideas! ;)

Thanks all, for taking the time to read and comment. Sorry for the tardy reply. I was away. :)

Dianne said...

I would have commented earlier but I was busy sewing my muu-muu's together to fashion a pool cover - and drapes - and an area rug - and ... well you get the picture

from now on I'm back to figure flattering sweats ;)

I have a different view of Benny's "deceit" - I think that he did guard the yard those first few times and then it became so apparent to the teeming squirrels that this was not a dog to be messed with that they signed a truce and moved on. He is up on the crate simply waiting for the next assignment - he just doesn't want anyone to know - the squirrels stipulated that he keep it to himself

and yes - I am Benny's lawyer

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, you are a very fine humorist!!! I love this!!! So like Twain...I found myself chuckling all the way through...thanks so much for visiting, leaving kind comments, and leading me to your blog! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, and will return...~Janine

P.S. your dog has an irresistible face!!!

LadyFi said...

That is hilarious! He deserves an Oscar for his efforts!

Rick Rosenshein said...

Hi Barry,
Great story. Brought a smile to this old mug. Thanks for sharing it. Rick

Frank Baron said...

Dianne, you present a good case. I may just have to grant him the benefit of the doubt. :)

Thanks Sniffles and Smiles. You're too kind. Well, there I go fibbing.

You're JUST kind enough. ;)

Ladi Fi, there'd be no living with him if he won it. :)

Thanks Rick. I'll pass it along to "Barry." ;)

Theresa Cyr said...

I love how easily our pets can trick us. It keeps us on our toes. I've experienced the same thing with my little Shelby. She's fooled me a few times with her barking. She does make for a great little alarm system, but there are times when she "cries wolf", as I like to call it. What would life be like without dogs?

Anonymous said...

Everytime I visit you, or Hilary, you nearly have me convinced I can't live without a dog another day.

I love this post, and your little dog too. I am sure Benny is a celebrity among us bloggers, and he hasn't a clue!

Frank Baron said...

That life would be sadly lacking Teacher. They're wonderful companions aren't they? Thanks so much for the visit. :)

Meredith, I'm darn glad he has no idea how popular he is in the blogosphere. If his ego ever grew to match the size of his personality...I shudder at the thought. :)

Kappa no He said...

Next time you come back from an errand change into your squirrel costume and sneak into the back yard. That'll fix him.


Haggis Chihuahua said...

Dogs are never deceitful. We may sometimes stretch the truth just a bit, but it's always for a noble purpose.


Frank Baron said...

Terrie, that would put him right off the deep end. (A short trip for my little four-legged nutjob.) :)

Sure Steve. Noble as in, "Oooohhh...cheese...gimmegimmegimme."

Thanks for stopping by. Good to see you. :)

bobbie said...

Benny is beautiful!

Thanks for visiting my blog.
That's why I came, and I'm so glad I did! I think I'm in love with your posts.

Frank Baron said...

Don't go swelling his head now.

I can handle compliments though. ;)

Merisi said...


Lucky you don't have to buy ticket for the show! :-)

Our long-haired dachshund is a great actor too. I am convinced that dogs could beat as in anything if they only wanted to!